Fr. Donald J. McGuire, S.J.
Canisius House
201 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL  60201

(as of 12.31.99)

[Formerly posted on the Web site of Mission FIDES at Retrieved from Google's cache of that page.]

The Reverend Donald J. McGuire, a Jesuit priest, was born July 9, 1930, the fifth of nine children, in Oak Park, Illinois.

He grew up in a devout Christian home which was filled with the love of Greek and Latin Classics his father had gained early in the century at St. Ignatius College.  He completed seven years of elementary education with the Sisters of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Agatha Grammar School in Chicago where he graduated at twelve years of age in June, 1943.  At Sixteen, in June of 1947, he graduated with a Classical Honors Diploma from his father's Alma Mater, Chicago's St. Ignatius High School, where he had had a four-year scholarship.

On August 21, 1947, he entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) at Milford, Ohio where he spent the next two years in intensive spiritual training.  During the ensuing two years at Milford he specialized in Latin and Greek Classical Literature, but at the same time completed most of his undergraduate courses.  In August, 1951 he went to West Baden College, West Baden Springs, Indiana to pursue the study of philosophy.  In June, 1952, he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts with honors there with a major in Classical languages from Loyola University of Chicago.  In June, 1954, he received the Licentiate degree in Philosophy also with honors from West Baden College.  For the next three years he taught Latin at Loyola Academy, a Jesuit secondary school in Chicago, Illinois.  In the summer of 1955 he completed all the courses required for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago.  At the completion of four years' study of Theology he received the Licentiate degree in Theology with honors from West Baden College and was ordained a priest in June, 1961.

From June, 1961 until February, 1965 he lived in Europe.  The summer of 1961 he studied the German language and culture in Bavaria.  From September, 1961 to June, 1962 he engaged once again in intensive spiritual and ministerial training at Munster in Westphalia, Germany.  From October, 1962 to February, 1965 he did special studies at the Philosophical Institute of the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck, Austria towards the completion of a Church doctorate in Philosophy.  During his stay in Europe, besides mastering German and French, he did extensive priestly work during vacations and free time in Germany, Austria, England and Ireland--retreats, parish work, hospital and military chaplaincy, and the teaching of Theology.  During the summers of 1962 through 1964 he traveled extensively in Europe, studying cultures but especially visiting the academic institutions of twenty countries to evaluate the balance of scientific and humanistic studies at every educational level.

Also during this European sojourn he began his dedicated pursuit of Roman and especially Grecian archaeology.  He visited, studied, and did extensive photography in Roman and Greek archaeological excavations and museums throughout the Mediterranean area.  He continued this archaeological work almost every summer, especially on the island of Thera, as well as Corinth, Greece and Agrigento, Sicily

After returning to the United States he taught Classical Greek and Theology at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois from February, 1965 to February, 1970.  There he became Chairman of the Classics Department and co-founded an Honors Program which featured an in-depth introduction to Eastern and Western cultures, in which the students studied along with their regular college preparatory courses, seven semesters of Classical Greek language and literature along with six semesters of Mandarin dialect and Chinese culture.

In 1972, he joined with Frs. Raymond Schoder, S.J. and Carl Burlage, S.J. with Dr. Martial Capbern and Judge Francis McGarr to form the Manresa Board, which founded Newman College in Normandie, Missouri.

The course work which he began in 1970, gained him in February, 1974, the degree of Master of Arts in Classical Studies; and in February, 1977, the Ph.D in the same field from Loyola University in Chicago.

In June, 1976, he joined Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. and his colleagues at the University of San Francisco in the very beginning of their exciting Christian Liberal Arts undergraduate program called the Saint Ignatius Institute.  Until January, 1981 he remained there conducting the Freshman Seminars in Ancient Classical Literature, History and Philosophy, as well as directing student retreats and engaging in extensive academic and spiritual counseling.

In January, 1981, he left the St. Ignatius Institute and began preparatory work on a project of televising his University Seminars for Mother Angelica's EWTN in Alabama.  This work came to a halt in the summer of 1983 because of a failure in funding.  In the Fall, 1983 he engaged in a 6-week intense project of reviewing a proposed change of treasured prayers of the Church, funded by the DeRance Foundation, which also supported the Santa Fe Communications television station where Father was theological consultant from June until Fall, 1984.

