Pope Benedict’s letters, blessing the School, the students, the members and the Founder (see here).
Jean is a French Catholic Theologian, specialising in Spiritual Formation, with more than twenty-five years of experience with Consecrated and Lay people. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and his Masters in Spiritual Theology from Toulouse (France) and the Teresianum (Rome). He is presently completing his Ph.D. in Spiritual Theology at the Angelicum (Rome). Jean’s formation was greatly enhanced by the Discalced Carmelite Fathers. He has lectured in Spiritual Theology in different universities with a practical focus. Many of his articles, studies and books have been published internationally. In 2003, Jean felt compelled by Our Lady to found the “School of Mary”, a catholic school for the teaching of deep Spiritual Life for adults. Lectio Divina and Contemplative Prayer are amongst the most important forms of prayer addressed. Jean gives Spiritual Direction on a regular basis and also gives retreats. He is married, has a daughter and is based in London.
Rufaro attended the first course run by the School of Mary in the UK in 2007. Together with his wife Leonora, he has since helped organise several courses in London and led the School in the UK. He spent over a decade working in the financial sector in London and has recently moved to the US. He has a keen interest in how the Fathers of the Church interpreted the Bible and the teaching of Lectio Divina.
Leonora has been involved with the School of Mary since 2013, helping to organize courses, alongside her husband, Rufaro. Leonora has a Doctorate in Catholic Bioethics from the University of Surrey, and has lectured in Catholic Ethics and spirituality at St. Mary’s University, London for 8 years. She has also worked for Caritas Social Action Network, a charitable agency of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. She is currently based in the US, where she and her husband look forward to spreading the teachings of the School.
Maartje is married and a mother of three. Initially she was trained as a lawyer and after studying Theology and Philosophy part-time with the Brothers of St. Jean Maartje found she wanted to deepen her knowledge of Spiritual Theology and how to grow in her spiritual life in a practical way. She has followed many of the School’s courses over the last few years, where she has become the Director in the UK. She has helped organise courses, both for the School and for some groups outside the School. She is active in her parish, helps organise and serves in the retreats of Emmaus and has organised children’s adoration for a number of years. She has recently started teaching Lectio Divina.
Francesca is a retired teacher and has been involved with the School of Mary for about six years. She is one of the School’s management team and has helped organize courses. Francesca runs two parish prayer groups where she is trying to implement the School’s teachings in keeping with the evangelical spirit of both the Church and the School of Mary. She finds great joy in meeting like-minded people seeking to deepen their spiritual life and to be supported by the team and these new friends, all with the same goal in mind of being united in the Lord.
Lourdes Da Cruz
Lourdes attended the first course run by the School of Mary in the UK in 2007. She has since helped organise several courses in London. She has been a loyal and indefatigable promoter of the School. In fact Lourdes is very interested in the teachings on St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross provided by the School, teachings which have transformed her spiritual life. Her favourite book is “I want to see God” by Bl. Marie Eugene OCD. For several years, Lourdes facilitated the Catholic Alpha course in her parish. She was also involved for a couple of years in the “Cenacolo” Community, Our Lady of Knock House, Knock, Co Mayo. Lourdes has worked in the financial sector over the past 21 years in London and is now retired.
Born in Turin in 1949, Manfredi is now living in Legnano, Lombardy, Italy. Being married with three children, in 2004 he came across the School of Mary which played a decisive role in his conversion. After having followed many courses given by Jean Khoury, together with other friends and acquaintances, he formed the Association of the School of Mary in Italy and became its President. Thanks to the teachings he had already received and subsequently put into practice, he ran two courses in Spirituality, with the encouragement and support of the Episcopal Vicar and his own Parish Priest. At present he is mentoring a group of faithful from his own parish, thereby spreading the teaching he had received into a wider area.
Deacon Stephen Arnold
Deacon Stephen Arnold is incardinated in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida and works in the field of Mission Integration/Ministry Formation at Ascension, a large not-for-profit Catholic hospital system in the United States. Before his current work, Deacon Steve served as a parish pastoral associate and pastoral administrator at parishes in Minnesota and as a hospital chaplain at his current location in Florida. His higher education degrees come from institutions deeply influenced by the Benedictine tradition: Conception Seminary College, Conception, Missouri (BA: Philosophy) and St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota (Master of Divinity). This gave him a great appreciation for the monastic tradition, an appreciation which has paradoxically deepened amid married life (Christy) and parenting (Sam, Isabel, Nathan, Lucy, Ben, and Nicholas). Deacon Steve is a gifted preacher, presenter and pastoral minister. He is especially drawn to the Carmelite doctors and hopes to use all his talents for the fostering of holiness among the people of God. He sees the School of Mary as the ideal venue to pursue this passion with brothers and sisters on the same journey: “What you have received as a gift, give as a gift!” (Mt. 10:8).