Life with God: Live, Pray, Learn, Share

Fr. David Guffey

Pope Francis has captured the imagination and attention of the world again in the way he is living and teaching the Gospel. What seems new is actually ancient. We will reflect on the Gospel invitation to live deeply the Kingdom of God and the Gospel call to share it with others.


Faith Odyssey 2015:
Come to the Table
Saturday, January 24

Please join us for a day of great fellowship with nine inspiring speakers


$45 per person, $55 after January 13.
Lunch is included. We can guarantee lunch only for those who register by Monday, January 13.

Event Schedule

8:30 - 9:15 am  Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:15 - 9:35 am 
9:45 - 11:00 am 
Sesson One
11:15 - 12:30 pm 
Session Two
12:30 - 1:20 pm
1:30 - 2:45 pm
Session Three
3:00 - 3:50 pm 
Keynote Address
4:00 pm 

Concludes with wine and cheese reception

Topics and Speakers

Session One: 9:45-11:00 a.m

W1: Interact with God in Scripture with Jan Johnson
Gain a new vision of Jesus and his healing power as we enter into a Gospel passage using the interactive “movie method” meditation style of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Jan Johnson is the author of 20 books including Abundant Simplicity and Savoring God’s Word and many articles in magazines such as Catholic Digest. She is also an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and Denver Seminary. She has been a spiritual director for almost 20 years and holds a D. Min. in Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual Direction. She lives with her husband in Simi Valley. Learn more at

W2: Pope Francis-The Pope for Our Time with Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson
This is a great defining moment in the life our church. Pope Francis is leading us in a thoughtful, inspiring and determined way. By his own example he challenges us to accountability and openness to the world.

Born in East Los Angeles, Msgr. Torgerson was ordained a Catholic priest in 1965. He completed a graduate degree in Religious Education at Fordham University in New York in 1970. After returning to LA , he has served as Director of Youth Ministry and later became Director of Religious Education for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Msgr. Torgerson has been in residence at St. Monica for over 29 years, 26 of which he has served as pastor.

W3:The Love Conversation with Paige Marrs
Love in its nature is a conversation between your soul and your heart. Loving someone shares that conversation in profound connection — yet love is not always what we feel. Sometimes relationships are disappointing, discouraging, and rocky. How do we make love the predominant experience of our walk-around lives? How do we make love easy? The Love Conversation provides insights, knowledge, and simple practices for making extraordinary relationships our everyday experience.

Paige Marrs, PhD, is a relationship/communication coach and author of the forthcoming book, The Love Conversation. Her approach draws on her own research, a thriving practice, and 27 years of a still-blissful marriage. Paige studies with Dan Siegel, MD, world-renowned author of numerous works on the interpersonal neurobiology of mindfulness and relationships, and was also trained by cutting-edge communication theorist, Barnett Pierce, PhD. The serious nature of this notwithstanding, Paige is approachable and playful and has practical shortcuts to share.

Session Two: 11:15am - 12:30pm

W4: Oh Beauty, Ever Ancient, Ever New with Dr. Jim Finley
An experiential introduction to silent prayer as a way to see God’s presence in the newness of each passing moment of our lives.

Dr. Finley leads retreats and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada. These events attract men and women from all religious traditions who seek to live a contemplative way of life in the midst of today’s busy world. He is also a clinical psychologist and the author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, The Contemplative Heart and Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God.

W5: Renewing and Regenerating Your Spirituality in the Midst of a Busy Life with Anne Hansen
It can be challenging to sustain a lively faith. Practical ways to enjoy the sacred in daily life will be explored through the use of imagination and reflection on personal experience.

Anne Hansen currently directs the Ignation Volunteer Corps. She writes, Family Time, a column for the Tidings newspaper and holds a graduate degree in both psychology and theology.

W6: Islam and Extremism with Hassan Zeenni
Continuing our introduction to Islam last year, where Mr. Zeenni and Fr. Willy discussed similarities and differences between Islam and Catholicism, Mr. Zeeni will educate us regarding the Quran’s approach to extremism, how the Prophet Mohammed dealt with it, and how Muslims today are approaching this timely and important topic.

Hassan Zeenni is a former chairman of the Islamic Center of Southern California and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He is a board member of the Muslim Public affairs Council and the Bayan Claremont College. He is a lecturer and public speaker on Islam.


Session Three: 1:30 - 2:45 pm

W7: The How of Happiness: Insights from Theology, Philosophy, and Psychology with Christopher Kaczor
This presentation will distinguish four different ways in which people try to become happy and will evaluate these ways in light of theology, philosophy, and psychology.

Dr. Christopher Kaczor is Professor of Philosophy at LMU. He has written several books including The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, The Ethics of Abortion, O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor, Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues; and others. Dr. Kaczor’s research on issues of ethics, philosophy, and religion has been featured in several major newspapers as well as NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, and The Today Show.


W8: Getting Unstuck from the Mind Muck: The Truth Will Set You Free with Denise Carlin
We all make assumptions, judgment calls, conclusions and decisions that are not based on what is true or the whole picture. Sometimes we spend precious time worrying and wondering, stuck in the discomfort of not knowing what to do next. Unhealthy thoughts get in the way of compassionate decisions and actions, sometimes stopping us from opening our hearts and doing what God asks of us. In this workshop we will explore common cognitive blunders and how to uncover and respond to them. Learning to sharpen our skills of observing, asking questions, and collecting information will help us to feel more comfortable when making decisions and to be more emotionally available to do God’s work.

Denise Carlin, M.S. is a communication and family coach and workshop facilitator who helps people to resolve personal and relationship challenges. For more than 14 years, she has enjoyed helping people to shift the ways that they act, talk, think and feel. Denise earned her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, and has professional training in coaching, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, non-violent communication, songwriting and improvisation

W9: Conversation with John August Swanson
Join in conversation with John August Swanson as he talks about his journey as an artist and the cultural and human values and the storytelling he portrays in his art.

John August Swanson lives in Los Angeles, where he paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs and etchings. His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling. He addresses himself to human values, cultural roots, and his quest for self-discovery through visual images. He studied with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College. His unique style is influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the color of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists. John’s art can be found in the permanent collections of many museums including the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Museum, the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Vatican Museum.


Keynote Speaker: 3:00 - 3:50 pm

Life with God: Live, Pray, Learn, Share with Fr. David Guffey
Pope Francis has captured the imagination and attention of the world again in the way he is living and teaching the Gospel. What seems new is actually ancient. We will reflect on the Gospel invitation to live deeply the Kingdom of God and the Gospel call to share it with others.

Rev. David Guffey, M.Div., M.F.A., is a Priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross who serves as the head of production for Family Theater Productions, a media company that started in Hollywood in 1948 and continues to produce family media for radio, internet, television and classroom use. Father David serves on the Board of Ave Maria Press and assists at St. Monica Church in Santa Monica,. His love of movies is rooted in a belief in the power of story to enlighten, heal and inspire. St. Monica is a place full of wonderful people with amazing stories to tell.