Your guides

Catherine and Kees

Kees and Catherine in Amsterdam CloseCatherine Ann Lombard, M.A. is a psychosynthesis psychologist and has been counseling clients since 2008. Catherine is a published writer of non-fiction, including both popular personal essays and academic articles on psychosynthesis. You can learn more about her at Recently, Catherine’s blog A Communion with the Earth: Gardening and Gratitude was published by Krista Tippett’s On Being. Gandhi once said, “To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” Gardening can be a precise mirror for the soul. Read Catherine’s story of friendship, vigil, and tending and depending upon the Earth from the bucolic fields of the Italian countryside.

Dr. Kees den Biesen is a literary scholar, philosopher and theologian (the Dutch name ‘Kees’ is pronounced like ‘case’). Having specialized in early Christian literature, architectural theory and symbolic theology, he is fascinated by the interactions between art, intellect and religion. Kees has extensive experience in unlocking poetical lyrics for contemporary readers and has been leading Dante-reading groups for several years. As a patristic scholar, he wrote many studies of Ephrem the Syrian and currently teaches at the MA in Syriac Theology program of Salzburg University. Recently he published an Italian translation of the works of Hans van der Laan, the Benedictine monk who was his teacher in architectural theory and liturgical design.

Catherine and Kees met, fell in love, and married in Ireland almost twenty years ago. They spent six years in Italy renovating a 13th century home in Umbria while learning to search for mushrooms and prune olive trees. Together they enjoy leading groups to discover their authentic selves in the authentic heart of Italy. After eight years in Northern Europe, they have recently returned to live in a small Umbrian village, where their hearts have always longed to be.

Here you find a selection of their publications in English.

And here is some more information about Kees in Dutch.