Marian F. Love

  • Director, Lay Spiritual Formation
  • Adjunct Instructor in Pastoral Theology
  • Intern Supervisor for the Spiritual Direction Practicum

love@ai.edu

Degrees

  • MAPS, (Aquinas Institute of Theology, 2000)
  • BA, (Health Care Arts, College of St. Francis, Joliet IL, 1996)
  • Diploma, (Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, 1972)

"In coming to know God, we come to know ourselves more deeply. We learn things about ourselves that God longs to bring to healing and wholeness. God reveals our gifts and strengths, and leads us to people and situations where our gifts are needed to bring others to healing and wholeness. Learning the movement and direction of the Spirit within is a life-long process of discernment."

A native of St. Louis, I am married with two adult sons and four granddaughters. My husband Allen and I hold MAPS degrees from Aquinas Institute and are both employed in full time ministry. An active member of parish life as an adult, I gravitated towards the RCIA team, adult faith development, social justice, and liturgy and sacramental preparation for the Parish School of Religion. Prior to entering full-time ministry I was a registered nurse for 26 years working mainly with marginalized populations such as the mentally disabled, the elderly and pregnant moms in the Mid Town area of St. Louis City. What I saw in the young mothers was a poverty of positive relationships and self-image; they were in situations of powerlessness with bleak futures – true spiritual poverty. This realization moved me to want do more in the area of self esteem and empowerment, to help others discover their value and worth as a precious child of God.

Discovering one’s preciousness in God’s eyes is a life changing experience that leads to a lived response of love for self, God and others. Developing ways that lead others to know God’s love, and assisting them in bringing together faith and life have been long time passions for me. Companioning others on their faith journey brought me to the awareness of a deeper call to spiritual direction, retreat work, and jail ministry. This prompted me to pursue education in Ignatian Spirituality and to obtain a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies. After several years of retreat work and spiritual direction, my path eventually led me back to Aquinas as Director of Lay Spiritual Formation. I continue to be involved with the work of Criminal Justice Ministry in St. Louis.

There is no greater joy for me than when students discover and accept their belovedness; their trust in God and confidence in themselves become so apparent, so alive, so graced. Through struggle, effort and surprise, each new awareness and every step forward are evidence of their openness to God at work within them. The experience of community becomes a safe place in which they can be themselves, and support and encourage each other. It is both privilege and gift to be a part of this process with them.

Professional Affiliations

  • Advisory Board of the St Vincent de Paul Criminal Justice Ministry in St Louis.
  • Advisory Board of Alternatives With Education www.awe-stl.org in St. Louis
  • Pastoral Care Committee for CPE formation, Lutheran Senior Services
  • National Association for Lay Ministry
  • Spiritual Directors International

Selected Publications/Presentations

“The Lenten Invitation to Personal Transformation” – Day of Reflection, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Ferguson, MO
“If Only You Had Been Here” – Parish Mission Presentation, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Ferguson, MO
“Turn Our Hearts, O God” – Lenten Retreat, Mercy Center, St. Louis, MO.
“Woven in the Spirit” – Day of Reflection for Stephen’s Ministers, Holy Infant Parish, Ballwin, MO
“Letting God Lead: Discernment in Everyday Life”, Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL
“Practicing the Presence of God” – Women’s Retreat, Mt. Vernon, IL