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SPM Instructors

SPM Instructors

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Dr. Margaret Turek

Margaret M. Turek, S.T.D., received her doctorate from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and wrote her dissertation under the direction of Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn, O.P. She earned her B.A. in Theology at the University of San Francisco and her M.A. at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.  She taught courses in Scripture and Systematic Theology at the University of Dallas for seven years before joining the faculty at St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, where for thirteen years she served as Associate Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology and Chair of the Systematic Theology Department.  She was appointed director of faith formation and evangelization for the Diocese of Oakland in July, 2014.


Fr. Joseph Boenzi, S.D.B.

A professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Fr. Joseph Boenzi is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. His research and teaching focuses on the charisms of the Holy Spirit, the role of the laity in the church, and the spiritualties of Don Bosco and St. Frances de Sales. He received his STD at the Universita  Pontifica Salesiana in Rome in 1996 and is the author of the 2013 work St. Frances de Sales: Life and Spirit. He also teaches at the Institute of Salesian Spiritualty and is a visiting professor of Spiritual Theology at the Universita Pontifica Salesiana.


Dr. Patrick Downey

Dr. Patrick Downey is a Professor in the Philosophy Department at St. Mary’s College of California.  He is a graduate of Pitzer College B.A.; Harvard University, M.T.S; and Boston College, Phd. He is the author of two books: Serious Comedy:  The Philosophical and Theological Significance of Tragic and Comic Writing in the Western Tradition; and Desperately Wicked: Philosophy, Christianity and the Human Heart.  He is married and lives in Danville, CA, and is the father of four daughters.


Michael Nader

Michael J. Nader teaches Catholic social doctrine for pastoral leaders with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and with the Diocese of Oakland. He earned a JD from the Notre Dame Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, and earned an LL.M. at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. He served as a judicial clerk for two federal judges at the district court and appellate levels, and as a shareholder with a prominent labor and employment law firm before accepting a corporate counsel position.


Fr. Jim Sullivan

Fr. Jim Sullivan has given parish talks, retreats and missions around the country. He has extensive experience in adult faith formation, youth ministry and teen catechesis. He received his masters degree in philosophy from the Dominican faculty at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and holds masters degrees as well in theology and divinity from St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. His latest book, THE SCENIC ROUTE, An American Journey to Priesthood, will be available in the fall. Currently chaplain at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, Fr. Sullivan resides at St. Clement Parish in Hayward. He was ordained for the Diocese of Oakland in 2006.


Christopher J. Moreland, Ph.D. (ABD)

Currently enrolled as a PhD student in Church History at the Graduate Theological Union, Chris Moreland is the Program Assistant for the School for Pastoral Ministry. He has taught on the Second Vatican Council at the GTU and a survey course on Christian History at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Prior to attending GTU, Chris recieved his MA in History at UNCW in 2010. His research focuses on post-war American Catholicism with a specific emphasis on the reception and implementation of the Second Vatican Council.


 Wendy Biale, Ph.D. (ABD)

After earning her BA in Religious Studies/Philosophy and MA in Theology, Wendy Biale turned her attention to raising her two children with her husband Bob. During this time she taught middle school, high school, RCIA and CCD part time.  When the kids reached high school, she returned to school herself to pursue her PhD in Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.  She is now finishing her dissertation entitled: The Rehabilitation of Authority in the Catholic Church: Progressives and Conservatives Reconciled Through the Revitalization of the Sensus Fidelium.  Currently she teaches for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Dioceses of Oakland and Santa Rosa, and speaks and leads retreats on various topics, especially on issues of ecclesiology, her academic and heart focus.


Ed Hopfner

Ed Hopfner has been the director of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco since 2013; before that he held a similar position in the Diocese of Oakland (2008 – 2013). A popular speaker, Ed has taught classes and conducted study groups and workshops on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and has extensive experience in sexuality and chastity education as well as pro-life efforts.  Since 2001, Ed has also led workshops and trained teachers for the Catherine of Siena Institute, an organization devoted to implementing the teachings of Vatican II on the mission of the laity.


Fr. Bich Nguyen

Fr. Bich N. Nguyen was a native of Viet Nam.  He came to the United States in 1991 and settled in San Jose, CA until he joined the diocese of Oakland to study for the priesthood in 1994. After the completion of his priestly formation, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John S. Cummins in May 16, 2003 at the Church of All Saints in Hayward, CA.  He was assigned to St. Leander church in San Leandro as parochial vicar from 2003-2007.  From 2007-2010, he was sent to study Canon Law in Rome and obtained a J.C.L from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [the Angelicum] in 2010.  He has been working at the Tribunal of the Diocese of Oakland since 2010.