Caring for Cornell students, faculty, and staff of diverse religious, "spiritual but not religious," and secular perspectives.

Rev.’d Catherine Quehl-Engel (“Fr. Cathy”) is available for:

  • Support, hope, and courage amid life’s fragileness, uncertainty, mishaps, and fear.
  • Musing about meaning, identity, and the inner life.
  • Going Deeper. Loving Wider.
  • Spiritual practices and both theological and scriptural questions.
  • Bridge building/boundary crossing amid religious, racial, cultural, political, gender, and other differences.
  • As a priest, extending rites for healing with anointing, Reconciliation (confession/forgiveness), and other forms of release and blessing.
  • Humor, wonder, vital piety, reconciling virtues, & inclusive love.

How to find me :
Call x4402 or email to set up an appointment. I’m typically available for appointments M-F, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Location: Third Floor Old Sem.

Spiritual guides and mentors do not impose doctrines on others. This is especially true on a college campus. We meet people wherever they are, theologically or otherwise.

We celebrate with them. We wait with them. We stand at the edge of the cliff, look out over the edge of the abyss with them. When a student's idea of God, self, world, or others just fell apart, we stand knee deep in the messiness with them (for, in the words of a hospital chaplain friend, "If spirituality only takes you to peaceful places, it probably isn't real."). We do not rebuild meaning for them, but stand alongside assisting with hope, presence, and all possible blue prints.

What is spiritual guidance? Carol Ochs puts it this way. In her work, Jewish Spiritual Guidance: Finding Our Way to God, she writes that spiritual guide work includes "helping those seeking guidance to ascertain how they relate to God, and where they find the Holy in their lives. Spiritual guides help seekers expand their God images, making sure to include the insights that have come over the years of growth and maturing. Along with the change in our image of God comes a change in our understanding of who we are in relationship with God."

Others use the analogy of midwife, saying that spiritual guides help others to breathe amid the pains and risks associated with both loss and growth (transformation). Another analogy is that of a gardener tending seeds planted in pitch black Iowa dirt: We care for others amid the growing, even when it seems like nothing is happening. We wait with them, watching with them, offer ways to fertilize, and nurture them as they germinate and unfold their own speed and time. All of this is what is meant by 'the care and growth of souls."

With such disposition, Catherine is available to walk with students, faculty and staff amid life's joys and unknowns; amid theological wrestlings; amid their questing, souling and search for their search for deepening their spiritual lives or in exploring paths toward healing. Soulfriend and mentor to both religious and secular alike, she is also available to talk about failures, shortcomings, doubts, indiscretions and foibles with unconditional support and care. And of course, is also there for sharing life's joys, delight, and great belly laughter.