The staff at the Sheil Catholic Center is dedicated to serving the students and community of Northwestern University on both the Evanston and Chicago Campuses. Learn more about our staff members, as well as their contact information, by clicking on the links below.
- Fr. John Kartje, Chaplain & Director
- Clarissa Aljentera, Chicago Campus Minister
- Teresa Corcoran, Director of Operations
- Mary Deeley, Pastoral Associate & Director of the Christ the Teacher Institute
- Christine Grinslade, Communications Coordinator
- Tim Higgins, Campus Minister
- Beth Knobbe, Campus Minister
- Angela Stramaglia, Director of Music & Liturgy
As chaplain and director, Fr. John oversees the spiritual care, growth and development of the Sheil Catholic Center community in its ongoing mission to be the presence of the Catholic Church at Northwestern University. His service to Sheil includes celebrating the sacraments, providing personal spiritual direction and sharing his passion for sacred scripture through both preaching and teaching. He holds a doctorate in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America, where his research focused on the Book of Psalms.
Fr. John is a native of the Chicago area and one of the few avid Sox fans on the North Side. Before his ordination to the priesthood, he obtained a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago and worked for several years in astrophysical research.
When not at Sheil, Fr. John can often be found running along the lake or hanging out at local coffee shops. Fr. John can be reached at email@example.com, (847) 328-4648 or through his Facebook page.
Clarissa coordinates programs with law and medical students as the campus minister on the Chicago Campus. She oversees both the faith-sharing group R&B Sessions and monthly lunch discussion series More than a Meal, as well as plans retreats. Clarissa also helps plan events with the St. Thomas More Society and Catholic Medical Student Association during the school year.
Clarissa brings an enthusiasm for young adult faith and spirituality to her ministry. She holds an MA in pastoral ministry from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. One of her areas of interest is integrating Facebook and campus ministry in a practical way.
Before embarking on her ministerial career, Clarissa worked in daily newspapers for eight years covering sports, crime and education. Originally from Northern California, she enjoys exploring the outdoors and riding her bicycle. When it gets too cold to explore, she takes refuge in coffee shops with a good book or a newspaper. Clarissa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 503-1363.
Teresa has been a member of the Sheil community since high school. Before coming to work at Sheil, she was General Manager of a restaurant and Head Staffing Coordinator at a Home Health Care Service Agency. She then took time off to raise her six children. She started working at Sheil as a volunteer in 1988, joined the staff on a part-time basis in 1989 and became a full-time staff member in 1997.
When not at Sheil, Teresa enjoys spending time with her husband, Dan, who does maintenance at Sheil, as well as their six children and two grandsons. She also enjoys cooking, dancing, gardening, reading, football and spending time with her sisters. Teresa can be reached at email@example.com or (847) 328-4648.
Mary earned a music degree from Dominican University, a Master's of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a PhD in Hebrew Scripture and Early Christian Literature from Northwestern University in the Joint Program for Religious and Theological Studies. Mary began her association with Sheil as a graduate student and joined the staff as Pastoral Associate in 1997.
Prior to working at Sheil, Mary put her degrees in music, ministry and scripture to use as both a campus minister and college and seminary professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. Mary's experience in liturgy, music, counseling and spiritual direction provides an excellent background for her work at Sheil. In addition, Mary brings her expertise in scripture to Sheil's Bible Study program and to the many conversations about faith within the Sheil community. She is a frequent speaker for retreats and conferences and occasionally teaches courses in scripture, preaching, and spirituality.
Mary has written articles on a variety of topics for different publications. Her first books: “Mothers, Lovers, Priests, Prophets, and Kings: What the Old Testament Tells Us About God and Ourselves” and “Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas” were published by Liguori Press in 2010.
Mary welcomes conversation with students and associates in a variety of contexts such as firesides, retreats, classes, discussions, one-on-one counseling and spiritual direction. She has particular interest in Bible issues, Celtic spirituality and discernment. Mary can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 328-4648.
Christine has been a member of the Sheil community since 1996. She has been involved as a member of the Mardi Gras Fundraising Committee, the Sheil School of Religion, Prison Ministry, Nursing Home ministry and particularly enjoys her role as a Eucharistic Minister.
Christine has a Bachelor's in Marketing from Indiana University in Bloomington and has held various management and marketing positions throughout her career. In her most recent positions as the resident property manager of a local apartment complex and as assistant to the provost of National Louis University, Christine has had the pleasure of working with and housing students from Northwestern and National Louis Universities.
Outside of Sheil, Christine enjoys reading, movies, theater, travel, spending time with her son Sean, a graduate of the University of Dayton, and her large extended family. Christine can be reached at email@example.com or (847) 328-4648.
Tim earned a Master of Divinity degree from Washington Theological Union. Prior to working at Sheil, Tim worked for the Religious Order, Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In his role there, he developed and implemented parish initiatives for teens and young adults, which focused on community building, prayer, socialization and outreach to the local community. Peace and justice issues, along with community outreach, have been an important component of Tim's work with youth and young adults.
When Tim isn't at Sheil, he enjoys going to sporting events, being outdoors and playing hockey. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 328-4648.
Beth comes to Sheil with a passion for ministry and service. In her role at Sheil, she works with Catholic Undergrads, retreat planning, small faith groups and the mentoring program, as well as coordinating the annual mission trip to Nicaragua. She brings extensive ministry experience and is a regular presenter for young adult ministry programs throughout the area.
Beth earned her Master's of Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union and also has degrees in Math and Education. Prior to graduate school, Beth spent nine years working for Hewitt Associates as a project manager and quality assurance analyst.
Beth is the author of Finding My Voice: A Young Woman's Perspective published by St Anthony Messenger Press in 2009. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, music, travel and outdoor adventures. Beth can be reached at email@example.com or (847) 328-4648.
Angela received her Bachelor's and Master's of Music and Vocal Performance at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She has been active in music ministry and liturgy for 25 years and is certified by the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Divine Worship through the Parish Liturgy Program.
Angela officially became Director of Music & Liturgy at the Sheil Center in 1995 and expanded that role to include oversight of all liturgical ministries in 2002. She also serves on the standing committee for the Campus Ministry Division of the National Pastoral Musicians Association.
In her past life, Angela shared her professional life as a music minister and liturgist with her career as classical artist. She has performed such roles as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Witch in Hansel and Gretel, as well as the title role in Puccini's Tosca. Angela has appeared with the Northshore Choral Society, the Wheaton Symphony as featured soloist in Britten's War Requiem, as well as the Dupage Symphony in a concert format of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. In 1998, she was selected as one of Chicago Opera Theater's "Debut Artists."
Angela is married to Northwestern University Chemical Engineering Chairman
Wesley Burghardt, who plays guitar and sings with the 11am choir on
Sundays. They are the proud parents of Conrad James, born July
19, 1999. Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (847) 328-4648.