Thomas J. Neal, Ph.D.
Metairie, Louisiana
I have been married to Patricia Ann for 25 years, and we have four children: An 18, a 20 and 22 and 24 year old. + I am Professor of Pastoral and Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. My favorite theologian is Father of the Church St. Ignatius of Antioch (108 a.d.). Why? 80+ years old @ the time of his martyrdom, writes his 7 impassioned and theologically dense letters with the voice of the apostles still ‘ringing in his ears,’ has divine wisdom born of suffering, and is, to the end, in love with God and his people unto folly. His line to the Romans, “My Love has been crucified,” captures the heartbeat of his view of God and the human call to live as God’s image and likeness in the world.

32 comments on “About

  1. Fr. Tim says:


    Father Tim here in Tallahassee. Fr. Ganci told me about your blog site so I thought I’d have me a look-see. Good stuff….short and sweet.


  2. […] wise friend once said, “When you say yes to His work, He will paint you beautiful.” Now that’s the kind […]

  3. […] this piece for the Catholic Year of Faith blog co-edited by my friend Dr. Tom Neal, and I’m thrilled to see our friends across the big pond to the west have found his […]

  4. […] over-the-top Catholic Martha Stewart-ish to some, but here’s why we do it. As my friend Dr. Tom Neal encourages, “Stay close to the logic of the liturgical cycle since theology is first and best […]

  5. jwatson313 says:

    You are my favorite spiritual blog! Thank you so much!

    • Jill Dean says:

      Hi Tom! So glad I found u all! Hope all is well in Metairie… Louise is there too, & I did live there in 2011. Love your blog! Will be in town May . Miss you all…

  6. Ted Mast says:

    Tom! I’m so happy I found your blog!!! You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers recently, so I don’t assume this is by chance. I would love to catch up with you sometime soon! I’m praying for you and your family, and I hope you’re doing excellent down in Louisiana. It was such a blessing to have our paths cross (obviously providentially) during our respective times in IA. I’m back in Colorado, currently working at the Augustine Institute. In fact, I run into Lori quite often now as well! (Perhaps CO would merit a visit from you in the near future?) We’ll see. God is so good. Thank you for all your work for the Church. I look forward to catching up with you very soon! Have a wonderful Lenten season!

    God bless,


  7. […] A wise friend once said, “When you say yes to His work, He will paint you beautiful.” Now that’s the kind of color I’m praying to receive during this Year of Faith. The Door of Faith is open. Let’s walk through it together. I hear the colors over there are worth dying for! […]

  8. Katie Sciba says:

    Just saw that you’re in Louisiana, but teach at IPF – I’m from Omaha and relocated to Louisiana 5 years ago!

    Thank you for writing and your instruction! God bless all your efforts!

  9. Michael Gagnon says:

    Hi Tom! This is Michael Gagnon (from CSU). I was wondering what you’re doing on Memorial Day weekend 2014? We’re having the Allumni retreat in Orlando and I’m looking for guest speakers.

    • Michael Gagnon says:

      What’s your email? The retreat is in a hotel in Orlando and the theme is, “Stepping Up and Stepping Out”. It is based on two quotes by Pope Francis about stepping out of our comfort zones and routines and taking a risk in following Jesus and living as he would have us live. We’re still working on the schedule, but we’d love to have you as a keynote speaker (perhaps giving 1-2 keynote talks). Also, you should know that we don’t have $ in the budget to pay for travel or hotel. But we can pay you in prayers.

  10. Hi Tom!

    I’d like to send you an interview request to join me on an upcoming episode of my new podcast. If you’d be willing to share your contact info with me via email, I’d be grateful.


  11. […] don’t know if anyone was persuaded by this post, so it was heartening to see this article by Thomas J. Neal, who is the Academic Dean and Professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New […]

  12. Pete says:

    Thank you for coming to jacksonville!

