About Me

Spiritual director….retreat director….former lawyer and law professor….wife….mother….accordion player….pray-er.

Lover of poetry, listening to my daughter sing, feeling the sun on my face, long hikes in sunshine or rain.

My deepest desire: To fall each day ever more deeply in love with God, to live each moment out of the truth of my relationship with God, to help others deepen their relationship with God.

The last resulted in our relocation from NY to Minneapolis in the summer of 2007.  I had been teaching law at St. John’s University School of Law and doing spiritual direction and presenting retreats and other programs at St. Ignatius Retreat House, where I was a staff associate, and in my parish.  The University of St. Thomas School of Law offered me the opportunity to move to the Twin Cities and spend part of my time being a “regular” law professor and part giving retreats and other programs of spiritual formation for the law school and affiliate communities. I served in that capacity until April 2016, when I assumed the role of Director of the University of St. Thomas’s Office for Spirituality, a position I left at the end of 2016.  I now devote my full energies to providing spiritual direction, giving retreats, doing some adjunct teaching, giving talks in parishes, and so forth.

You can find all the “official” academic biographical stuff here.

My first non-legal book – Growing in Love and Wisdom: Buddhist Sources for Christian Prayer, was published at the end of 2012 by Oxford University Press. (See the top sidebar on the right for links to order the book.)


34 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Susan, glad to read that you are doing well after leaving NYC. I’m a McClancy debater (’76). Pat Foye (’74) and I last week visited Ed Brophy, pastor of St. Edmund’s in Brooklyn, who recently had valve replacement and bypass surgery. He’s doing well, and he sustains my faith in both God and humanity.

    Didn’t know you blogged, I’ll sample your posts and podcasts and let you know what I think. I’m not a huge fan of sqpn (although the punster in me loves “Praystation portable,” a short cast of morning and evening prayers. I like liturgy of the hours by catholicclasses.org for daily prayer.

    Bless you in your quest to deepen others’ catholic faith. Modern secular life leaves the soil thin and dry.

    Harry Walters

  2. Good to hear from you, Harry. I remember Ed Brophy well and am glad to hear he is recovering well. I’ll be grateful to hear your reactions to posts from time to time either via comments here or e-mail. Best, Susan

  3. Hi Susan, Thanks for the blog. I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed our days together. Locking up was so much easier, your reflection was great and simply being part of your spirit.
    Blessings on your work. Bev

  4. Just read the above piece after a google search. Figures a Brooklynite would find another offering aid while both live in the mid-west. Having issues with ego and your above example captured me and attendant feelings.I will scalp what I can from this page. Please pray for me as I will do for you.

  5. I stumbled on your website as I am struggling what work God wants me to do. I work with elders at a mental health organization but am very unhappy. I have always worked with children and have a past of successful non profit leadership in Spokane WA. Discernment on what God wants me to do to make a living while using my God given gifts and talents has been challenging. You site has helped a little. Prayerfully,

  6. Would you consider reviewing this new Christian book on your blog? I’d be glad to mail you a copy if you are interested in posting a review.

    TITLE: Learn to Study the Bible
    AUTHOR: Andy Deane
    ISBN: 978-1-60791-576-8

    PUBLISHER: Xulon Press
    BOOK WEBSITE: http://www.LearnToStudyTheBible.com

    Book Summary:
    Pastor Andy Deane’s new book teaches you forty different step-by-step Bible study methods to help you discover, apply and enjoy God’s Word. Each practical method has a handwritten example to demonstrate it and make it easy for you to follow the steps. Learn how to study the Bible with so much variety that you’ll never get into the rut that routine brings ever again. Learn to Study the Bible has more Bible study methods than any other book out there!

    • John: I’d be happy to review the book. I will e-mail my address to you at the e-mail you provided with your comment. Susan

  7. Susan,
    I am so happy for you. I have been reading your work and am so proud to have known you as a “bud” back on the debating team. Your work is insightful and thought provoking.

  8. Dear Susan:

    I notice you occasionally do book reviews for the Catholic Company. If you would consider doing one on my new book from Servant Books, 39 New Saints You Should Know, I would appreciate it. You can hear me talk about it this morning on Teresa Tomeo’s show, which is heard on Ave Maria Network, EWTN, and Sirius.

    Thank you for your consideration, and may God bless you.

    In Christ,

    Brian O’Neel
    author, 39 New Saints You Should Know

    • I have a book currently in hand to read and review for Catholic Company. When I’m ready for a new one, I’ll try to take a look at yours.
      Blessings, Susan

  9. I read with great pleasure your article in Elizabeth West’s Newsletter and am delighted to have ‘discovered’ your site. I hope you will continue to contribute to the buddhist-Christian Newsletter.
    Thank you for all you do and for…well…being you.
    A holy Advent and a very Happy and Holy Christmas.

