About Our Ministry

A sacred center for spiritual direction, pastoral counseling and spiritual formation for adult Catholic/Christian men and women. We are a leader in the field of Catholic/Christian spirituality offering:

  • 52 Certified Spiritual Directors on staff
  • 2 Licensed Pastoral Counselors on staff
  • Sacred Presence: A 10 month intensive certification program for the formation of Spiritual Directors
  • Day retreats for men and women
  • Spiritual Enrichment programs: Centering prayer, Intimacy with God, 19th Annotation, Parish Liturgical Ministry training, etc
  • Dynamic Parish Mission Speakers with topics including: The Eucharist, Pope Francis, the Blessed Mother
  • Inspiring blogs and videos
  • and much more…

Our Beginnings

Formerly known as the St. Francis Retreat House in Oak Brook, Illinois, Mayslake Ministries is a lay-led 501.c.3 Catholic Christian Not-for-Profit Spirituality Center founded by Fr. Jonathan Foster, OFM, in 1991 as a "retreat house without walls."

Since 1991, Mayslake Ministries has served the spiritual needs of Catholic/Christian adult women and men from all walks of life, providing multiple spiritual opportunities for people who seek a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

We are proud partners in faith with the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Diocese of Joliet and the Diocese of Rockford.

The Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious community of men now headquartered in St. Louis, was founded in central Illinois in the mid-1850s and has mainly served the Midwest throughout its history. It is a territorial province of the worldwide Franciscan Order, which has a membership of over 25,000.


Dr. Mary Amore

Executive Director

  • 630-852-9000

Dr. Mary Amore, holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Liturgy and Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union. Dr. Amore is the author of Primary Symbols of Worship and the Call to Participation, as well as the creator of three DVD Series: Eucharist: Pathway of Transformation, Healing and Discipleship; From Mary’s Heart to Yours, and the Blessed Sacrament: Fountain of Mercy all published by Pauline Media. Dr. Amore is also the editor and co-contributor of Every Day with Mary, a daily devotional recently published by Our Sunday Visitor.

A Cardinal Bernardin Scholar and distinguished member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Mary is a national presenter at the LA Congress, University of Dallas Ministry Conference, Diocese of New Hampshire Ministry Conference, Mid-Atlantic Conference as well as conducting parish missions, retreats, and adult faith formation programs. Dr. Amore is also the creator and host of two television shows: Soul Snackin’ with Dr. Mary Amore, shown on Comcast and “A Willing Spirit” on ShalomWorld TV. Married, and the mother of two young adults, Dr. Amore serves as the full time Executive Director of Mayslake Ministries.

Dr. Mary Amore is also a proud member of the Catholic speakers bureau, CMG Booking.

April Marron

Office Administrator

April Marron has a degree in finance from St. Xavier University. She worked in financial reporting for over ten years. April is married and has two wonderful teenage children.

Fr. Jonathan Foster, OFM


Board of Directors

Chuck Stich

Board President

Derek Kruk

Board Member

Derek Kruk has a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. He is a successful business owner in the role of president of DFK Enterprise, Inc. an oil trading and transportation company.

Derek is a graduate of the Chicago Catholic Scripture School and has taught religious education classes to both elementary level and high school students. He has participated as a lay leader in his Christ Renews His Parish retreat. He is the loving father of three young men in their twenties and is a current board member of Entrepreneurial Youth Experience (EYE). Volunteers in the EYE program mentor Chicago inner city high school students and teach business skills for future endeavors.

Dcn. Vic Puscas

Board Member

Deacon Victor Puscas is a bi-ritual deacon with faculties in both the Byzantine Catholic Eastern Rite Eparchy of St. George in Canton, Ohio, and the Latin Rite Diocese of Joliet. He works as an Attorney and hold a Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall Law School, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Catholic Theological Union. He is presently assigned to St. Patrick Parish in Yorkville, Illinois. Deacon Vic is married to Elizabeth, who is a Certified Professional Spiritual Director with Mayslake Ministries. They have one daughter.

Paul Rooney

Board Member

Paul F Rooney is Director Downstream Engineering for BP plc. BP is an international oil company based in London producing energy that is turned into products that people need everywhere. BP’s Downstream Segment has global fuels marketing and manufacturing operations including refineries and petrochemical plants. In his 38-year career, Paul has been a single contributor and a manager in engineering, crude oil procurement, refinery operations, marketing supply and logistics, project management, commercial development, petrochemicals and refining technology.

Paul has undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from the University of Illinois and a graduate management degree from the University of Mary. Paul and Susan, his wife of 37 years, are members of St Thomas the Apostle Parish. He is a lector, communion minister and Knights of Columbus member. Paul formerly served on Holy Spirit Catholic Community’s Pastor Council, Administration Commission and Finance Committee. Susan is a Mayslake affiliated spiritual director and a NACC certified hospital chaplain. They have two adult children, Brian and Mary.

Michele Sotak

Board Member

Michele Sotak is a Fitness and Marketing Professional whose goal is to help inspire others to live a fuller and more vibrant life. Michele graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and minored in Communications.

She was involved in fitness and sports her entire life, so she became a personal trainer alongside her career in business to share her passion and gift with others. Michele is a master trainer for Life Fitness, the global leader in exercise equipment. Michele has conducted fitness seminars at notable universities such as Notre Dame, Marquette, University of Michigan, and Concordia. She has coached priests, celebrities and pro-athletes. Michele is also currently a fitness marketing manager for a sports nutrition supplement company.

Michele serves as a lector at Holy Name Cathedral, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and is blessed to have solid relationships with several priests and deacons, whom she considers her good friends and spiritual directors. She has volunteered at Catholic Charities and has made several appearances on Catholic Chicago Radio to discuss the topic of “Fitness & Faith.”