2024 Lenten Retreat


Finding and cultivating hope in difficult times

Reflections drawn from the Gospel as well as from personal experiences that can offer participants inspiration, motives and practices for finding and cultivating hope this Lenten season

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to again offer you an opportunity to deepen your Lenten prayer and draw closer to Jesus Christ through an online Lenten retreat. Directors from the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, have assembled a team of experts in Jesuit spirituality and prayer to provide participants with a rich and meaningful prayer experience.

Show Bios of Presenters


Rev. Gerry Whelan SJ grew up in Dublin, Ireland and attended high school at Gonzaga College, run by the Jesuits. He was awarded an MA in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin, and then entered the Society of Jesus. He completed graduate studies in Boston and Toronto and was awarded his PhD in Systematic Theology from St. Michael’s College. In 2007, the Pontifical Gregorian University was fortunate to have him assigned to teach fundamental theology. He is considered a top scholar of Bernard Lonergan and is part of the team of the Lonergan Project at the Gregorian.




Rev.  Michael Rossmann SJ  is a native of Iowa and joined the Jesuits in 2007 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. He has graduate degrees from Loyola University Chicago and Boston College and is a doctoral student at the Gregorian University. Rossmann started the “One-Minute Homily,” a series of video reflections on the Sunday readings, and previously served as the editor-in-chief of The Jesuit Post. He is also the author of The Freedom of Missing Out.




Rev. David Nazar SJ is of Ukrainian origin and was born and brought up in Canada. He has an incredible experience of practicing faith in two different Rites, the Byzantine and the Latin, in the Catholic Church. He has earned master’s degrees from Gonzaga University and Regis College – University of Toronto, in addition to a PhD at the University of Ottawa. He is the current rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the premier center for the study of Eastern Christianity in Rome. Nazar is the former Superior of Jesuits in Ukraine and former Provincial of the Jesuits in the English Canada Province.



Angie Neumann is a lay doctoral student at the Greg. For the past 20 years, she has served in pastoral and administrative capacities at the USCCB, the Archdioceses of Washington, DC, and St. Paul/Minneapolis. She also helped found UMary’s Rome campus. She has spent many enjoyable years in youth and women’s ministry, teaching about deepening prayer and integrated human formation. She is also a licensed mental health trauma therapist.



Rev. Patrick Kassab PhD is a Maronite Priest and Theologian. He has a Master’s Degree and PhD in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Fr. Kassab is a language enthusiast who has lived in many countries and attended many universities, including St. Joseph University of Beirut and The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) in Lebanon. He currently serves as the Director of Ministries of the Maronite Eparchy of Los Angeles. He researches and teaches Systematic Theology and Patristics at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Additionally, he is an Associate Pastor at St. Raymond – St. Elizabeth Maronite Catholic Church, Crestwood in St. Louis, Mo.




Rev. Josef Mario Briffa SJ is a Maltese Jesuit priest and archaeologist. He teaches archaeology, ancient history and Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and is director of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. Josef has a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome and a PhD in archaeology for the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.





Rev. Michael Mohr SJ is a Jesuit scholastic in his third year of First Cycle theology at the Gregorian. He is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he graduated from Catholic High School and he earned his degree in English from Millsaps College. Michael has enjoyed the international dimension of his formation most, especially teaching English in Vietnam and in Uganda. He is looking forward to his ordination later this year. 




Michael Rogers, PhD is a native of Hartford, CT and he earned his bachelor’s degree at College of the Holy Cross where he also served as an assistant chaplain and was a McFarland fellow. He earned his master’s degree in Philosophy at St. Louis University and achieved both an STL in Fundamental Theology and an STB in Theological and Ministerial Studies at the Gregorian. He recently completed his PhD in theological studies at the University of Toronto. He currently works as a Mission Integration Consultant at Trinity Health of New England.



