Dr. Patricia Fosarelli

Adjunct Instructor of Pastoral Theology

pfosarelli [at] stmarys.edu


Curriculum vitae

Dr. Pat Fosarelli
is a physician and a practical theologian. She received her M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, her M.A. in Theology from St. Mary’s through the Ecumenical Institute, and her D.Min. in Spirituality from Wesley Theological Seminary. In the School of Theology, she teaches in the areas of spirituality and practical theology.

In addition to her teaching in the School of Theology, Dr. Fosarelli serves in St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute as Associate Dean of Instruction and Director of the M.A. in Christian Ministries. In the Ecumenical Institute she teaches in the areas of spirituality and pastoral care, especially at the time of dying; children’s issues; family ministry; the intersection of medicine and theology; and the intersection of faith and spirituality. Dr. Fosarelli has served on the full-time faculty of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution (Department of Pediatrics) and is currently on the Hopkins part-time faculty.

Dr. Fosarelli received training as a spiritual director at the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC and has offered spiritual direction for 25 years. She has also served as a pastoral associate and a director of religious education at a local Baltimore Catholic parish.

Dr. Fosarelli is the co-author or sole author of twelve books in the fields of medicine and ministry, numerous articles in academic journals, and booklets for children and adults. She is a highly requested presenter and retreat leader in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Selected Courses Taught

  • Pastor as Catechist
  • Stress & Resiliency (courtesy of a Templeton grant)
  • Ministry to the Ill & Dying
  • Spiritual Disciplines & Traditions
  • CONNECT: Faith, Health & Medicine

Service to the Church

  • One of three keynote speakers at Biennial Priest Convocation (Archdiocese of Baltimore), 2018
  • Retreat leader for deacon wives, 2013 and 2014
  • Developed curricula for lay ministers, Archdiocese of Baltimore, 2003–2018
  • Director of Religious Education, Corpus Christi Church (Baltimore, MD) 2001–2008; Pastoral Associate, 2001–2006
  • Spiritual director and retreat leader

Selected Publications

  • Paths to Prayer (Ave Maria Press, 2010)
  • Preparations that Pay Off: A Basic Guide for Catechists (Creative Communications for the Parish, 2009)
  • Prayers and Rituals at the Time of Illness: Five Major World Religions (Templeton Press, 2008)
  • ASAP: Ages, Stages, and Phases of Childhood Development (Liguori, 2006)
  • Whatever You Do to the Least of These: Ministry to Ill and Dying Children and Their Families (Liguori, 2003)
  • Praying with Children (Resource Publications, 2003)
  • Family Ministry Desk Reference (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2003)

Book Chapters

  • “The Bible and Spiritual Growth” (co-authored with M. Gorman) in M. Gorman, ed., Scripture and Its Interpretation : A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible (Baker Academic, 2017)
  • “Spiritual Care of Ill Children and Their Families” in M. Cobb, B. Rumbold, and C. Puchalski, Spirituality in Healthcare (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • “The Spiritual Issues Faced by Children and Adolescents at the End of Life” in C. Puchalski, A Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and Care of the Chronically Ill and Dying (Oxford University Press, 2006)


  • “Children’s Liturgy of the Word Leaders Handbook” (LTP, 2014)
  • “Talking to Children & Teens about COVID-19” (Twenty-Third Publications, 2020)


  • “Facilitating Healing of the Healers: Spiritual Direction with Physicians and Other Health Professionals,” Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction 18 (2012): 40-53
  • “Outcomes of Intercessory Prayer for Those Who Are Ill: Scientific and Pastoral Perspectives,” Linacre Quarterly (The Journal of the Catholic Medical Association) 78 (2011): 125-37
  • “Is God Mad at Us?”, America 202 (April 26, 2010): 26-28
  • “Healing Faith,” America 202 (January 18-25, 2010): 23-25
  • “Medicine, Spirituality, and Patient Care” (commentary), JAMA 300 (2008): 836-38
  • “Fearfully, Wonderfully Made: The Interconnectedness of Body-Mind-Spirit,” Journal of Religion and Health 41 (2002): 207-29
  • “The Spiritual Development of Children” (Parts I and II), Liturgical Catechesis, Apr-May 2002; June-July 2002

Recommended Reading

  • Augustine, Confessions
  • Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  • Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
  • Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
  • Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited

A Favorite Quotation

A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. — Isaiah 42:3