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Saint Paul University Catholic Center

Spiritual Direction

Fr. Nielsen giving a homily

For I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith, yours and mine.

Romans 1: 11-12

Jesus Christ used to take the Twelve Apostles away to a lonely place to pray with them. He also would reveal to them the deeper meaning of the Scriptures and even revealed to some of them a special place or mission they had in His work.

Since then, and all throughout the history of the Church, spiritual direction has had an important place in the Christian life. Here at St. Paul’s, we are dedicated to providing for anyone who wants it, good people to guide you in the spiritual life.

If you want to be holy then you are ready to have a spiritual director. Below we have an excellent list of priests and religious to act as spiritual directors for any who request them. You can contact a director at your discretion and meet with them on your schedule.

Your director will not speak for God, but will help you to better understand the Word of God and how God is speaking to you.  Email to get connected with a spiritual director.

But who can find such a friend? The Wise Man answers – “He that fears the Lord:” that is to say, the truly humble soul which earnestly desires to advance in the spiritual life. So, inasmuch as it concerns you so closely to set forth on this devout journey under good guidance, do you pray most earnestly to God to supply you with a guide after His Own Heart, and never doubt but that He will grant you one who is wise and faithful, even should He send you an angel from Heaven, as He sent to Tobias.

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

Spiritual Directors

Fr. Eric Nielsen

Fr. Eric Nielsen

Fr. Eric Nielsen has been the Pastor of St. Paul’s since 2006 and a priest of the Diocese of Madison since 1995. The oldest of seven children, Fr. Nielsen grew up in Oshkosh, graduated in 1984 from the UW in Civil Engineering, and entered Mundelein Seminary in 1990. As a young man he enjoyed a lot of outdoor activity and travel but now spends most of his time at St. Paul’s encouraging students to focus on study and prayer as a path to know, love and serve Jesus Christ.

Fr. Mark Miller

Fr. Mark Miller grew up in Blanchardville, WI and attended UW-Madison, studying Material Science Engineering and Religious Studies. A convert from the Lutheran faith, he came into the Catholic Church two years after graduating and subsequently entered the seminary two years later. While in seminary he lived in Denver for three years and Rome for five years, during which he also did advanced studies in ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. He loves back country camping and shooting pool.

Fr. Tim Uhen

Fr. Tim Uhen

Father Tim Uhen was born in Milwaukee and raised in Oklahoma City. After receiving a BA from Marquette University he entered the seminary to study for the priesthood. Father Uhen was ordained a priest for the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1996 and obtained a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Santa Croce Pontifical University in Rome the following year. His brother is also a priest ministering in Peru. Father Tim currently resides in Milwaukee, devoting his time primarily to retreats and spiritual direction. Father Tim’s interests include sports and reading.

Fr. Greg Ihm

Fr. Greg Ihm grew up in Lancaster, WI on a farm, attended seminary in Rome, and was ordained in 2010.  He is currently the vocation director for the Diocese of Madison and the Bishop’s Master of Ceremonies.  He will be celebrating Mass on most Tuesdays at 5 pm.

Fr. David Carrano

Fr. David Carrano grew up in Stoughton, WI, graduated from UW-Madison, went to seminary in Rome, and was ordained in 2010.  He is currently the pastor at St. John the Baptist in Montello, WI and Good Shepherd in Westfield, WI.

Sister Mary David

Sr. Mary David grew up in southern Illinois with her brother and two sisters. She attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas for two years before entering the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in Alton, Illinois in 2003. She has been a member of the Community for ten years, professing her final vows in August, 2012. She enjoys reading, sports, family, and seeking the image of Christ in each person she encounters.

*If you are a female UW student who would like to meet with Sr. Mary David, you may contact her at