Sr. Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Religious and Environmental Studies at Iona College, where she founded and directs the Iona Spirituality Institute and co-convenes the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue. Sr. Deignan is also a GreenFaith Fellow engaged in religious environmental leadership and education. The President Emerita of the International Thomas Merton Society, she now animates the Merton Contemplative at Iona and sits on the board of the American Teilhard Association. She holds a master’s degree in the History of Christian Spirituality and adoctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University.
Sr. Deignan is the author of Christ Spirit: The Eschatology of Shaker Christianity (Scarecrow Press, 1992), Thomas Merton: When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature (Sorin, 2002), and Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours (Sorin, 2007), as well as numerous articles on classical and contemporary spirituality, which have appeared in The Thomas Merton Annual, The Thomas Merton Seasonal, The Way, and many other journals.
A sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Sr. Deignan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the McCabe Award for Social Justice from Iona College, the Spirit Award from GreenFaith, and the Sapientia et Doctrina Award from Fordham. A leader of retreats and presenter of concerts, she is composer-in-residence for Schola Ministries, which has produced a dozen albums of her extensive repertoire.
Fr. Anthony Ciorra, Ph.D., is a leading expert on Christian spirituality. In recognition of his ministry in the Church, Pope John Paul II awarded him the pontifical honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1999. In 2000, he was awarded the Caritas Centennial Award for his work in lay ministry and the Spirit of RENEW Award for his work in interreligious dialogue and ecumenism. His publications include Everyday Mysticism (Crossroad, 1995), Beauty: A Path to God (Paulist Press, 2013), and Moral Formation in the Parish (Alba House, 1998).Fr. Ciorra holds graduate degrees in psychology, spirituality, and pastoral theology. He earned his Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fordham University. Currently, he is Assistant Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Prior to assuming this post, Fr. Ciorra occupied a number of leadership positions in higher education and beyond, including: dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University; director of the Center for Theological and Spiritual Development at the College of St. Elizabeth; and director of the Center for Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese of New York.Fr. Ciorra’s professional experience ranges from parish life and preaching to teaching and administration to retreat work and formation ministries. He gives workshops and retreats throughout the world and is active in creating programs for interreligious dialogue among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Praise for Anthony Ciorra
“I highly recommend any course by Fr. Anthony Ciorra. His delivery is great, his reflections [are] thoughtful, and [his] questions are challenging. I would have enjoyed having him as a professor. His illustrations are practical.”– Michael Harrison,San Antonio, TX
“Anthony Ciorra—a born teacher—clear and inspiring.”– Sr. Michael,Seaham, County Durham, UK
“Very personable!”– Margaret Gardner,Verona, NJ