A theologian and sacred song writer engaged in liturgical musicianship for four decades, Kathleen Deignan, CND received her masters degree in Spirituality Studies and her doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University in New York, where she studied with her mentor, the late geologian, Father Thomas Berry, one of the great inspirations of her life and ministry.
Under his direction she began work on her first book, Christ Spirit: The Eschatology of Shaker Christianity. Her later work has focused on the wisdom legacy of Thomas Merton, whose Writings on Nature she edited - When the Trees Say Nothing (Sorin 2003), and Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours (Sorin 2007) now in its 7th printing having sold 44,000 copies.
Her articles on topics in classical and contemporary spirituality have appeared in The Way, Franciscan Studies, Review for Religious, Sisters Today, Sacred Journey, Fellowship of Prayer, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Bulletin, Journal of the Canadian Conference of Religious, The Journal of the American Benedictine Academy, Diakonia, and Cross Currents. One of her essays was chosen for inclusion in Praying as a Christian - The Best of the Review (7). A paper on Thomas Merton's challenge for transformative education won an award from the American Academy of Religion.
As a member of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Sister Kathleen has been engaged in the mission of liberating education at Iona College where she is Professor of Religious Studies.
As part of her fruitful collaboration with the Congregation of Christian Brothers and colleagues, she founded and directs the Iona Spirituality Institute, a project for the celebration and study of the spiritual life, which has sponsored her work in interfaith dialogue, peace and justice studies, and spiritual animation in the United States and abroad, particularly in Ireland where she has worked recently to foster the wisdom legacy of Thomas Merton. In October 2009, she received Fordham University's Doctrina et Sapientia Award for her work in spirituality.
Kathleen recently completed her GreenFaith Fellowship, a inter-faith training program for religious environmental leaders. In this way she hopes to contribute to The Great Work of our time - healing the human soul that we might heal the Earth.