Some Personal Notes...
Starting with my name
My legal name -- for passport, banking, etc. -- is Maria Luisa Guerin, but I've gone my whole life answering to my Spanish nickname "Marisa". It is
pronounced "Maree'sa", rhymes with "Theresa".
Wife, sister, woman of faith
The ground under my feet is my life as wife to Mike Sweeney, and as a devoted sister-aunt-cousin to my cherished family -- Guerins, Guiberts, Sweeneys -- spread across the US and in Spain. The love and support of family has always been central to my life I can't believe how lucky I am to have my loving siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins!
Family has also been the wellspring of my faith and values, starting with my parents. I'm grateful to the many mentors and friends who have influenced my spiritual and theological development over the years; without them, I doubt I'd have found my way. It can be challenging to be Catholic and progressive and feminist, but lots of wonderful people have shown me how that can be lived.
It is interesting to me that my identity as a half-Spanish woman didn't fully come into focus for me until the passing of my mother, Conchita Guibert. I used to think of myself as "the daughter of a Spaniard", as if all the Spanish-ness were in my mother, and all the American-ness were in me. That turns out not to be true, exactly. As I grow older, I am better able to recognize the parts of me that I inherited from my Spanish-Filipina mother, as well as the Irish-German character that I inherited from my father, Joseph Guerin. They, together, lent me values of hospitality, welcome, tolerance and service, along with a great love of music, art, family meals, wine, and nature.
Mike and I make our home in the eclectic, hyper-diverse University City section of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It's a great place to live! Our neighborhood is dynamic and charming and gritty and real. Along with our friends and neighbors, we try to be responsible citizens of our city, state, nation, and world. We are active members of our parish, St. Ignatius of Loyola in West Philadelphia.
I'm retired now from what feels like three careers: youth ministry development first; then stints in Human Resources and senior executive management for an international manufacturing company; and most recently, fulfilling work as a consultant to nonprofit and religious organizations. You can find my formal career biography here.
My life rhythms in retirement are quite different than they used to be, and other than chafing at the confinement caused by the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020, I am mostly quite content with a local and domestic life.
Volunteer, educator, and writer
Over the years, I have periodically offered professional development seminars for leaders at Cranaleith Spiritual Center in NE Philadelphia, although these are currently paused due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
I have also written a variety of consulting notes and conference papers for my clients as well as for colleagues in the field of organizational psychodynamics. The articles and blogposts that you can access from this website are my way of sharing with others what I have learned.
A current focus of my energies in retirement is collaborating with a friend on writing a book, which is a rewarding and interesting endeavor.
Mike and me
My German paternal grandmother Marie, and my Spanish-Filipina maternal grandmother Mercedes, at my first communion.
Me and my siblings
4621 Osage Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143 USA