Reverend David O’Connor, D. Min.

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Father David O’Connor serves as Pastor of St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Parishes in Natchez, MS. Father O’Connor graduated from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Tipperary, Ireland. He received an M.A. from the University of Mississippi, Studied Liturgy at Catholic University, in Washington, D.C., and earned a Doctorate in Ministry from Emory University with the focus: Organizational Dynamics and Leadership Development in Church Systems. In addition, Father O’Connor has studied the Principles and Practices of Fund Raising at Omaha and New Orleans.

Father O’Connor has served the Diocese of Jackson, MS, since the civil rights era.  He has served the parishes of Meridian, Bay St. Louis, Oxford, St. Mary’s in Jackson, Greenwood, and Natchez.  He served as Vocations Director, Campus Minister at Ole Miss, Director of Pastoral Services for the Diocese, and Vice-Principal and Director of Development for St. Joseph School in Madison, MS.  He also ministered in his home diocese of Limerick, Ireland from 1992-1999 as Pastor, College Theology Instructor, Director of High School Retreats and Pastoral Council formation.  He has served as a consultant for Locus Benedictus since its beginnings.

 

 

Reverend Gregory Plata, OFM

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Father Gregory Plata, OFM, is a Franciscan Friar of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province, based in Franklin, Wisconsin. He serves the Catholic faith communities of Greenwood, Lexington and Winona, Mississippi, and resides at St. Francis Mission in Greenwood.
Father Greg received his undergraduate degree in Journalism from Temple University. Upon entering the Franciscans, he completed his M.Div. at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago with an emphasis on Liturgy.

After ordination to the priesthood, Father Greg served as a high school teacher and campus minister, vocation director for his province as well as pastoral ministry in several parishes. He has given parish missions and retreats throughout the United States and Europe. Father Greg has served as a consultant for Locus Benedictus since its beginnings.

 

 

Reverend William Henry

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Father Bill Henry is Pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Greenville, MS. He is actively involved in the Retreat Ministry and has served for many years as a Retreat Master for Ignation and Inner Healing Retreats across the Southeast. Fr. Bill is a Marian Servant who holds certification in the Ignation method of Spiritual Direction from the Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spirituality, an affiliate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. He is on the Board of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans and a noted Conference Speaker.

Upon Graduation from Sacred Heart School of Theology in Wisconsin, Father Bill became Pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in McComb, MS. He also served as Vocations Director for the Diocese of Jackson, MS, Chaplin at St. Joseph’s High School in Madison, MS, and Pastor of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Jackson, MS. Prior to entering the Seminary, Fr. Bill was the District Sales Manager for Nissan Motor Corporation for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Fr. Bill has served as a consultant for Locus Benedictus since its beginnings.

 

 

Reverend Scott Katzenberger, C.Ss.R.

Father Scott Katzenberger, C.Ss.R. currently serves as the Superior of the Redemptorists of Greenwood, MS, and is doing ministry and outreach in the Diocese of Jackson, MS, principally to the Hispanics who are living in the Mississippi Delta. Father Scott holds a B. A. in Psychology and Philosophy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX and a Master’s degree in Divinity from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He first professed vows as a Redemptorist missionary in 1993. His missionary work has taken him across the United States and to several foreign countries. Abroad he has worked and ministered in Quebec, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. In the United States he has ministered as part of the parochial staff of several parishes in large urban areas. A significant portion of his ministry has been dedicated to working with members of the Hispanic community. Father Scott has also worked as the Spanish and bilingual Acquisitions Editor for Libros Liguori, the Spanish branch of Liguori Publications. Since the promulgation of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Father Scott has conducted several retreats and parish missions on this theme.

