Meet Our Founding Board of Directors

Bishop John Dolan


Diocese of San Diego, CA

John P. Dolan is a native of San Diego, Ca where he was ordained a diocesan priest in 1989 and an Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of San Diego in 2017. Bishop Dolan is member of various social outreach boards; including Father Joe’s Village, Catholic Institute for Mental Health at the University of San Diego, American Haitian Foundation, Lost Boys of Sudan, and a supporting member for Survivors of Suicide Loss – San Diego. Bishop Dolan, along with Deacon Ed Shoener, is coauthor of the books Responding to Suicide: A Pastoral Handbook for Catholic Leaders and When a Loved One Dies by Suicide (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN).

He serves as Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Clergy at the Pastoral Center, assisting Bishop Robert McElroy in administering the diocese and overseeing the assignment of priests and clergy at 98 parishes.

Dcn. Ed Shoener


Diocese of Scranton, PA

Ed Shoener was ordained a permanent deacon in 2004 and serves at St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Scranton. Shoener is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers and the Catholic Institute of Mental Health Ministry at the University of San Diego. He serves on the Council on Mental Illness of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and on the Board of Pathways to Promise, an interfaith cooperative that facilitates the faith community’s work in reaching out to those with mental illnesses and their families. Deacon Shoener, along with Bishop John Dolan, is coauthor of the books Responding to Suicide: A Pastoral Handbook for Catholic Leaders and When a Loved One Dies by Suicide (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN).

He, along with family and friends, founded “The Katie Foundation” after his daughter, Kathleen, died by suicide in 2016. Katie’s obituary went viral because it spoke to the needs and concerns of people who live with mental illness. He lives with his family in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Margery Arnold

Diocese of Orange, CA

Margery Arnold earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology at Texas A&M University and is a Licensed Psychologist in California. She is passionate about all the things humans can do for and with each other to bring healing and compassion to those of us with mental illness. She works to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to improve the health of body, mind, spirit, and community. In particular, she has studied how resilience can come from learning skills, from competent and caring relationships, and from connected and engaged communities.

She currently focuses her energy and knowledge as a Master Trainer for the Behavioral Health Training Collaborative of Orange County and as the Mental Health Ministry Coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Margery lives with her family in Southern California where they enjoy reading, hiking, gardening, and the sport of dragon-boat racing.

Dcn. Tom Lambert

Archdiocese of Chicago, IL

Tom is a founding member and currently co-chair of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Commission on Mental Illness, and advisor to Faith and Fellowship, Oak Park, Ill. Tom served 8 years on the Board of Directors for the State of Illinois’ National Alliance on Mental Illness including a 2 year term as President. Tom co-founded and co-chaired the National Catholic Partnership on Disability’s Council on Mental Illness located in Washington D.C., served on the Board of Pathways To Promise, and served on the Board of NAMI-Faithnet.

Tom was ordained in 1983 and currently serves at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish in Chicago. Tom’s wife Rita is a spiritual director. Their oldest daughter has a mental illness. For the past 30 + years they have advocated for people with mental illness and their families in the community and for better pastoral awareness and care within the Church. They have led workshops across the country educating dioceses, priests, deacons, parish staffs, religious and laity about mental illness. Tom authored the manual “Mental Illness and Faith Community Outreach,” and wrote “Justice Issues and Catholic Social Teaching.” Tom provides a website of pastoral initiatives and resources for people with mental illness and their families at

Barbara Zahner

Diocese of San Jose, CA

Barbara is a founding member of Mental Health Ministry in the Diocese of San Jose. Barbara is also a Board-Certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. She has worked in hospital and hospices, specializing in palliative care and behavioral health. Barbara is also a trained Spiritual Director. Following the deaths by suicide of three members of her former parish in March 2015, Barbara began Out of the Wilderness, a suicide bereavement support group for those who experienced grief from the death of a loved one by suicide. Using a grant from the Catholic Institute for Mental Health, Barbara worked with the pastor and staff of her current parish, St. Francis of Assisi Church in San Jose to initiate 3GEN+, a parish-based Mental Health Ministry. 3GEN+ focuses on the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of Three Generations: Teens, Parents and Elders. The mission of 3GEN+ is to educate, advocate, and accompany those affected by mental illness. Barbara collaborates with leaders from other parishes in the Diocese of San Jose to help them launch Mental Health Ministries. She also works closely with NAMI FaithNet of Santa Clara County and she serves on the task force for Suicide Prevention and Intervention for Santa Clara County.

In earlier life, Barbara founded an advertising and PR firm. She also served as founding Executive Director of Sacred Heart Community Service, a non-profit agency that serves the economically poor with food, clothes, housing, education, immigration, and health care.

In 1968, Barbara married her college sweetheart Richard, whom she met at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren. Barbara holds an MA in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis on Spirituality from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She also was granted an honorary PhD from Santa Clara University for Public Service. Barbara’s deepest desire is to serve God where most needed.

Dcn. Adam Michaele

  • (203) 530-4466

Archdiocese of Hartford, CT

Adam is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. Ordained in 1989, Adam is currently assigned to Saint Margaret Parish in Madison, CT. He has an MA in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Spiritual Direction from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT.

Since 2003, Deacon Adam along with his wife, Rose, developed and have been active in a Wellness Ministry. Their daughter and son have a mental illness. The ministry provides spiritual comfort and support for those with mental illness for the Eastern Shoreline parishes in Connecticut. Meetings are held twice a month with additional social and religious activities.

Adam was also a member of the Behavioral Health Patient and Family Advisory Council at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) for 8 years retiring in 2019 after 4 years as Co-Chair. He also is active in supporting other patient and family experience activities and projects at YNHH. He and his wife also support a Mood Disorders Peer Support group on a weekly basis. Adam is a member of NAMI and is trained in Mental Health First Aid. Adam also participated and completed the Mental Health Minister training from the Catholic Institute of Mental Health Ministry at the University at San Diego in 2019.