Michael Dante, DirectorMichael Dante, Director

M.Div., M.A. in Systematic Theology, Washington Theological Union, Washington DC

Ph.D. in Spirituality, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

M.S. Mathematics, University of Maryland Graduate & Professional School, Baltimore, MD

B.S. Mathematical Sciences and B.A. Physics, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Michael began his position as Director of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality on August 1, 2012, coming to us from his recent position at Fordham University in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. As Director, he is responsible for the promotion of Ignatian spirituality on campus and the development of programs in that can contribute to the spiritual and intellectual growth and ongoing formation of all faculty and staff. Additionally, as Director, Michael works collaboratively with others in promoting Marquette’s role in Catholic Jesuit Higher Education and integrating Ignatian spirituality at all levels of the University. 

Ignatian spirituality has been tremendously influential in Michael's life. Undergoing the Spiritual Exercises led him to a career change, leaving mathematics for ministry. Similarly, it offered him a deeper inner vision in contrast to his poor eyesight.  This inner sight offers him a certain sensitivity in seeing the graced reality and immanence of God in his life and the lives of others. His own faith journey forms the backdrop for how he approaches ministry and accompanies others as they strive to experience God and respond to God’s loving call.

Grounded in Ignatian spirituality, Michael brings over 15 years of experience to the Faber Center. He directs the 19th Annotation, five and eight-day retreats, Prayer in Daily Life retreats, weekend Ignatian retreats, preached retreats, offers days of reflection, and facilitates evenings of prayer.  While companioning others in spiritual direction, he also facilitates workshops and seminars on Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction.  Likewise, he has trained people in the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises, Discernment of Spirits, Ignatian Contemplation, and contemplative presence.  He also has experience working in an ecumenical and interfaith environment.

Michael’s knowledge of Ignatian spirituality and the human condition is rooted in his education.  His Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America focused on Spirituality. It prepared him to know the richness of Ignatian spirituality, read the signs of our contemporary times, and integrate this knowledge into faithful living today.  Also, he has earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Systematic Theology from the Washington Theological Union.  These degrees provided him knowledge in Scripture, preaching, human development, liturgy, and systematic theology.  The breadth and rigor of all his studies and internships has prepared him to understand the wisdom of Ignatian spirituality and apply it in pastorally relevant ways.  In doing so, he enhances other’s personal and intellectual growth and spiritual conversion.

Michael is delighted to be at Marquette as the Director of the Faber Center.  Encouraging others’ faith journeys and intellectual growth is a process he finds life giving and one to which he wants to dedicate himself. 



Fr. J.J. O'Leary, S.J., Associate Director

Fr. J.J. O’Leary joined the Faber Center in a part-time capacity during the summer of 2008. He has been a welcome addition, packing a lot of work into his part time hours and while sharing his talents and gifts. J.J. has been in retreat work over 40 years and has given directed and group retreats in most of the Jesuit retreat houses in the States and in Canada and Kenya.  He has been a spiritual director to Jesuits and lay people since his studies in Rome.  J.J. taught the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament at Marquette University, Creighton University and the University of San Diego. Currently he also serves as the Chaplain to the School of Dentistry. 



Ellen Blonski, Administrative Assistant


Ellen joined the staff of the Faber Center as their Administrative Assistant in January, 2009. She comes to the Center after having worked in a similar position in the office of Campus Ministry.  In her 25+ years at the university, Ellen has served on numerous committees and been active in promoting the mission of the university. Her responsibilities in the Faber Center include providing assistance to the Director and Associate Directors, managing the day-to-day activities of the office, helping to plan and coordinate office events and welcoming its many visitors.








Monica Meagher, Spiritual Director in Residence


Monica Meagher graduated from Marquette with a bachelor's degree in Theology and Secondary Education. She taught

high school Theology here in Milwaukee for 10 years before returning to Marquette for graduate studies. She went on to pursue pastoral studies at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary where she obtained a Master's of Divinity degree. Monica has served in parish and educational ministry in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for over 30 years. She has held many leadership positions and has engaged in a wide range of pastoral, spiritual and community ventures. She is a frequent speaker throughout the Milwaukee area and has an active ministry of spiritual direction and retreats. Monica completed a graduate certificate in Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola University-Chicago which prepared her to guide people in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.






Confidentiality Statement

The Faber Center’s commitment and loyalty are to the individuals it serves.  All matters communicated with the intention of privacy will be held in confidence except when there is imminent danger of harm to self or others, in situations of reported child abuse or when disclosure is required by legal process.

Because of this pledge of confidentiality, notice to the Faber Center or its members of improprieties within the university is not to be construed as notice to the university itself.  If an individual wants to inform the university or seek redress, he or she should engage the formal administrative process.


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Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius

The exercises are a pathway to recognizing God's activity in our deepest desires and growing in unity with God. Emerging from the experience of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the Exercises provide a structured opportunity to mature in spiritual freedom and make choices that are responsive to God's call in one's life.