Biographies

Presenters

Ilia Delio

Ilia Delio is a Franciscan sister, American theologian, and former scientist who continues the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin through an inspiring and groundbreaking theology at the intersection of religion and science. Integrating the universal truths of Christian thought with contemporary scientific insights—from consciousness and A.I., to evolution and complexity—her work sees the unfolding of the cosmos as an ever-intensifying “falling in love,” a love that is cosmically creative and increasingly conscious. Her vision of God and creation in mutual and deepening relationship is oriented toward life abundant and making all things new.

Ilia currently holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, and is the author of twenty books including Care for Creation (coauthored with Keith Warner and Pamela Woods) which won two Catholic Press Book Awards in 2009, first place for social concerns and second place in spirituality. Her book The Emergent Christ won a third place Catholic Press Book Award in 2011 for the area of Science and Religion. Her recent books include The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love (Orbis, 2013), which received the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a third place Catholic Press Association Award for Faith and Science. Most recently, her book Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness has been shortlisted for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize given by the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is the general editor of the Orbis Book Series, “Catholicity in an Evolving Universe,” of which several books have won Catholic Press Book Awards. Ilia is the recipient of two honorary doctorates, one from St. Francis University in 2015 and one from Sacred Heart University in 2020.

Diarmuid O’Murchu

Diarmuid O’Murchu, a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order, and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin Ireland, is a social psychologist most of whose working life has been in social ministry, predominantly in London, UK. In that capacity he has worked as a couple’s counsellor, in bereavement work, AIDS-HIV counselling, and, in more recent times, with homeless people and refugees. As a workshop leader and group facilitator he has worked in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, The Philippines, Thailand, India, and in several African countries, facilitating programmes on Adult Faith Development. His best known books include Quantum Theology (1996 – revised in 2004),  Ancestral Grace (2008), Jesus in the Power of Poetry (2009), Christianity’s Dangerous Memory (2011), In the Beginning was the Spirit (2012),  Incarnation: A New Evolutionary Threshold (2017), Beyond Original Sin: Recovering Humanity’s Creative Urge (2018), When the Disciple Comes of Age (2019). He now lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Donald Viney

Donald Wayne Viney (BA in philosophy 1977, Colorado State Univ. 1977; MA 1979 and PhD 1982 in philosophy, the Univ. of Oklahoma) is a three-time recipient of the title of University Professor at Pittsburg State University (Kansas) where he has taught philosophy and religion since 1984. Professor Viney is the author of several books and dozens of articles and reviews in philosophy of religion and he serves on the editorial boards of Process Studies, The Midwest Quarterly, Cahiers Jules Lequier, and The American Journal of Theology and Philosophy. His most recent book, co-authored with George W. Shields, is The Mind of Charles Hartshorne: A Critical Examination (Process Century Press, 2020). 

Gail Worcelo

Gail Worcelo is a co- founder along with Bernadette Bostwick and the late Passionist priest and cultural historian Thomas Berry, of Sisters of the Earth Community, the first community of Catholic sisters founded specifically for Earth healing and protection within the Eco-zoic Era.

Eco-zoic, a phrase coined by Thomas Berry means ‘House of Life’ and refers to our emerging geo-biological era where we learn to live as mutually enhancing members of this Sacred Planet.

Currently the community has a worldwide base of Partners in Mission, and sisters located at Green Mt Monastery in Vermont, USA, Indonesia and Kenya.

Gail travels around the world (and now on zoom) offering retreats and programs on the Spirituality of Earth and Cosmos, and organizing with others to bring about the emerging Eco-Zoic Era.

Gail holds degrees in Clinical Psychology and Christian Spirituality from Fordham University. She is also a Liturgical dancer, choreographer and performer using dance as an embodied expression of praise of the Divine and as a vehicle for social change. She also has a passion for the theater arts and bringing beauty to the world.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Louis M. Savary

Louis M. Savary has one doctorate in mathematical statistics and a second in spiritual theology. For over forty years, he has been conveying Teilhard’s complex insights to audiences and classrooms in everyday words and examples. Among his many books illuminating Teilhard’s evolutionary ideas for the ordinary reader are The Divine Milieu ExplainedThe Phenomenon of Man ExplainedTeilhard on LoveTeilhard on SufferingTeilhard on MoralityTeilhard on the Gospels, and Teilhard on the Eucharist.

