Fr. Mark Thibodeaux, SJ
Louisiana native Fr. Mark Thibodeaux, SJ, never intended to become an author, but God draws straight with crooked lines. Now serving as pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in New Orleans, Fr. Thibodeaux has authored several popular books on prayer and spirituality. Father Thibodeaux entered the Society of Jesus in 1988 and was ordained a priest in 2001, at the parish he now oversees as pastor. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but while teaching sophomores at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, he became aware that something was missing in the curriculum. “I noticed that we never actually taught kids how to pray, to meditate and contemplate,” he said. “I had a spiritual director at my parish in high school, but most of my students did not, so I felt we should be teaching them how to do this.” He searched for the right book to use to teach these fundamentals but never found one to his liking. So, he started to put together materials of his own, and Armchair Mystic, his first book, was born. Father Thibodeaux’s assignments include novice director, spiritual director and high school campus minister.