Whereas the year of 1983 kept Father occupied with a few different endeavors, he began at that time the primary apostolate with which he is currently occupied.  His close collaboration with the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles since 1976 where he gives retreats, conferences and spiritual direction figure in prominently.  The saintly, now deceased, Provincial of this community, Sr. Mary Ines of St. Therese, led him to the cloistered Carmelites of Cristo Rey of San Francisco in 1978 with whom he has worked closely as extraordinary confessor, spiritual director, retreat master, and consultant to the present day.  (He also cares for their Carmel in Las Vegas, a daughter convent founded in 1988.)

Due to a visit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the Carmelites of Cristo Rey and on the recommendation of the Prioress, in the Spring of 1983 he gave days of Recollection to the Novices and Postulants of the Missionaries of Charity in San Francisco.  That summer, Sr. Priscilla, M.C., Mother Teresa's Regional Director until 1986 for the Americas, invited him to give retreats to the sisters around the world.  He is officially assigned by the Society of Jesus as the pastoral minister and retreat director to the Missionaries of Charity.

His first Missionary of Charity (M.C.) eight-day retreat was to the novices in Rome in December of 1983.   Since then he has given 62 eight-day retreats to Mother Teresa's Sisters: in San Francisco (the Novitiate), New York, Washington, D.C.(the Tertianship), Norristown, Pennsylvania, and Gallup, New Mexico in North America; in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Guinea in Africa; on the Seychelles and Mauritius Islands in the Indian Ocean; in Tijuana and Mexico City, Mexico; in Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti in Central America; in Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Brazil in South America; in Albania, Lourdes, Prague, Rome, Warsaw, and Moscow in Europe; in Canberra and Melbourne, Australia; and in Calcutta, India.

In addition to providing frequent spiritual direction for Sisters preparing for vows, he has also lectured in 59 series of three-, four- or five-day seminars.  These seminars were given to many of the Sisters of the different retreat groups, but especially to the novices and tertians.  These lectures included documents of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, Guadium et Spes, and Ad gentes; Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptionis Donum and Familiaris Consortio; and his encyclicals, Dominum et Vivificatem, Redemptoris Mater, Solicitudo Rei Socialis, Mulieris Dignitatem, Christifideles Laici, Redemptoris Custos,  Redemptoris Missio, Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio.  As a result of an M.C. chapter meeting in Calcutta during the Fall of 1990, there arose a special concern for continued spiritual training for the Junior Sisters of the community.  This initiated seminars directed towards a deeper insight into the personality of Christ, and on the nature of the consecrated religious life.  Fr. McGuire conducted an extraordinary number of these seminar.  Seminars for Superiors on their role in the community, the formation of the will and other formation-type seminars have been greatly requested in the past several years.

               Father has had the privilege of spiritually directing, counseling, baptizing, as well as sending off to heaven, many A.I.D.S. patients whom he contacts at Mother Teresa's three homes one called the "Gift of Love" and the other two, the "Gift of Peace" in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco respectively, since 1986.  He has had many other opportunities to work with the poor of the Sisters ministries.  This includes Days of Recollection to the A.I.D.S. patients, to the Newark, New Jersey area's M. C. Soup Kitchen poor, the M.C. Shelters' homeless and unwed mothers, to volunteers, and to co-workers; and a 3-day retreat for young men and women on the reservation of the Navajo Indians near Gallup, New Mexico.

               Another very special branch of missionaries comprised of laity from around the world are the Lay Missionaries of Charity.  Their apostolate is to assist all branches of the Missionaries of Charity in their local area.  In September, 1977 over one-hundred-forty people from two dozen different countries gather in Lourdes, France for a retreat under Father McGuire's direction.  He was invited to lead the group through a spiritual journey in the Holy Land two years later.

               Having given the inaugural retreat to Mother Teresa's new community of Priests, the Missionary Fathers of Charity, in the Bronx, New York in December of 1985, he returned to direct their novices in an eight-day retreat during Holy Week, 1987.  That Summer brought Father back to them to deliver a five-day course on the Holy Father's encyclical, Redemptor Hominis.  He continues with more spiritual direction to the entire community during visits to their different communities.

               He has directed two annual retreats to Mother's Contemplative Sisters in the South Bronx, New York in November 1986 and April 1987.  In June of that year, Father gave the Sisters a five-day seminar on the early Councils of the Church and the Holy Father's encyclical, Redemptoris Mater. A special event was his first visit to their home community in Calcutta in November 1991.

Father was privileged in 1989 to give in Rome an 8-day retreat to a novice of Mother's Contemplative Fathers and Brothers.  He returned in the summer of 1990 to direct the whole community in a 30-day retreat.  In November, 1998 Father gave his first formal retreat to the Active M.C. Brothers.