Spiritual Service Celebrants

Reverend Ed Bacon

Reverend Ed Bacon is an Episcopal priest and author of 8 Habits of Love; Overcome Fear and Transform Your Life. For twenty-one years he was the senior priest of All Saints Church, located in Pasadena, California. Since January 2019, he has been Interim Rector of St. Luke’s Church, Atlanta, where he was ordained in 1983. Ed is a vocal advocate for rearticulating a Christianity for the 21st century which includes trusting God’s Divinity in all creation instead of worshipping the god of fear, separateness, and white male heterosexual Christian supremacy. He also works to dismantle all forms of systemic bigotry. A leader in interfaith circles and an advocate of science-friendly theology and leadership in anxious times, he teaches contemplative practices, how our Oneness in Love overcomes our separateness and fear. He also works to help save the Pando forest in southern Utah, the largest organism on the planet which he considers symbolic of the interconnectedness of all creation. He has appeared on a variety of radio and TV shows interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Ms. Winfrey recently named him a “Soul Teacher” on her “SuperSoul 100” list, a collection of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices to elevate humanity.” He serves on the Advisory Council of Muslim Public Affairs Council. His website is edbacon.co.

Reverend Dr. Peter Traben Haas

Rev., Dr. Peter Traben Haas was born in Traben-Trarbach, Germany and grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He is an ordained Teaching Pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and serves as Minister of a non-denominational contemplative Christian community in Austin, Texas called The Church of Conscious Harmony.

Peter earned a B.A. from Moody Bible, an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Peter is a certified Centering Prayer instructor and retreat leader, and is the author of multiple books and articles on the contemplative Christian dimension.

Workshop Leaders

Andrew Del Rossi

Andrew Del Rossi’s professional journey has allowed him to serve as a theology teacher, service learning educator, campus minister, non-profit operator, and palliative care consultant for alternative and holistic therapies. He is currently publishing and presenting on spirituality and psychology, as well as creating a fully-immersive audio-visual meditation experience guided by Teilhard’s prayers and writings. Andrew resides in New Jersey with his wife and their two children.

Katie Gordon

Katie Gordon’s work is focused on building and supporting monastic and interspiritual communities. She is co-founder and national organizer with Nuns & Nones, an alliance of Catholic sisters, spiritually diverse seekers, and other religious elders whose mission is to create communities of care and contemplation that incite courageous action. Katie is also a staff member of Monasteries of the Heart, an online monastery of over 20,000 members that translates Benedictine wisdom for contemporary seekers. She is also currently coordinating the Formation Project, a year-long spiritual formation structure for seekers to deepen in their own traditions and practices. Katie lives in Erie, PA with the Benedictine Sisters in a small intentional community called the Pax Priory, a site of monastic tradition and experimentation.

Alison McCrary

Alison McCrary is an enrolled member of the Ani-Yun-Wiya Cherokee Nation, a social justice movement lawyer, restorative justice practitioner, and Catholic activist.  She currently ministers as a spiritual advisor on Louisiana’s death row, Christian Ethics Professor at Loyola University-New Orleans, a national criminal justice reform strategist, community mediator, and consultant to social movements, philanthropies, and city governments. Alison formerly served as the founding Executive Director of the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana, a co-founder of the Louisiana Collaborative for Conflict and Accountability, Statewide Campaign Manager for the Unanimous Jury Coalition abolishing a 138-year-old Jim Crow law in Louisiana, the Executive Director of the National Police Accountability Project, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Practitioner-In-Residence at Wake Forest Divinity School, and Founding Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program. 

Rhonda Miska

Rhonda Miska is a preacher, poet, essayist, practical theologian, lay minister, and community organizer rooted in the Dominican tradition. She studied at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and the Aquinas Institute and holds a certificate from the Spiritual Direction Institute. She has taught at Clarke University and Dominican University, accompanied immigrants and refugees in various contexts, served in leadership at a L’Arche-style community with adults with disabilities, and completed two years in Nicaragua as a Jesuit Volunteer. Rhonda currently ministers at the Church of St. Timothy in Blaine, Minnesota and as a spiritual director and writer. She is passionate about cultivating community, nurturing solidarity, engaging the arts as spiritual practice, and working for a more just and humane world. Learn more at www.rhondamiskaop.com

Mark Wallace

Mark I. Wallace, PhD is the Professor of Religion, Environmental Studies, and Interpretation Theory at Swarthmore College. At Swarthmore, he directs the ChesterSemester program in which college students work alongside Chester city partners in high-value internships focused on social and environmental justice. He has been a visiting professor at The University of Pennsylvania, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Japan International Christian University, and is core faculty for the U.S. State Department’s Institutes on Religious Pluralism at Temple University.

Recent books include When God Was a Bird: Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World (Fordham University Press 2019), Green Christianity: Five Ways to a Sustainable Future (Fortress Press 2010) and Finding God in the Singing River: Christianity, Spirit, Nature (Fortress Press 2005). His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, and the National Endowment of the Humanities. On sabbatical, he recently followed in the footsteps of Teilhard de Chardin and visited the Paleolithic Niaux caves in SW France, which Teilhard and others had rediscovered and reinterpreted in the 1920s.

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