  13. David Deutsch says:

    I subscribe to only two blogs and yours is one of them. You never disappoint. I routinely share your thoughts with my men’s prayer group, fellow prison ministers, and fellow choir members. Just this morning, your post quoting “How blessed are loveless places” is being printed for me to take to inmates living in just such a place. Bless you. Bless your work.
    PS The other is http://shirtofflame.blogspot.com/

  14. Louise Locke says:

    Hi, Tom
    I just subscribed to your blog and really love what you have to say. I am still working at Georgetown on my CPE but will be done in August. I am headed down to New Orleans for a vacation this week-I’m hoping to get back there when I’m through. I would love to keep in touch.

  15. Lisa says:

    Good Morning, I’m not sure how to address you, but I just want to thank you for your
    posts. I always like them and I save the ones that really speak to me. I like the way your posts include your life, your family, your friends.

    This post is especially meaningful. In the last few months, I have come to be aware and believe that we can really talk to God and “hear” Him as is written about in Genesis with Adam and Eve. (I’m better at emojiis, so I would put a woman dancing, a thumbs up, a very smily, smily-face and hands clapping here.)

    Thank you also for letting us know about 21 Pilots. I really like them and used one song in a Faith Formation class that I taught.

    Thank you for your posts. I try to find time to read your posts, Richard Rohr’s, Ron Rolheiser’s, Vinita Hampton Wright’s (when she does write) Joan Chittister’s and Bishop Barron’s as well as their books. I will look forward to reading your book too.


  16. Mary says:

    Hi Dr. Tom,
    My name is Mary. I am from MQP parish in Mandeville, Louisiana. You came to our parish for the Lenten mission last week. I wanted to talk to you about the talk you gave. You really inspired me. I believe that God has put those memories and experiences in your life for a reason. Keep experiencing life to the fullest.
    Love, Mary

  17. tmm says:

    😎 Dr. TJN
    😎 A teacher, preaching with the pen

    😎 A post on the way
    😎 Sometimes making someone’s day

    😎 Sandwiched between the serious is a dose of the amusing
    😎 We know sooner or later that something is coming, coming

    😎 Spiritual nourishment
    😎 Thank God for posts that are truly God sent

    😎 What you feed, when we can get to it, we eat it up
    😎 With a spiritual swagger in the best way you instruct

    😎 All credit goes to God as you surrender
    😎 The Holy Spirit is at work in you ever so tender

    😎 In Christ Jesus keep on keeping in real
    😎 Orthodox all every way, naked truth transforming lives lived in God’s presence resulting in how we stand, walk, sit or kneel

    😎 Making a difference for all eternity
    😎 Thank you, your ministry of self, both time and energy, very much blesses me

    • Wow. This is beyond my capacity to respond to adequately — may God hear your words and look with favor on me as you say. Thank you for investing your poetry in me, tmm. Blessings in abundance,tjn

  18. Fr Tran says:

    Dr Neal,
    I just discovered your blog. Really like it! Are you in CL?
    Fr Tran
    Portland OR

    • Fr. Tran,
      Thank you for your comment!
      Well, I would love to become part of CL, especially after attending the NY Encounter last month.
      We don’t have any groups in New Orleans.
      But I am considering it for certain.
      God bless you out there in Portland!
      Tom Neal

  19. Bob Denne says:

    Loved your talks yesterday. Wish we had more time. Would really like to hear your thoughts on praying as a couple. Please contact me about teaching our diaconate class. Also, continued prayers for good results this week.

  20. Stephanie Grace Prost says:

    Dearest Tom! I came across your writing on the Word on Fire blog today and then found this blog. I am unsure if you’d remember me but you led my RCIA back in 2004! I am prayerful you are safe and well this and each day. And thank you for helping to light my fire for God so many years ago! Elbow deep in Merton, Keating, Rohr and Avila, you were integral to my beginning! THANK YOU!

    • Stephanie: Wow, I am so touched that you reached out to me. Those authors, yes! What wonderful memories those years are for me!! I am so encouraged and happy to know your faith continues to flourish. I remember your name, though I wish I remembered more…I am sure if we met again and shared a few specifics I would remember immediately. I pray you and your loved ones are well. May God bless you for your kindness remembering me. Be well, dear Stephanie. Tom +

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