Besides his retreat work with Mother Teresa's communities, he continues to give retreats to other religious communities--in California: the active Carmelite Sisters in Alhambra, the Norbertine Fathers at the Abbey of St. Michael's in Orange, a retreat in Spanish to the Contemplative Carmelite Sisters of Cristo Rey Monastery in San Francisco; a Poor Clare Contemplative Community in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota; the Marian-Rite Benedictine Sisters in Rutland, MA; the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in Chicago; the cloistered Carmelite Sisters in Desplaines, IL; the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate in Monroe, New York; an 8-day retreat and seminar on "Misio de Redentor" in Spanish to Mexican Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Anchorage, Alaska; and other retreats to Sisters of various communities gathered at the Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois.

He has conducted spiritual conferences for Religious, such as three days on Religious Life for the 125th Anniversary of the Dominican Sisters in Nashville, Tennessee, and closing the annual meeting of the Institute on Religious Life in Chicago with the address, "The Cross:  The Following of Christ".

While acting as theological consultant to many of these Religious Communities and priests during the difficult years of transition in the Church, Father indeed extends his Priesthood to the Laity.

His work with seminarians and priests has increased, including a retreat for the New York Archdiocese in 1991.  The following year he led an independent group of priests and seminarians in a specialized discernment retreat and gave two retreats to the priests of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as a seminar on "How to Give the Spiritual Exercises" to fifty Legionaries of Christ in Connecticut.  In 1997 he directed the Diocesan priests of Peoria, IL and of Fargo, North Dakota in their annual retreat. In 1998 he returned to the priests of Fargo as well as those in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  He also gave a group of laicized Deacons their annual retreat in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Since his ordination in 1961, Father McGuire has been in ever-increasing demand as a Retreat Director, presently giving fifteen to twenty three-, five- or eight-day retreats to lay men and women and religious in this country.  This includes retreats to teenagers and University students, too.

He has been spiritual director and Retreat Master of the Y.M.I. (Youth Mission of the Immaculata); he has lead Parish Missions and guided many in theological classes especially covering Documents of Vatican II, the early Councils of the Church, and some of Pope John Paul II's encyclicals.  He has given numerous Days of Recollection to all ages and genders: including the Phoenix Council of Catholic Women, and the charismatic communities of City of the Lord in Phoenix, Arizona, and Alleluia in Augusta, Georgia.  In 1991 he directed affiliated leaders of these communities in an weekend retreat.

After giving the closing address "Call to Holiness" in 1986 at the Mindszenty Forum, he has been invited on numerous occasions to give sequential addresses on the same subject matter.  In 1990 this included a series of three conferences at the Phoenix Family Conference on the "Call to Holiness of the Father", "...of the Mother", and "...of Children", and a conference in Minnesota for "Life and Family".  In 1987 he delivered a series of five-minute spiritual talks for the bi-weekly audio cassette tape called "Catholic Newswire" produced by Keep the Faith.

He continues his ongoing contact with home schools and family‑group schools, encouraging the courageous parents of Kolbe Academy in Napa, California, the Trivium in Lancaster, Massachusetts, Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, Alaska,  Immaculatae Gratiae in Payson, and Ville de Marie in Phoenix, Arizona, and Demontford Academy in Moorpark, California, as well as many other home schools across the United States.

From 1990 until the Fall of 1996 he was  the spiritual chaplain of the National Federation of Catholic Physicians Guild (renamed the Catholic Medical Association).  During their annual business meeting in April, 1993 he led the Physicians on the Board in a half-day of Recollection.  As spiritual chaplain Father may also submit articles to their Linacre Quarterly.

Furthermore, a special work of love is his spiritual direction of many young men and women in their vocational decisions to the Sacred Priesthood, Religious Life, Matrimony, and a Holy Single life in the world.  For the last twelve summers,  he has offered to interested men and women, an eight-day vocational discernment retreat.

Father looks forward this year to continuing his work as Retreat Director, Spiritual Guide and Instructor on the Nature of the Church, to the Missionaries of Charity, Priests, Religious Sisters, children, students and many lay men and women.

All of Father McGuire's retreats are based on the Spiritual Exercises of  St. Ignatius of Loyola.  His conferences are a blend of the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the recent Popes, especially Pope John Paul II, set in the philosophical and theological crisis of our times.

rv. 12/31/99


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