  10. Susan,
    I came across your blog a few months ago and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts and podcasts. Like you, I was raised Catholic, fell away from it, and became a Buddhist (also in the Tibetan tradition). I have only recently returned to my Catholic faith within the past few months. It has been a gradual transition, and not always smooth, but reading your blog and listening to your talks have been a great inspiration to me. I get the impression from your writing that while you no longer identify as a Buddhist, you still have a deep respect for the wisdom that that tradition espouses – as I also do. So, from one fellow spiritual traveler to another: thank you for taking the time to post your daily reflections. They’re wonderful to read. May God bless you.


  11. Hi Susan,

    ‘Noticed that you quoted me on your piece about Good Friday a few years back (I think) — staying at the foot of the cross. Just wanted to let you know that I appreciated your own reflections too….

    Blessings this Lent….


  12. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog during my daily meanderings on the net a few months ago but I have been a daily visitor ever since. I have often forwarded your thoughts to others – along with the appropriate citations to you and your blog:).

    In this season of Lent in which we are supposed to more deeply recognize and acknowledge the presence of God in our lives, I wanted to thank you for sharing your ponderings and your heart.


  13. Susan,
    I happened to stumble across your blog just today and I’ve been looking through it some this afternoon. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been reading. Keep up the good work!

    Grace and Peace

  14. Thank you, Susan, for a wonderful retreat. It was a level, steady, consoling experience for me. You served a broad spectrum of women at various levels of spiritual development and your teaching and sharing was well received. I look forward to bumping into your ministry again.

  15. I signed up for your daily emails. Lately I’m receiving 2 every day……..one is from Creo en Dios and the other is the Daily Digest., and there’ll be the same message, but a day apart. Please inform me of what to do………..I just want the new meassage that you send every day. I know that I can always find the “old ones”. Thank you so much. I love your messages. DO

  16. Dolores: I just sent you an e-mail asking you to forward one of the daily digests to me so I can see how you can stop that.

  17. Beautiful and thought provoking writings – so very glad I found your site as it is providing me with much food for thought as I work my way down my own path.

  18. Hi Susan –
    This might not be the appropriate place to ask this question, but I am reading and loving your book. I would love to give it to a classmate for Christmas – would there be any way for me to get a signed copy for her??
    thanks –

  19. So nice to see your blog connecting these two beautiful all encompassing traditions. I look forward to listening and practicing with your podcasts.

    With gratitude,


  20. Thank for this blog and podcasts. It helps me try to deal with my doubts about dogmas and doctrines which I reject and try to instead live an intentional Chritstian life.

  21. Susan, I so enjoyed your piece in the current issue of the Shambhala Sun reviewing Brad Warner’s There is No God and He is Always With You. You put in to words things I’ve been struggling to explain to others about my own belief system for so long but never have been able to. And you do it succinctly and powerfully. Thank you.

    • I walked the Camino from late September through beginning of November. If you look at my blog posts from those days, you will find my posts on the Camino. In addition, I gave a talk here shortly after I returned. If you go to that post, you will find a podcast of my talk as well as a slide show of some pictures.

  22. Hello, Susan! Your blog, website and podcasts are such tremendously wonderful resources, I had to take a moment just to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU! For many months you’ve been like a spiritual mentor to me across the miles, though you didn’t know it–until now! (I tried to send you an email via your website, but it didn’t work.)

    Like yourself, I was born/raised Catholic, and then for many years practiced Buddhism. And now back to Catholicism. Last year during a period of dealing with serious health issues, I had a lot of days unwell, which meant rest… which led to lots of prayer in a new way like I hadn’t prayed before. I was being called back to Him. That’s the short version of the long story!

    I discovered your blog late last year (I found you through an article you had written for the Shambhala Sun magazine), and I’ve been reading daily since. My winter project, while still resting a lot, was to listen to all your podcast. What food for the spirit-life, your podcasts… and your blog! Both gave me the courage to keep reading, keep finding more of the great Catholic sources online to support my renewed faith, keep finding my way back. I’m an American woman living overseas in Norway. There is no Catholic church where I am currently living, so I have to travel a bit to get to one for Mass. So online sources mean a great deal to my daily life for support.

    Earlier this spring I read your Growing in Love and Wisdom, which I greatly enjoyed. The dialogues that can happen in the heart using both the Christian faith and Buddhist philosophy practices is a powerful one I’m exploring now thanks to your thoughtful presentation. I realized I don’t have to give up my time on the cushion–but have invited God to be with me there! I very much look forward to your next book, chronically more of your journey back to Catholicism.

    It’s been an amazing journey back to my Catholic roots and re-establishing a stronger friendship with God. I feel like I now understand what it truly means to be the good Christian woman God always wanted me to be. I wake up happier than I ever had been!

    My apologies for not being brief. I’ve wanted to write to you, and finally found the courage today! Many thanks for the spiritual gifts you generously share!

    Sincerely from the heart of thankful reader,
    Tracy Bakkelokken


  23. Susan, I recently found your podcast and love it! I am Episcopalian but love your perspective, insights, and delivery in the podcasts. If I lived in MN I would attend your talks for sure! Thanks for your work in Christ


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