USML | Contact Us

Institute for Diaconal Studies

Contact Us

 Office Hours: Monday through Friday  8:00 A.M.— 4:00 P.M.

847.837.4563 for assistance

FAX: 847.837.4565


Deacon Bob Puhala - Director 847.837.4564

Ms. Anne Chrzan - Asssociate Director 847.970.4981

Rev. Bernard Kennedy, OFM - Director of Spiritual Formation 847.837.4562

Deacon Jim Cozzo Jr. - Administrative Assistant 847.837.4563


For inquiries regarding the Spanish language program: Ms. Nelly Lorenzo, Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral  847.837.4557


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

IDS Administration Profiles


Deacon Bob Puhala - Director  

Deacon Bob Puhala was appointed director of the Institute for Diaconal Studies (IDS) of the Archdiocese of Chicago by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. in 2005. He is a active member—and former member of the Board—of the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD) and was the thrice-elected representative of NADD’s Region VII, which encompasses 19 arch/dioceses in the Midwest. He also served as a Deacon Director Mentor for two Midwest archdioceses.

In addition, Deacon Puhala is an instructor for the archdiocese’s Ongoing Formation in Ministry program, teaching courses in the Four Pillars of Faith series on liturgy, sacraments, prayer, and the Nicene Creed. He also is an instructor for the archdiocese’s Catechetical Leadership program and is a presenter in the Pastoral Leadership series for newly-appointed pastors.

He offers lectures, presentations, retreats and days of reflection for parishes/staffs around the archdiocese as well as leading retreats at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat Center.

Upon ordination to the diaconate in 1998, Deacon. Puhala served as the Director of Religious Education for two parishes, resulting in nearly an 100 percent increase in enrollment at both parishes. He also was instrumental in facilitating the introduction of the Holy Mass in Spanish and Religious Education classes in Spanish.

Prior to ordination, Deacon. Puhala wrote a features column for the Chicago Sun-Times for 15 years. He is the author of 30 books; his latest, Guide for Deacons, was published in Fall 2011 by Liturgical Training Publications.

Deacon. Puhala held teaching and administrative positions at various universities. He was Assistant to the Graduate Director for Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism; taught undergraduate reporting classes at Medill; held the journalism chair at Lewis University, taught classes and created the department’s first internship program with local media; and taught undergraduate classes at the University of Illinois. At his local parish, he provided leadership in welcoming and helping Mexican immigrants assimilate to their new surroundings, taught English language classes, provided counseling in acquiring the necessary legal papers for residency, and helped find employment and living spaces. He also served on Joseph Cardinal Bernadin’s Lay Ministry Advisory Board.

Deacon. Puhala holds two Master’s Degrees, has completed some doctoral work, and is a member of the National Association of Diaconate Directors. He is married and blessed with two daughters, and lives on the North Shore.


Anne Chrzan - Associate Director

Anne Leblanc Chrzan has been Associate Director of the Institute for Diaconal Studies (IDS) for the past nine years.

In 1986, Anne moved to Chicago from Boynton Beach, Florida after spending one year teaching religion in Boca Raton, Florida. She taught at St. Mark the Evangelist in the Roseland Community and was quickly immersed in the plight of the poor communities on the Southside of Chicago. In order to better understand the drug affected area, Anne completed a Master degree in Drug and Alcohol Abuse from Governors State University in 1991 (certified alcoholism counselor). From 1993 to 2008, Anne worked as an on-call Hospital Chaplain at Centegra-McHenry, Good Shepherd in Barrington, Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. She completed two units of CPE at University of Chicago Hospital. 

From 1997-2001, Anne worked as the Director of Religious Education for St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s Parish in McHenry. From 1993-1997, Anne was a full time Religion Teacher at Carmel High School in Mundelein, where she taught Church History, Sacraments and Scripture. She also worked as the Campus Minister and directed Kairos retreats. She was employed as Pastoral Associate at the Newman Center at Northern Illinois for one year as she began her course studies towards a Master of Divinity degree from Loyola University (1998). Anne worked as the Youth and Young Adult Minister at St. James Parish from 1988-1992 where she lead the QUEST program for youth more than 600 youth and 60 adult couple volunteers. She was involved with the Theology on Tap program as a presenter throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago. It was during this time that Anne also served for three consecutive terms as a board member of Amate House, the young adult volunteer program in the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

Anne is the animator and shepherd of the IDS Women of Witness series which offers formation to all wives of aspirants and candidates and co-author of Among Us  - Young Adult Small Group Program (Series—Harcourt-Brace 1995). She also coordinates all IDS academic activities/contracts and formation program scheduling.

Anne is a member of the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD) and serves as Region VII Board Member. She continues to share her passion of the Church with whomever she meets. She has two children, ages 12 and 13 and lives with her husband, Jim, in Richmond, Illinois.

To see this video you need to upgrade to the latest HTML5 compatible browser or download Adobe Flash Player.