Business Operations and Facilities Manager
Elisa Schneider is the Business Manager for the Collegeville Institute. Elisa joined the Collegeville Institute in 2006 and has worked on the College of Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s University campuses for over 23 years. Her responsibilities include finance, facilities, human resources, board support and development. She has been married to her husband Dennis for 35 years and they have four children and four grandchildren. Elisa currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Birthline, Inc.
Program Associate, Communities of Calling Initiative and Collegeville Institute Seminars
Jessie Bazan is the Program Associate for the Communities of Calling Initiative and the Collegeville Institute Seminars. Jessie Bazan earned her Masters of Divinity degree from the Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary and her Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University. In addition to her work with the Collegeville Institute, Jessie serves as an Adjunct Instructor for Saint John’s University, where she teaches a course on Benedictine spirituality, as well as the Outreach Coordinator for the Saint John’s Abbey Vocations team. She also writes regularly for U.S. Catholic magazine.
Program Director, Collegeville Institute Seminars
Kathleen A. Cahalan is Professor of Theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary and Director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars. She co-edited two volumes from the project: Calling All Years Good: Vocation throughout Life’s Seasons (2017) and Calling in Today’s World: Voices from Eight Faith Perspectives (2016). She has also authored books for a broad church audience, including Stories We Live: Finding God’s Calling All around Us (2017) and Living Your Discipleship: Seven Ways to Express Your Deepest Calling, co-authored with Laura Kelly Fanucci (2015). In addition, Dr. Cahalan directs the coordination of the Lilly Endowment’s Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative, begun in 2018.
Program Director, Collegeville Institute Multi-Religious Fellows
Barry D. Cytron served for 25 years as a congregational rabbi, first in Des Moines, Iowa and then in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From 1996-2008, he directed the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a Minnesota venture devoted to fostering sustained interreligious education. During that same period of time, he taught at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Department of Theology and Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary primarily in the area of Ethics. He graduated from New York’s Columbia University, from which he also received an M.A., was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned his Ph.D. at Iowa State University. With colleague Earl Schwartz of Hamline University, he has written two texts exploring Jewish ethical teachings, When Life is in the Balance and Who Renews Creation. For many years a regular contributor to the commentary pages of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he joined the faculty of Macalester College in 1989, where he taught in the religious studies department for nearly three decades, undertaking the additional role of associate chaplain for Jewish life in 2008.
Program Manager and Communications Associate
Carla Durand is Program Manager and Communications Associate at the Collegeville Institute. She earned her Master of Science in Social Responsibility from Saint Cloud State University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Moorhead State University. Immediately prior to her work at the Collegeville Institute, Carla served as Associate Campus Minister at the College of Saint Benedict in the areas of service, justice, and spirituality, as well as the volunteer and bereavement manager for a local hospice program. From 1990 – 1997, she lived and served in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky as a volunteer for an ecumenical non-profit agency.
Program Director, Collegeville Institute Rural Minnesota Fellows
Bernie Evans is the Program Director of the Collegeville Institute Rural Minnesota Fellows program. In 2016 Bernie retired as Professor Emeritus from Saint John’s University where he served on the faculty for 35 years, the last five as Associate Dean for Faculty in the School of Theology and Seminary. During his time at Saint John’s he occupied the Virgil Michel Ecumenical Chair in Rural Social Ministries. His publications include Lazarus at the Table: Catholics and Social Justice (2006); Vote Catholic? Beyond the Political Din (2008); and, Stewardship: Living a Biblical Call (2014), all published by the Liturgical Press. Bernie is married to Nancy Alvarez and they are the parents of two adult children.
Laura Kelly Fanucci
Program Director, Communities of Calling Initiative
Laura Kelly Fanucci is Program Director of the Communities of Calling Initiative. She received her Master of Divinity from Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame. Laura is the author of several books including Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting (Liturgical Press, 2014), winner of a 2015 Catholic Press Association Award, and To Bless Our Callings: Prayers, Poems, and Hymns to Celebrate Vocation (Wipf & Stock, 2017). Laura previously served as Research Associate of the Collegeville Institute Seminars for 8 years. She and her husband Franco are the parents of four sons.
Administrative and Program Assistant
Vivian Krueger is the Administrative and Program Assistant at the Collegeville Institute. Viv joined the Collegeville Institute in 2016 and has worked at Saint John’s University for 24 years in several different capacities. Her responsibilities include program and facility support, hospitality and event assistance. She has been married to her husband Randy for 36 years and they have three grown children and three grandchildren.
Program and Research Assistant, Communities of Calling Initiative and Collegeville Institute Seminars
Jena Thurow-Mountin is the Program and Research Assistant for the Communities of Calling Initiative and Collegeville Institute Seminars. Jena earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Marquette University and is a Masters of Divinity candidate (’19) at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary. In addition to her work with the Institute, Jena is a contributing author at U.S. Catholic magazine and Liturgy Training Publications.
Digital Communications Specialist
Stina Kielsmeier-Cook works as Digital Communications Specialist at the Collegeville Institute. Her writing has appeared in Image, The Englewood Review of Books, and Sojourners. She has a graduate diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo, and a B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College. Previously, she worked as a housing advocate for refugees. Stina lives in Minneapolis, MN, and she and her husband Josh are the parents of two young children.
Susan Sink is a writer, poet, presenter, and blogger living on 80 acres in St. Joseph, MN. She came to Minnesota as a Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute in 2005 and stayed. She is the author of The Art of The Saint John’s Bible and three books of poems: The Way of All the Earth, Habits: 100-word stories, and H is for Harry. She publishes poetry and essays at Medium.com and blogs at susansinkblog.com.