Speaking Topics

Debra has been presenting to a wide range of audiences, since the inception of the ministry in 2005. Sharing her personal conversion story, her vocation of being a wife and a mother while raising her family, decades of silent retreats at a monastery, along with her years as a therapist and her study of theological aesthetic she incorporates both her healing journey and her studies for a unique presentation for her audience.

Contact Debra for availability and pricing for your group today. Presentation topic can be specifically and uniquely tailored to your group.

Email: dcmuteswan@gmail.com (best option for contact)

Text or call: 216.832.4445

Violence and Forgiveness Today - ”Violence begets violence” unless it is met with healing and forgiveness. How do we get there after violence? Debra shares her own experience of violence, PTSD and the brain, and neurotheology (the study of neuroscience and religion) and the hope of our healing in our violent world today. Personal story, PTSD with clients and in our culture, and speaking inside prisons have given Debra a unique insight she is passionate to share, offering hope and healing. Studies and research on this topic over three decades. The talk can be geared to a secular audience seeking spiritual answers through non-religious practices, or sharing specific to Christian and Catholic audiences, sharing the Passion of Christ’s violent death and divine forgiveness (Scripture and theology).

Lenten Mission Talks. Series of 3 evenings with question and answer after.

The Beauty of Christ - Thesis and symposium at St. Mary Seminary in 2008. Russian novelist, Fydor Dostoyevsky wrote, “Beauty will save the world” after knowing suffering through poverty, violence and loss. Yet these experiences became the genesis of his work and his faith. God’s Divine love on the Cross, is a gift of unspeakable beauty for our personal salvation and it is this Beauty in Christ’s life that is explored through scripture and theological aesthetics.

Lenten Mission Talks, series of 3 talks building on the exploration of the Beauty of Christ. Question and answer after.

Borrowed Light - One of the components of Beauty is light (splendor, radiance, glory) and God’s presence is described in Scripture as Light. Through the study of theological aesthetics, counseling background, and the writings of theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (and saints), Debra shares both her experiences of God’s Beauty in her life, her study of theology and the epidemic of emotional darkness in our culture seen in depression, suicide, and loss of hope. Borrowed light is God’s beauty, not the acquisition of light gained through the striving of our ego and our hope in God’s light in our world today.

What is Beauty? Cultural and Spiritual Beauty - In a culture that worships youthful beauty and spends billions/per year on maintaining it, what is beauty? An exploration of physical beauty, philosophical beauty, and beauty of the soul, and healing through wholeness; an integration of physical, emotional and spiritual beauty. An exploration of the myriad ways beauty’s attraction influences our lives, from sexual attraction, the way we spend money, the way we view aging, the plastic surgery industry, to our entertainment and self- worth, and the ways in which we seek beauty throughout the lifespan.


Workshops and Retreats

Art Journaling Workshops - based on Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and decades of art therapy and keeping my own art journals, an interactive journal making retreat for artists and non-artists alike. No artistic talent necessary.

Pricing to be determined and includes journal and art supplies

Contemplative Silence - the healing of silence and ‘unplugging’ in an increasingly intrusive world of busyness and social media, come and learn to “be still.” Retreat based on Debra’s twenty years of entering a week of silence and solitude at the Trappist monastery, the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. The Abbey was the home of famous author, convert and writer of the 20th century, Thomas Merton and includes the study of Merton’s writings.

Pricing to be determined and will include retreat journal, priced according to day(s)

Myers/Briggs Personality Profile Dynamics in the workplace and relationships. The MBTI Personality types and exploration of the 16 types and their influence in your life.

Pricing to be determined and may include administration and scoring of MBTI.


Experience

Speaking, Workshops, and Retreats

"Cultural and Spiritual Beauty“ - Can we embrace both in our culture? Presentations in schools, colleges, retreats. (Our Lady of Elms retreat, Akron, Ohio. U.C. Berkeley G.T.U., Berkeley, California. Christ Child, Cleveland. Ohio. Cleveland Chapter of Civic Club. Cleveland. Ohio).

