Fr. Greg Cleveland

Fr. Greg Cleveland, OMV, is a native of Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in business administration. After working as a marketing manager for a Midwestern railroad company, he followed God’s call to priesthood in 1987, joined the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, and attended Our Lady of Grace Seminary and St. John’s School of Theology in Boston.

After completing an M.Div. in Theology and an M.A. in Spiritual Theology, he was ordained a priest in 1995. His first assignment was to St. Andrew’s parish in Avenel, New Jersey, where he worked especially with the poor, disabled and imprisoned. He obtained certification in spiritual direction from the Center for Spiritual Development in New York City, and returned to Boston to work seven years in seminary formation as rector and novice master.

Fr. Greg then served as executive director of the Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Denver, Colorado, where he offered spiritual direction and retreats while teaching training programs in these ministries. Currently, he is the Retreat Master at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat and Spirituality Center in Venice, Florida.

He is the author of Awakening Love: An Ignatian Retreat with the Song of Songs, Beholding Beauty: Mary and the Song of Songs, and Beloved Lover: The Priesthood in the Song of Songs.

The Book – Beloved Lover

Beloved Lover: The Priesthood in the Song of Songs

In the context of the mystical love poetry of the Song of Songs, Beloved Lover explores how the priest is the living image of Jesus Christ, the Spouse of the Church. The priest is called to spiritually live the spousal love of Christ toward the Church, his bride. The priest is empowered to love others with an ardor that is fresh, magnanimous, and vibrant because his life emanates this spousal nature as an example of Christ’s spousal love. The intriguing imagery of the Song of Songs demonstrates how the priest glows with the beauty of Christ, the Bridegroom, and perfects the beauty of Christ’s bride, the Church.

Lay men and women will gain insight into the life and spirituality of the priest and be inspired to live their own priesthood of the faithful more fervently.

“This book will refresh your heart. Beloved Lover inspires the reader to renew and deepen their relationship with Christ as the Bridegroom. Fr. Greg Cleveland invites his audience to engage Christ’s spousal love as he reflects on the Song of Songs, while weaving Scripture passages, quotes from the saints, and stories that illustrate God’s relentless love. Clergy will find insights for their personal prayer as Christ’s beloved, which will empower them to represent Jesus Christ more effectively in ministry. In fact, Beloved Lover offers every disciple an instructive theology with a beautiful narrative that invites us to embrace Christ’s love and to live more intentionally as a ‘beloved lover’ in the world.”

Most Rev. Steven Biegler, Bishop of Cheyenne

Features & Benefits

  • Insight into the nature of the priesthood and the experience of being a priest
  • Discover the spousal love of Christ for his Church
  • An excellent gift for the priests in your life

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The Book – Beholding Beauty

Grow closer to Mary by learning about her unique relationship with the Holy Trinity!

Mystics have often used the Song of Songs, a classic love poem in the Bible, to express their intense longing for God. In this captivating and original book, Father Gregory Cleveland, OMV, shows how the image of the Bride in the Song of Songs can help you to understand and grow in relationship with Mary the Mother of God. As you read about Mary’s mystical union with the Holy Trinity, you will also learn more about the beauty of your own call to grow in union with God!

“Read this substantial labor of love with an open heart. Ask Mary to reveal herself more fully to you. Implore her to impress upon your weary soul to realize through the Song of Songs, that God’s heart has a place that only I could fill.”

Sonja Corbitt, Bible Study Evangelista, Best-selling author, broadcaster, speaker and multi-media Bible study producer

Features & Benefits

  • Written by an experienced spiritual director
  • This book can be used to pray through the Song of Songs, as a spiritual reading, or as a personal retreat
  • Unique content of a fascinating subject

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The Book – Awakening Love

Awakening Love book cover

Discover God’s personal love for you through this Ignatian retreat with the Song of Songs! Ignatian spiritual director and priest Greg Cleveland, OMV draws the reader into a personal experience of Ignatian spirituality through embracing this often-ignored book of the Bible. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius have had a tremendous impact in the history of the Church, while the Song of Songs is the most sublime book of Scripture describing mystical union with God in prayer.

While both of those aspects of the book—Ignatian spirituality and the Song of Songs—may sound initially daunting, Fr. Cleveland makes them accessible, engaging, and ultimately very approachable.

You will emerge from the Spiritual Exercises more attuned to God’s presence and will in all the circumstances of your life. More conformed to Christ and his call, you’ll make better choices according to his values. The Exercises are geared to an apostolic life of the active person making choices to follow Christ in the Church and in the world.

Written following the format of a personal retreat, Awakening Love includes chapters tracing the themes of the Song of Songs as a very Christian prayer and meditation.

“Awakening Love brings us back to the core truth of all time: Jesus is the greatest good in our lives. Writing with insight, passion, and pastoral verve, Fr. Cleveland shows us how to respond to God’s gift with total self-giving that is both appropriate and supremely joyful.”

Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Editor-in-Chief, Magnificat

Features & Benefits

  • Demystifies the Song of Songs
  • Offers a way of making the Spiritual Exercises
  • Lectio divina: praying with scripture
  • Appeals to clergy, religious, and laypeople alike
  • Flexibility of reading and praying with it privately, or with the guidance of a director

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