Spiritual Direction


Mary Whiteside
Director of Adult Faith Life Ministries


Spiritual Direction – Support for your journey in faith

We don’t know all the reasons that propel us to go on a spiritual journey, but somehow our life compels us to go. Something in us knows that we are not just here to toil at our work. There is a mysterious pull to remember… (Jack Kornfield)

Explore your life journey one-on-one with a caring listener. All spiritual directors are trained professionals with a minimum of two years of certified course work. This is an opportunity for adults seeking a safe place to share hopes, joys, struggles and losses. Discover how God is present in your life when faced with transitions and difficulty. God is in everything!
Facilitates one’s faith journey…

  • Helps those searching for relevance in God.
  • Assists individuals in articulating their God experiences.
  • For those who are experiencing life’s transitions when it feels like God is distant.
  • Provides a safe place for people to have their stories heard.
  • Is open-ended on the individual’s needs.

Who will walk with you on your journey?

  • Lay people from the Holy Family Community who are trained in Spiritual Direction and knowledgeable about Christian spiritual practices.
  • People committed to their own faith journeys and spiritual development
  • Spiritual direction sessions are typically meetings are held once a month for about one hour. The first meeting or interviewing session will be provided at no charge.  Further sessions are at a fee based on a sliding scale.  Prayers and conversation are centered around your needs and your life journey.

When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chose rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. A friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness…makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters… H. Nouwen

Meet Our Spiritual Directors

Chris Evon

It’s a great honor to be part of the Spiritual Direction team at Holy Family. It isn’t always easy to find someone who is eager to listen to your faith journey.  I would say it’s a spiritual gift, a grace from God when you find another who shares in your eagerness to become closer to God, and who will listen intently to your story.  As a Spiritual Director, I hope to share in the discovery of how and when God is inviting you into a deeper relationship.

My professional background is in teaching, working in promotions and marketing at Wilson Sporting Goods, and running an international pickleball event (The US OPEN Pickleball Championships).  I am a graduate of the 2-year Living School Program at the Center of Action and Contemplation under Richard Rohr, OFM, and I have completed the three year Spiritual Directors Internship Program at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington.

I am active at Holy Family in the One In Love LGBT ministry and as a Minister of Care. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be with people in some of the more vulnerable times of their lives.

Say a prayer, listen quietly, and your heart will lead you to where God wants you to go!

Chris Evon

Paul Horcher

I am grateful to be part of the Spiritual Direction Ministry at Holy Family.  I am a parishioner at St. Anne in Barrington and have been my entire life.  I have been married for 36 years, have 6 adult children and 3 grandchildren.  I have been sitting with people in spiritual direction for 10 years.
Like Chris and Carol, I completed a 3 year spiritual direction internship in the Ignatian tradition at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington Hills.  I am a seeker and I have been  involved in a number of formation and self-discovery journeys over the last 25 years such as: an Archdiocese Called & Gifted Lay Ministry graduate, a Minister of Care in the hospital for over 20 years, participated in numerous retreats and mission trips for juniors and seniors in high school, studied spirituality at CTU (Catholic Theological Union), extensive study of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body with the Theology of the Body Institute in Pennsylvania, deep work in men’s spirituality, completed the 2 year Living School through the Center for Action and Contemplation, continuing a deep dive in nature discovering its gifts for our wholeness, and diving into dream work.
I long to help people uncover their true self and discover how desperately they are loved.
My perspective is God’s love is all encompassing and can be found in every situation.  God desires our healing and wholeness more than we can imagine and continuously beckons us to it and uses all of creation to do so.  

Carol C Pankros

I am privileged and blessed to be a part of the Holy Family Spiritual Direction ministry. I welcome you into this journey where God’s loving presence is leading us in conversation and prayer.

Several years ago, I met with a Spiritual Director from Holy Family and it changed my life. I was so grateful to have had the experience of discovering how God was an intimate part of my daily life. He is here for us even when we don’t see or hear Him. I am grateful to walk with others as we experience God’s love and care.

This life journey is what brought me into Spiritual Direction: the desire to listen and encourage others as they walk in their journey with God. I call our sessions “holding space” with someone centered and grounded in God’s love. I offer our time together to be a confidential listening resource for whatever feelings you may be experiencing.

My Spiritual Direction training has been with Bellarmine Jesuit House in Barrington, IL in their three year program with ongoing resources. My practice is centered in Ignatian tradition. Over the years, I’ve been involved with several church ministries, of which the richest of my experiences were those that involved forming relationships centered in faith.

I am a member of Holy Family Parish, married to my husband, Paul. We have two daughters, two sons in law, and 6 grandchildren. I am retired from my career which provided me so much enjoyment on both a professional and personal level.

 “Let us go in peace to love and serve our Lord”   

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