 

 

Reverend Patrick Keyes, C.Ss.R., D. Min. — Ex-Officio Board Member

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Father Patrick Keyes, C.Ss.R. is an Ex-Officio member of the Locus Benedictus Board of Directors. He is a member of the Redemptorist Evangelization Team currently living in Minneapolis, MN. Father Patrick earned both an M. Divinity and an M. A. from Catholic Theological Union. He also earned a Doctorate in Ministry from Fordham University. He has worked in Latino Parishes in the United States in Denver, Liberal, Kansas, and Chicago; he also served as Formation Director for the Redemptorist Community at St. John’s University in New York City, and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Father Patrick also served as a Missionary in the Amazon River Basin of Brazil. In addition, he has preached missions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and throughout the United States. Fr. Patrick served with three other Redemptorists in the MS Delta from August, 2014 to September, 2015 where he ministered to the Hispanics living and working in the region.

 

 

Dr. Nancy A. Ehret, Ed. D.

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Dr. Nancy Ehret gives presentations and retreats for numerous local, state, and national conferences with topics ranging from Spiritual relevance to educational conferences specializing in Gifted Education and Creativity. Dr. Ehret earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University, an M.Ed.and Ed. Specialist Degree in Elementary Education from Delta state University, an M.Ed. Plus Thirty from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and an Ed. D. in Professional Studies from Delta State University. She also holds certification as a Master Catechist.

Dr. Ehret retired as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Development for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana. She also was a professor in the Doctoral program for the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette and Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. Dr. Ehret has served as Director of Curriculum for Cathedral Carmel School in Lafayette, LA, and Curriculum Enhancement Specialist for St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge, LA. She has worked as a Teacher of the Gifted at various schools: Paul Breaux, Lafayette, LA, Parks Elementary, Cleveland, MS, and Wilkins Elementary, Jackson, MS. Dr. Ehret also taught at Westwego Elementary in Westwego, LA.

 

 

Dr. Michael Whelan, Ph.D.

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Dr. Michael Whelan has a private Psychology practice in Greenwood, MS. He has a B.A. in History and an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Delta State University. Dr. Whelan’s internship through Iowa State University was at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Knoxville, IA. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. Whelan also served as a Consultant Psychologist at Life Help Mental Health Center in Greenwood, MS, and was a Psychologist for the MS Department of Corrections, where he served as Director of the Regimated Inmate Discipline Program and Department Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Parchman, MS. Dr. Whelan worked as a Psychologist for the Veterans Administration at North Little Rock Veterans Administration Hospital and Director of the Mental Health Center in Crossett, AR. He was the Disability Examiner for the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation. In addition, Dr. Whelan was a teacher and coached football and basketball in the Natchez Public Schools.


Dr. Whelan has made numerous presentations to professionals in the fields of mental health, government, law, and education. He also has been a presenter for retreats in the Catholic and Episcopal Dioceses of Mississippi. His works have been published in professional journals, and Dr. Whelan co-authored a book, Living in Nod.

 

 

Mr. John Cook

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John Cook currently serves as the Director for Rehabilitation Services and the Wellness Center at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. He has extensive experience in the area of fitness, nutrition, cardiac rehabilitation, and wellness. Mr. Cook received a B.S. in Fitness Management and an M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Mississippi State University. He has a background in emergency medicine and teaches First Aid/CPR, Personal and Community Health, and Walking/Jogging classes as an adjunct instructor for Mississippi Delta Community College. Mr. Cook regularly participates in health fairs and seminars in the school districts and industries in the Mississippi Delta. He is involved in numerous organizations in the Greenwood-Leflore County area where he works to promote fitness and cardiovascular health. He is a presenter at Retreats as well as the Event Coordinator for Locus Benedictus.

 

 

Ms. Magdalene Abraham


Magdalene Abraham serves as the Spiritual Director and Retreat Facilitator of Locus Benedictus. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Science from the University of Mississippi and an M.S. in Natural Science from Delta State University. Ms. Abraham is a graduate of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spirituality, an affiliate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. She taught at Pillow Academy in Greenwood, MS, Holmes Community College in Grenada, and MS Delta Community College where she was an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology, served as Chair of the Science Department, Dean of Academics, and later retired as Vice-President of Instruction.

 

 

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