MaryOceanMary van Balen is the author of four books, numerous articles, and for over 30 has written the column, “Grace in the Moment.”

Mary holds an MA in Theology and during the academic year 2008-2009 was a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research.

A public speaker, Mary conducts retreats and days of reflection on a variety of topics including journaling and spirituality. She is a spiritual director having completed the Spiritual Guidance Program at the Shalem Institute.

Concerned with issues of social justice, Mary has worked with abused women and single mothers, directed curriculum at an afterschool center for at risk students.

Mary is also an educator with special training in hands-on learning. She has worked as a classroom teacher, an enrichment consultant, and an adjunct of theology at the university level. She has worked with abused women and single mothers in a federally funded poverty program for family literacy and has taught adult GED classes.

When not busy with other projects, Mary enjoys nature study, conversation with friends, and when the opportunity arises, walking the beach.