Enneagram: Antidote to Obsession

July 21st, 2004Fr. Thomas J. Holahan, CSPHost: Laurie Branch

About the Presentation

A whole world of possibilities opens when we uncover and acknowledge the core obsession of our life. The Sufi-inspired Enneagram is a way of doing this. It is also a means to creatively develop other areas of the self that can balance or counter the obsessional pattern. Finally, in doing the inner work necessary, the individual becomes better able to understand and accept the flawed behavior of others.

About the Presenter

“About 15 years ago I took a 5 day seminar with Helen Palmer at the Omega Institute. I was immediately won over not just to its value in spiritual direction, but also in dealing the the “bad habits” of others. I’ve sometimes invited the person seeking guidance to be open to the Enneagram model, but sometimes I’ve made assumptions about them based on what position I think they are. The Enneagram presumes the world is tragically flawed, yet also understands that only the truth can set you free.”


M.A. (Communications Management) The Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Dec. 1982.

Ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood (Paulist Fathers). May 1977.

M.A. (Theology) The Catholic University of America. May 1976.

Certificate, New York University Film School (16mm film production). Summer 1974.

B.A. (Philosophy) Manhattan College, Bronx, New York May 1972.


1997 – present ASSOCIATE PASTOR, St. Thomas Aquinas Univ. Parish, Boulder
Provide pastoral services to students, faculty and staff of the University of Colorado as well as non-University parishioners.

1996 –1997 CHAPLAIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Provided pastoral services to students, faculty and staff.

1985 – 1996 DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, Diocese of Columbus
Supervised diocesan newspaper, public relations and media production. Provided public relations counsel to diocesan administration. Also served as a pastoral associate during this time in Chillicothe and Circleville, Ohio.

1983 – 1985 DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, Diocese of Austin
Established the first diocesan newspaper and supervised electronic communications. Also served as pastoral associate to the Lakeway Community in Austin.

1981 – 1983 DEVELOPMENT DIR., Ctr for Communications Ministry, Los Angles Targeted foundations and assisted in writing grant proposals. The Center conducted seminars in organizational communications for religious groups throughout the U.S. Also served as pastoral associate to the Catholic Community at U.C.L.A.

1979 – 1981 CREATIVE CONSULTANT, Paulist Productions, Los Angeles
Collaborated on the development of television scripts for adult and teenage audiences. Also served as pastoral associate to the Catholic Community at U.C.L.A

1976 – 1979 ASSOCIATE PASTOR, University of California at Berkeley
Provided pastoral services to students, faculty and staff as well as non-University parishioners.


The Complete Parish Communications Handbook: A “How To” Manual for All Churches by Margaret R Phinn Donaldson – collaborated with the author on the concept and wrote a section on cable access (May 1987)

Presentation: “The Pastoral Care Giver as Communicator” given at Holzer Medical Center, Gallipolis, Ohio (February 1989)

Presentation: “Transformational Spirituality in the Workplace” given at the Shrine Center for Renewal to the Thomas More Law Society, Columbus, Ohio (October 1991)

Participant: “Faith and Work in Cyberspace”, an email ongoing discussion hosted by Gregory Pierce (started 1999)

Additional Resources

Fr. Thomas J. Holahan, CSP
904 14th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
work: 303 443-8383 x27
home: 303 443-8383 x32
[email protected]




The Enneagram: A Journey of Self Discovery, Maria Beesing, Robert Nogosek and Patrick O’Leary. Dimension Books (1984)

The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life, Helen palmer. HarperCollins (1991)

The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding your Intimate and Business Relationships, Helen Palmer. HarperCollins (1995)

The Enneagram Advantage: Putting the 9 Personality Types to Work in the Office, Helen Palmer and Paul B. Brown. Harmony Books (1998)

Discovering the Enneagram: An Ancient Tool for a New Spiritual Journey, Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert. Crossroad (1990)

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