The Way Of Engaged Spirituality

My Story Picture

I was born in April 1955, the third of four sons to Doreen Leblond and Maurice Dallaire. Born into a Canadian military family was in keeping with my ancestral Celtic roots for the frequent moves early in life prepared me for a life of peregrinatio—wandering—and the practice of engaged spirituality. In 1977, after completing a BA in history at Queen’s University in Kingston, I entered religious life during which time I was fortunate to live, work and study in various regions of Canada. In 1983 I received my B.Th from St. Paul University at the University of Ottawa and followed this with C.P.E. chaplaincy training at Andover Newton Theological School in Boston. In 1984 I left religious life and turned my energy to learn with those on the margins of society serving as an ecumenical chaplain in two Ottawa public housing projects. In 1986 I married Erin my ‘anamchara’, soul friend, and companion on the way.

In 1987 I returned to full time studies completing a MA(Th) in Christian Ethics at St. Paul University in 1988 and a Diploma in Education at McGill University in 1989. For the next twenty-one years I served as a Catholic school chaplain, ministering in six different schools in Ontario, Canada. During the first three years I also taught high school courses while engaged in this pastoral work. Meanwhile, I continued to study completing an Ed.D. in Philosophy at the University of Toronto in 1999. My first book, Contemplation in Liberation: A Method for Spiritual Education in the Schools, 2001 sought to provide a new way of educating for the traditional method of contemplation in action. From 1999 to 2005, as an adjunct professor at St. Paul University in Ottawa, I was involved in the professional training of educators and education administrators.

In 2010 I moved on from school chaplaincy in Ontario in order to devote more time to writing and the work of education for engaged spirituality, a spirituality which seeks to integrate the inner life with the building of just and sustainable civic communities. My second book, Teaching With The Wind: Spirituality in Canadian Education, 2011 weaves my personal experience with theory in order to promote public discourse on civic spirituality.

Professionally certified as a teacher in both Ontario and British Columbia I am also a member of the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars. Currently I am researching and writing on spirituality and hope as well as assisting organizations with adult education.

In 2011 Erin and I visited Brittany, France and Scotland to celebrate our 25th anniversary and felt blessed to renew our Celtic and Catholic spiritual roots. I live and work from Vancouver, BC traveling whenever necessary to explore and promote an active, engaged spirituality that is responsive to the changes of our times. Along the way I enjoy walking daily, hiking in the mountains, water colour painting, and gardening.