By Andrew Mentock
MISHAWAKA — South Bend area psychologists Dr. Jeffrey and Susan Feathergill are fresh off of a seminar at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on pre-marital counseling.
The seminar took place from Sept.12-15. The couple graciously has accepted the opportunity to share knowledge that they have gained from years of practicing their faith, as well as from their careers as clinical psychologists.
“We are inspired by the recent synods and Encyclicals such as ‘Deus Caritas Est,’ by Pope Benedict, and ‘Amoris Laetita’ by Pope Francis,” said the Feathergills in a letter to Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades — whose alma mater is PNAC. “As we do in our clinical practice, we will integrate psychological approaches to helping others with Catholic teachings and an understanding of Catholic anthropology.”
The Feathergills both received their doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 1994. Currently they run Feathergill and Associates LLC, which is a psychotherapy practice in Mishawaka for individuals, families and couples. They are parishioners at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger.
In addition to their clinical practice, they are both adjunct professors at the University of Notre Dame, where in the past they worked together on a course, Introduction to Pastoral Care.
The new rector at PNAC, Rev. Peter Harman, invited the Feathergills to teach the seminar after hearing about their work as professors at the University of Notre Dame from Rev. Gerald McGlone, who is the current director of psychology at PNAC.
The seminar includes a variety of topics for its special group of students.
“We are very honored, and have prepared what we hope will be a helpful course for the class of men who will soon be ordained as temporary deacons,” they said. “The course includes training in the FOCCUS Questionnaire, basic counseling skills and Natural Family Planning, among other topics.”
The Feathergills were excited to make their first visit to Rome and to the Vatican. The PNAC provided a majority of their accommodation and transportation while there, but they aren’t taking the opportunity for granted. They know how influential the minds they are currently molding will be.
“We feel so blessed to be a part of such a vibrant diocese,” they said, “and to participate in the care and education of men who will soon become shepherds as deacons and priests.”
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