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. My third book, Sojourner Poems, a slim collection of poems, was published in 2017.

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 the topic of spirituality and hope as well as occasionally teaching at St. Mark’s College in Vancouver.

I live and work from Vancouver, BC traveling when necessary to explore and promote an active, engaged spirituality that is responsive to the challenges of our times. In addition to the practice of ‘home economics’,  I enjoy walking, hiking in the mountains, water colour painting, and gardening.