Who We Are

MaryCatherine Burgess

MaryCatherine (Cathy) Burgess, PhD, TEP, LPC – Founder of WBA

An interdisciplinary educational background, a multi-faceted work history, inspirational mentors, and a rich array of life experiences have helped prepare me to integrate, collaborate, and contribute to global initiatives of transformational change and conscious evolution.

Loving to learn has led to several postgraduate educational degrees, including religious education (MARE), human relations (MHR), religious studies (PhD); professional licensures and certifications, including trainer in the action methods of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy (TEP); licensed professional counselor in Nebraska, USA (LPC); Consultant of Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) through Barrett Values Center; and in-depth training in shamanism and shamanic healing primarily through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS), Mystery School and Social Artistry with Jean Houston, and Evolutionary Circles/Conscious Evolution with Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Society for the Universal Human.

Having worked in the USA, Italy, and the United Kingdom, some of the roles I’ve held include teacher in secondary school (also department chair), university, and adult  education programs; shamanic practitioner and teacher; trainer and practitioner of action methods; facilitator of the IONS Conscious Aging Program, Death Makes Life Possible film workshops, Boundless Compassion and Compassionate Integrity Training programs, individual and team values assessments, and Divine Feminine workshops, retreats and conferences; university spirituality and multifaith chaplain; university postgraduate supervisor and internal examiner for doctoral students; human relations consultant; university research fellow (spirituality and counselling) and honorary fellow (counselling and psychotherapy, divinity); personal injury claims representativemanager of medical management; and director of quality integration, leadership, and organizational effectiveness.

Of emerging prominence is my work with the Charter for Compassion as a member of the Compassion UK Team, the Global Education Network (EdNet), and an advocacy team working with Compassionate Edinburgh initiatives.

I have an early history of active involvement and leadership in civil rights, peace and justice initiatives, in addition to university and community human relations programs and projects. In the late 1970s I co-founded and lived at Hawthorne House, an intentional community in the Bemis Park neighborhood of Omaha. Some time later, friends and I together started the Omaha Celtic Group and the White Buffalo Singers.

Shortly after my move to Scotland in 2001, I enjoyed playing keyboard and singing at numerous folk sessions with Torcull Kennedy, my friend and musical partner in Hamely Fare; took great delight in sharing lunch and life with the Church of the Holy Girlfriends; explored heart and soul issues with Heart of Flesh retreat participants and those involved in multifaith learning; and embarked on esoteric adventures into myth and meaning with members of the Edinburgh Grail Questers.

MCB Publications

Book: (2008), A New Paradigm of Spirituality and Religion. London: Continuum0826499651

Article: (2010), ‘Growing a Multifaith Chaplaincy’, Journal of the TCMA (Tertiary Campus Ministry Association) 4(1): 1-11. Growing a Multifaith Chaplaincy in Edinburgh – PDF

Article:  Willis, A., Bondi, L., Burgess, M., Miller, G., and Fergusson, D. (2014), ‘Engaging with a history of counselling, spirituality and faith in Scotland: a readers’ theatre script’, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 2014, Vol 42, No. 5, 525-543.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2014.928667

Book Review: (2018), A review of Spirituality, Corporate Culture, and American Business – The Neoliberal Ethic and the Spirit of Global Capitalism by James Dennis LoRusso for the Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religion (JBASR) Bulletin, v. 20, August 2018: 199-201. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327820067_Review_LoRusso_Spirituality_Corporate_Culture_and_American_Business.

Book Review: (2013), ‘Meeting God in the Margins’, a review of Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice by Ched Myers and Matthew Colwell, for Expository Times 124 (9), June 2013: 460-461.

A World Book of ValuesEssays: (2013), ‘Compassion’ and ‘Spontaneity’, co-author of A World Book of Values, Belgium: Van Halewyck, December 2013, 73 and 337 (http://www.worldbookofvalues.com)

Related Links:

PDF of MCB CV: MCB CV – For WBA Website – 8 August 2020 



Other Associates

WBA Associates come together for specific projects that call for collaboration. In the late 1990s, Pat Condon and Deb Shaddy became WBA Associates as we planned, organized, sponsored and hosted – on two separate occasions – women’s retreats with Joan Borysenko.

In addition, Pat Condon remained a WBA Associate as she and I co-facilitated the White Buffalo Singers (WBS), which met for several years after those women’s retreats. The WBS ended just before I moved to Scotland in 2001.

Pat died in 2017, though her spirit lives on. Deb moved to Kansas, where she works at the University of St. Mary, conducts psychodrama training workshops, and runs the Sophia Center, which she founded, while still living in Omaha.

In 2020, I’ve started collaborating with of other CIT Facilitators to offer CIT throughout the world for various groups.

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