"Violence and Forgiveness" - Is Forgiveness possible after Violence? (Sing Sing Prison, Ossining, New York. San Quentin, San Rafael, California. Gesu Parish Prison Ministry, University Hts., Ohio. Theology on Tap, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

"Hope and Healing" - How do we find hope in the midst of suffering? Presentations to the sick and their caregivers, cancer patients and healthcare professionals (Southpointe Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Health Care System. Cleveland, Ohio).

"Beauty in our Brokenness" - How can beauty lead us to God? (St. Ladislaus, Westlake, Ohio. St. Rita's. Solon. Ohio. Ohio. T.O.R. Franciscan Sisters, Toronto, Ohio. St. Francis. Bakersfield, California (booking).

"Shining Like the Sun" - How do we learn to love like Jesus? Mother Teresa and Thomas Merton discovered God's radiance in 'other'. How can we do the same? (Bethany Springs Retreat House, Trappist. Kentucky. The Labyrinth Retreat Center. Macedonia. Ohio).

"The Mystery of Family" -Years as a marriage therapist, raising her own family, her 40 year marriage, along with the joys of being a Grandmother, Debra shares her joys and her struggles in her calling to family life, offering hope in our scriptural and sacramental encouragement to marriage. (St. Joan of Arc. Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Holy Angels (Women at the Well), Chagrin Falls, Ohio).


Compositions

Books, Articles, Etc.

"Into the Ocean" (Halo Publishing International. San Antonio, Texas. 2017). A children's book on seven sea creatures that live in the ocean of God's love, each representing the seven cardinal sin. The creatures discover the ocean of God's love, despite their selfishness.

"Of Things Visible and Invisible" by Syida Long. (San Francisco. California 2014). Illustrated by Debra, a book of poetry.

"Reflections of Beauty; St. Wendelin". (Watt Printers. Cleveland. Ohio. 2010). Reflections on the faith, memories and hope of a parish built by Slovakian immigrants in 1903.

“40 Day Lenten Retreat" and “Exploring Beauty; A Merton Retreat” (Self published retreat books, art and writing). A guided retreat with Scripture and original art for the spiritual journey through the Lenten season.

"Terrible Beauty" Article. "Spirit and Life" Benedictine Magazine. 2013. Available online in the archives of Spirit and Life Magazine. May 2013.

"God's Moments" Monthly Column in the Spirit of Bainbridge. 1992-1997. Articles combining stories from family life, therapy and faith.


Thesis

"The Beauty of Christ" (Research Paper for the Master of Arts Symposium, for the M. A. in Theology. St. Mary Seminary. May. 2008). The study of Christ through theological aesthetics: form, radiance, wholeness & harmony. Research on scripture, the saints and mystics and Von Balthasar's aesthetics.


Art

Self taught artist, working primarily in watercolor and acrylics.

Watercolors and sketches of the Blessed Mother designed for centerpieces of all jewelry for "Artistic Rosary Designs" : www.artisticrosarydesigns.com (2019).

Twenty paintings designed for "Holy Rosary Church" in Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio. All twenty mysteries of the rosary. (2018).

Acrylic 24 x 36" painting and print for Chapel at Sing Sing Prison and San Quentin Prison. Also book cover, "Refuge in Hell: Finding God in Prison" (Orbis Publishers, 2018)

Watercolor paintings and calligraphy for the book, "Into the Ocean". (2017).

Black and white drawings for the book, "Of Things Invisible and Visible". (2014).

Watercolor images for prayer cards for Hospital Chaplains and Prisoners. (2009-present).

Acrylic of "The Beauty of Christ" at St. Mary Seminary. (2008).

Fifty original pieces designed for the "Hope and Healing" prayer cards for the Cleveland Clinic. (2007).

Calligraphy and watercolor Wedding Invitations. (2010, 2016, 2017, 2018).

Calligraphy and watercolor Memorial Prayer Cards (2017-present).


Education

Kent State University, Kent, OH — B.A. in General Studies

John Carroll University, University Heights, OH — M.A. in Counseling

St. Mary’s Graduate School of Theology, Wickliffe, OH — M.A. in Theology