Life Directions: Raising Hope, Building Peace

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About the author:
Rev. John E. Phelps, C.Ss.R.
President and Chief Executive Officer/Life Directions

Father John Phelps is the President and C.E.O. of Life Directions, which he co-founded in 1973 with four other concerned Detroit citizens, Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P.; Sister Rosalie Esquerra, O.P.; Alexander and Judith MacDonald. He is a Roman Catholic priest, ordained in 1968, and belongs to a religious community of men called the Redemptorist Congregation. Fr. Phelps' primary work is among young adults (thirteen to thirty-five years of age), with a priority on those on the verge of dropping out of school and into self-destructive life choices. He is especially focused on those who come from families below or near the poverty line.
Among his many academic achievements, Fr. Phelps holds a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree with a minor in Psychology, Master of Arts Degree in Religious Education, and a Master of Divinity Degree. In 1999, he completed a four-day Executive Training course offered by the Gallup Organization in Lincoln, Nebraska.
From 2005 to 2007, Fr. Phelps served as Pastor of St. Alphonsus "Rock" Church in St. Louis, Missouri and President of Nativity-Miguel Middle School in St. Louis, serving 350 pre-school to eighth grade students. In 2009, he returned to Life Directions as full-time CEO.
Fr. Phelps is a renowned preacher and lecturer. He has led hundreds of workshops in cities, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and abroad. In 1990, Fr. Phelps was invited to bring Life Directions to Chicago. In partnership with the co-founders, in 1993 he established Life Directions USA as a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois and doing business in four additional states.
Additionally, his work had led him to be highly sought after as a consultant on issues concerning at-risk youth. He has served with various ecumenical organizations, church groups, corporations and educational institutions that are striving to place a priority on developing inclusive partnerships among people of diverse backgrounds and economic differences.
With Fr. Phelps' leadership, Life Directions has been working for over forty years to promote the powerful dynamic of Peers Inspiring Peers Through Forgiving.

Life Directions: Raising Hope, Building Peace

40 Years of Peers Inspiring Peers through Forgiving

Authored by Fr. John Phelps C.Ss.R, Sis. Rosalie A. Esquerra OP, Fr. Alex Steinmiller CP, Mrs. Judith MacDonald, Mr. Alexander MacDonald

In the early 1970s, two priests, a Sister and a married couple embarked on an odds-defying journey to find a way to end violence among young people in the city of Detroit. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of chaos and dysfunction, Life Directions' 40-year odyssey serves as a beacon of hope and a universal template for inspiring young people to choose peace as their mantra for life.

Publication Date:
1499256418 / 9781499256413
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Education / Students & Student Life

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