John Fontana, OSM, has served in various ministries, including spiritual direction, preached and directed retreats, parish mission preaching, religious formation, parish, and community leadership. He earned a Master of Christian Spirituality Degree from Creighton University, and has been a spiritual companion of women and men – laypersons, vowed religious and priests – for more than thirty years. He directed his province’s pre-novitiate formation program for ten years. He was later elected to leadership, serving for seventeen years, eleven of them as Prior Provincial of the Servite community in the U.S., South Africa and Australia. He was a spiritual director on the staff of the St Louis Consultation Center (now part of St Luke Institute, a treatment center for religious women and men and priests), in which he did spiritual direction with individuals, co-facilitated an addictions group, and was involved in the Aftercare program. Along the way, John, who was ordained in 1978, has also ministered in a few parishes in Chicago and St Louis. He brings this varied background to his present ministry of spiritual direction/companionship.
While his formal education was largely in Ignatian spirituality, John’s approach to his ministry is eclectic and holistic, in response to the desires and needs of each unique person. With a belief that God is present and active in every aspect of one’s life, he respectfully listens, supports and encourages each person he companions, as they explore together the ways in which God may be inviting, reassuring or challenging the individual, and where s/he is being led by God’s Spirit toward healing, growth, loving relationship and a hope-filled life. He would be happy to meet with individuals virtually or in person, at Assumption Church/Priory, in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.