Desert House of Prayer Core Community
Father Tom Picton is a Redemptorist priest and a member of the Denver Province. He has had a relationship with the Desert House of Prayer for thirty-five years. He is a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Tom began making retreats at Desert House almost from its founding by Fr. John Kane and Sisters Dorothy Lesher and Peg Williams. His interests include spirituality, history, music, theater, film, paleontology, the conjuring arts and last but not least baseball.
Sister Deb Giles is a Sister of Notre Dame and a member of the Toledo Province. She obtained a BS in Education from Bowling Green State University and taught in both elementary and secondary schools. She obtained an MA in Christian Spirituality with certification in retreat and spiritual direction from Creighton University. She is also a mental health and addictions therapist licensed in the state of Ohio having gained an MA in Community Counseling from John Carroll University. In her spare time he enjoys catching up with friends and family, driving, taking phone pictures of nature, movies and long cups of coffee.
Michael Gibson is the person who answers the phone; handles inquiries; registration, and payments; greets guests; and takes care of the office. His formal studies led him to a bachelor’s degree in music, an MA in teaching ESL, and an MDiv (master of divinity). When he is not working in the office, Michael enjoys cooking, writing, music, photography, and discovering/exploring new things. (Photo by John Meyer, used with permission)
Sr. Katherine Ann Smolik is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration near Clyde, Missouri, a contemplative, monastic community dedicated to prayer. Sr. Katherine Ann is a graduate of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction and offers spiritual direction onsite. She will also be writing grants for the Desert House of Prayer, she is responsible for the library, and is an executive assistant to the director. She was part of her community’s Osage Monastery Forest of Peace Ashram in Oklahoma and a past board member of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID). She loves reading, art, hiking, and the Desert Fathers.
Br. Bill Cloughley has been a Redemptorist Brother for over 50 years. He has a special interest in affordable housing for low-income families. He is responsible for the maintenance, and care of the grounds at Desert House. Bill has become sort of the “archivist” for Desert House; transferring many tape recordings to CD’s thus preserving the talks of Thomas Merton and Fr. John Kane, among others. He also loves to photograph the beauty of the desert.