Meet Our Retreat Presenters


Alice Nahas

Alice Nahas

Alice has a Certificate from the Little Rock Theology classes at the Diocese of Little Rock. Alice holds a Spiritual Director certificate from the St. Scholastica Formation in the Ministry of Spiritual Direction. At this time, she works closely with Sr. Rachel Dietz, OSB in the Formation Ministry but with administration and teaching classes. She currently lives in Paris, AR with her mother.


Beth Fritsch

Beth Fritsch

Beth Fritsch Beth Fritsch is a midlife traveler, a soul-midwife, a depth companion and poet. A writer in community in Cincinnati, Ohio, Beth is a lifelong learner, with graduate degrees in business and education who is currently completing her graduate studies in Theology and Spiritual Direction. Beth has facilitated weekly writing groups for women and men and has also led weekend Soul Writing weekend retreats. A follower and lover of the mystical path, Beth believes the continued cultivation of the poetic imagination is the best single thing one can do to enrich the life of the soul.


Cindy Shaw

Cindy Shaw

Cindy Shaw ministers through the Emmaus Retreat House in the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, where she serves as a spiritual director and directs individual and group retreats. She received her Masters Degree in Ministry and her M.A. certification in spiritual direction and retreat direction from Creighton University. Cindy coauthored My Heart’s Desire, an adult formation series and served as a guest columnist in the Arkansas Catholic.


Kaye Bernard

Kaye Bernard

Kaye Bernard holds a Spiritual Director certificate from the St. Scholastica Formation in the Ministry of Spiritual Direction and is a Benedictine Oblate. She is a serious student of the Enneagram. For the last several years, she studied at the Worldwide Enneagram Institute.


Matthew Linn, SJ

Matthew Linn, SJ

Fr. Matthew Linn, SJ has focused on integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. He is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists with advanced graduate degrees in sociology, anthropology, spirituality, and theology. Since 1970 he has given courses and retreats in over 60 countries from Alaska to Australia. Ordained in 1973 he currently lives in a Jesuit community in Minneapolis where he trains spiritual directors at Sacred Ground and serves on the editorial board of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Along with Dennis and Sheila Linn they have written 22 books translated in over 20 languages, (all in Spanish) and with over a million copies in English.


Nick Cole

Nick Cole

Nicholas G. Cole, MD, has been practicing prayer since attending his first ten-day retreat in Snowmass, Colorado in May, 1990. In 1991 he was commissioned to teach the prayer and has presented numerous introductory workshops. He began serving retreats at Snowmass (St. Benedict's Monastery Retreat Center) in 1993. Nick is now retired from the active practice of medicine. He does some volunteer medical clinic work and teaches in the residency program in the University of Colorado in Denver. He also continues to share the prayer through retreat work and centering prayer workshops. He is married to Carolyn and they share five children and nine grandchildren. Nick and Carolyn divide their time between Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Morrison, Colorado.

He is a retired opthamologist who has practiced and taught Centering Prayer for 20+ years. His life is being transformed by the amazing synergy between Centering Prayer and the 12 Steps.


Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB is a member of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith. She is well known for her writings and her retreat ministry. Her latest work, Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God, was released by Liturgical Press in September, 2011.


Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB & Joyce Rupp, OSM

Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB & Joyce Rupp, OSM

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB is well known for her creative writing and retreat ministry. She is the author of eight popular books on prayer and spirituality, including A Tree Full of Angels, Seven Sacred Pauses, and Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God. Her passion is to lead seekers in the contemplative way.

Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, “spiritual midwife,” international retreat leader and conference speaker. She is a member of the Servants of Mary community, author of numerous best-selling books, and the co-director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence. Joyce Rupp resides in Des Moines, Iowa, and can be visited online at www.joycerupp.com


Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB & Velma Frye, M.Mus.Ed

Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB & Velma Frye, M.Mus.Ed

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB is well known for her creative writing and retreat ministry. She is the author of eight popular books on prayer and spirituality, including A Tree Full of Angels, Seven Sacred Pauses, and Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God. Her passion is to lead seekers in the contemplative way.

Velma Frye is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a strong background in classical and popular styles. Her fourth CD, Sacred Pauses, puts Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB’s poetry to music.


Sr. Rachel Dietz, OSB

Sr. Rachel Dietz, OSB

Sr. Rachel Dietz, a licensed clinical and social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist, has given many retreats and workshops for individuals and groups for more than 20 years. Currently she directs the Spiritual Director Formation program at St. Scholastica Retreat Center and has a small counseling practice.


St. Scholastica Monastery

St. Scholastica Monastery

Worship with the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery and experience monastic life.


Therese Elias, OSB

Therese Elias, OSB

A Kansas farm girl, who is a Benedictine Sister from Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS. At this time she lives in a monastic community at Peace House in Kansas City, MO. She holds a BA and MA in Theology and has advanced graduate study in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction. She has been leading Celtic pilgrimages to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales since 1996. Her pilgrimage ministry began at the invitation of Esther de Wall, who mentored her in Celtic Spirituality.

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