I go by Mary Pauline or MP. I am Filipina-American from an immigrant family, shaped also by the mulchy lushness and rugged waters of the pacific northwest and the high desert whiplash weather of the mountain west.
My approach: I practice spiritual care rooted in deep listening for where a person and their community's gifts already are. My hope is to help reflect and bend the light as a prism does, so that you can see and work from those gifts yourself. I offer spiritual care from an open, interspiritual approach, focused on your own language and frameworks. I also value being authentic and appropriately transparent, so I name some of my own lineage below.
My why: I am convinced spirituality is a vital part of resisting systems of human domination (e.g., colonization), in spite of how spiritual and religious tools have (intentionally and unintentionally) been used to further those very ends. I operate from the assumption that pain, suffering and loss are part. of our realities, yet goodness and beauty persist and resist. As my mom has said, "God is here, in spite of that." In my own journey, my deepest practices have been the wrestling—reclaiming what I've rejected, finding agency in loss, discerning the boundaries of what kind of pain and power is mine or not. These are some things shaping me in the journey we make together.
Lineages and Formation
I companion with people across traditions and spiritual frameworks, but I believe it's important to be transparent about my own background, even if our own work together does not explicitly focus on these resources. My personal spiritual practice is rooted in Catholicism. I was formed by family with deep Marian devotion, and much of my later training and community has been in Ignatian spirituality, including the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. I personally also draw on tarot based on personal learning with less formal training. I do not use this tool is not as a predictive or prescriptive mechanism, but as an additional set of images and stories to prompt questions.
My spiritual care formation has also included training in trauma-informed care, movement chaplaincy and hospital chaplaincy, including work with veterans and basic understanding of the Enneagram. I have also been formed by other work with people experiencing homelessness and their families, grief and loss education, and work adjacent to the arts. And, I've been formed by my own experiences with loss, freedom, joy, community, creativity, disappointment, and all that the world and God have held for me. I hold an undergraduate degree in Theology & Religious Studies from Seattle University, and a Master of Arts in Theology & Culture, Interdisciplinary Studies from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.
See My Work
extraordinary time — Sometimes I post little reflections on the Catholic lectionary and liturgical calendar on Substack.
KALOOB: Articulations on Grief, Diaspora and Eucharist as Spaces for Power in Precarity (link), June 2022 — The 12-minute public presentation of my graduate Integrative Project in theology, and not a bad representation of what moves and shapes me in this work. You can also read the abstract and those of my fellow graduates here.
Novena of Grace, March 2020 (link) — I was honored to help form and present talks for Seattle's Ignatian Spirituality Center's annual nine-day Lenten retreat amid daily life. When we planned it, none of us could have envisioned doing this at the beginning of a pandemic; we literally go from recording in a church basement while kids do school upstairs, to me recording the final reflection in my bedroom.