Phileena spent much of the first half of her life in social justice work among the world’s poor. For nearly 20 years she served in more than 70 countries building community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children and child soldiers and war brides.
Her work among the most vulnerable of human beings, shaped and prepared Phileena for her life’s work as a spiritual director.
Author, spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker and retreat guide, Phileena is passionate about spirituality and making the world a better place. Phileena leads contemplative retreats for non-faith and interfaith groups in leading cities across the nation and around the world. She is a sought-after speaker for universities, seminaries, faith communities, and conferences. In 2012, Phileena co-founded Gravity to support the development of consciousness by making contemplative practice accessible to individuals, communities and organizations.
Phileena’s work includes public speaking, teaching, and writing on contemplative spirituality, facilitation of contemplative retreats, and spiritual direction. She holds a Masters of Christian Spirituality from Creighton University’s department of theology and is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian contemplative evocative method.
Named “Outstanding Alumni” by Asbury University and one of Outreach magazine’s “30 Emerging Influencers Reshaping Leadership,” Phileena believes that contemplative spirituality is crucial to authentic, creative, liberating social change. She is a board member emeritus for Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation and Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. Phileena is known for her provocative theological narrative, Pilgrimage of a Soul and contemplative classic, Mindful Silence.