Catherine (Cass) McLaughlin – Center for Spirituality and Healing

Dear Mary,
Thank you for speaking in the 2007 Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI), co-sponsored course for the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota titled: Refresh the Well Within: Maximize Your Healing Potential with Integrative Medicine.

Your presentation on Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells was well-received by participants and generated a lively discussion on Celtic spirituality, including the concept of thin places, where the veil between this world and the next one is very ‘thin’ and anam caras-the gaelic word for soul friends. The stories you shared from information contained in your book, Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells, allowed participants to delve into their own stories of synchronicity, intuition, and the sacred time before, during and after the death of loved ones.

You successfully created an experiential experience of Soul Friends. Participants shared what heals and what enables us to discover and discern the meaning of the thin places in our lives. It was truly a spiritual experience that affirmed faith and fostered hope in something wondrous beyond this life.

Thank you for the generosity of your time, speaking to this group from your own heartfelt experiences. I look forward to other opportunities to recommend your work and future collaborations with you and your colleagues at Well Within.

Catherine (Cass) McLaughlin
Outreach Coordinator
University of Minnesota

Center for Spirituality and Healing

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Mary Conway-Jast – HealthEast Care System

I am pleased to recommend Mary Treacy O’Keefe as a dynamic, passionate and knowledgeable speaker and presenter. HealthEast Hospice was privileged to have Mary speak to our hospice volunteers about the journey she and her family experienced as they faced the many challenges and blessings that were present during the decline and death of her parents. Her description of “thin places,” those divine moments that are present in many of our interactions, was particularly helpful to our hospice volunteers. Mary help us see the possibilities and wonderment of being present to the dying and of recognizing signs and signals that are more than “coincidental.”

Mary’s stories are poignant, tender, humorous and compassionate. I was most impressed with her “presence” before, during and after her presentation and I’m recalling a moment of grace that she shared with an audience member who was struggling with her own terminal illness. This woman was able to share a private recollection of a “thin place” and was very comforted by Mary’s genuine compassion, insight and understanding.
I highly recommend Mary as an outstanding presenter and gifted spiritual companion.

Mary Conway -Jast
Coordinator, Hospice Volunteer Services
HealthEast Care System