Filipe Domingues, a Brazilian journalist, is currently the deputy director of Rome’s Lay Centre, a residential community of lay students and young professionals. He holds a doctoral degree and a licentiate in Social Sciences (Communications) from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is the author of “Selflessness in the age of selfies: What young people can teach us about social media’s throw-away culture” (G&B Press). In 2018, he attended the Synod on Youth as an expert in media ethics. As a journalist, he contributes from Rome with “O São Paulo” newspaper, in Brazil, and “America Magazine”, in the United States.



Michigan native Rebecca Pawloski came to Rome in 2005 after working in communications for a Catholic non-profit. After working in the Vatican at the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, she obtained a Diploma in Safeguarding at the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Institute of Psychology (Centre for Child Protection). As a doctoral scholar of the Pontifical Gregorian University, her dissertation is focused on the witness of adult survivors of clerical child sexual abuse and the pneumatology of René Girard. She is also an adjunct professor of theology at Loyola University of Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center.



Luke Hansen hails from Kaukauna, WI. He graduated from Saint Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN. After graduation, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent one year in San Jose, CA, working in legal services for mental health patients in the local county jail. Hansen earned a master’s degree in Applied Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a master of divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, and a STL (Ecclesiology) at the Gregorian University. After the Gregorian, he served as a Chaplain at Xavier University in Cincinnati, co-founded Discerning Deacons, and now works as a Campus Minister and Religious Studies Teacher at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco.



Chukwuma Odigwe is a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Washington in his third year of theology studies at the Gregorian University. Before he entered seminary in 2019, Chukwuma studied electrical engineering at University of Maryland College Park. A native of the D.C. area, he began seminary with two years of philosophy while at St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington, D.C. before studying theology at the Gregorian University. At the conclusion of his seminary formation, he will serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington.




Rev. Christopher Staab SJ is a Jesuit priest from the Midwestern Province of the United States. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of John Carroll University, Chris currently teaches in the area of Ignatian Spirituality at the Gregorian University.  But his interests are more than academic; Chris always seeks an opportunity to give the Spiritual Exercises.

We invite you to participate in this guided retreat extended over the six full weeks of Lent. There will be two talks per week with reflections based on Scripture, along with suggestions on how to pray over them. Please see the schedule below. The talks will be posted each Saturday and Wednesday and will be available for viewing whenever is convenient.  For those who are interested, there will also be a weekly opportunity for faith-sharing in a small group online:


Mondays at 7:30 pm EST with Fr. Bill George SJ


The retreat is complimentary and open to anyone who is interested.  However, we ask that you register below or by sending an email to Colleen Mudlaff (executivedirector@gregorianfoundation.org).  For additional information, feel free to email or call Colleen Mudlaff (202-320-9788) or Michael McFarland, SJ (508-981-3513, mmcfarland@gregorianfoundation.org)

Retreat Schedule

Week Date Theme Presenter Link to view video
1 2/14 An Invitation to Hope Rev. Gerry Whelan SJ view 2/14 video
2/17 Finding Hope in Ignatian Contemplations Rev. Michael Rossmann SJ view 2/17 video
2 2/21 Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well Part I Rev. David Nazar SJ view 2/21 video
2/24 Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well Part II Angie Neumann view 2/24 video
3 2/28 Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well Part III Rev. Patrick Kassab PhD view 2/28 video
3/2 Jesus Heals the Blind Man Part I Rev. Josef Briffa SJ view 3/2 video
4 3/6 Jesus Heals the Blind Man Part II Rev. Michael Mohr SJ view 3/6 video
3/9 Jesus Heals the Blind Man Part III Michael Rogers PhD view 3/9 video
5 3/13 Jesus Raises Lazarus Part I Filipe Domingues view 3/13 video
3/16 Jesus Raises Lazarus Part II Rebecca Pawloski view 3/16 video
6 3/20 Jesus Raises Lazarus Part III Luke Hansen view 3/20 video
3/23 A Student's Perspective on Hope Chuckwuma Odigwe view 3/23 video
7 3/27 God’s Language of Hope in our Hearts and in our World Rev. Christopher Staab SJ view 3/27 video