About Me


The Short Version

After graduating from Marquette University in 1969 with a degree in theology and sociology, my professional ministry career began as a Director of Religious Education for a single parish in Kimberly, Wisconsin.

    After two years in that position I was hired as director of a five-parish religious education program for high school youth in my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. I guided that program for seven years, during which I was invited by Saint Mary’s Press (SMP) of Winona, Minnesota to publish the materials I had developed. That marked a major shift in my life and ministry career. 

    In 1978 Saint Mary’s Press invited me to join their staff. I accepted and moved my family to Winona. My role evolved to include writing, speaking, training, and consulting as a member of both the editorial and marketing teams. (To review my SMP publications, go to smp.org and search “Zanzig.”) I stayed with the company for twenty-five years, leaving in 2003 to start a new career in a new place, Madison, Wisconsin.

My Current Work & Path

During my last years at Saint Mary’s Press it became increasingly clear that my passion for adolescent ministry was waning (my advancing age may have had something to do with that). I felt more and more drawn to adult spirituality and faith formation and decided to devote my remaining energy and creativity to those ministry fields. My goal was to continue writing and speaking but now with a focus on adults.

    Over the last twenty years or more I have been developing a model for understanding the dynamics of the spiritual life. And in the last several years I have been refining my vision of adult faith formation and developing concrete strategies for implementing it. My intent is to continue writing and speaking in those areas.

    In recent years, as my own spiritual journey has unfolded, I’ve felt increasingly attracted to a more contemplative path. Gratefully, my community includes a Benedictine monastery. After a couple years of exploration, I decided to engage in the process of becoming a Benedictine oblate. I completed that process in April of 2013. I feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful opportunity almost literally in my backyard. So the great adventure of Christian discipleship continues for me.

    A line from Dag Hammarskjöld captures the attitude I seek to have toward life and sums up well how I feel about my personal and professional journey: “For all that has been-- THANKS! For all that will be-- YES!”


Just the Facts

  1.     Born in Appleton, WI in July 1946

  2.     Sixth child in a family of seven

  3. Raised Catholic and educated in Catholic schools from grade school through university                  

  4. Married in 1968

  5. Graduated from Marquette University in 1969 with a degree in theology and sociology

  6. Hired as a DRE at Holy Name Parish in Kimberly, WI

  7. Son, Adam, born in 1971. Daughter, Barb, born in 1975.

  8. In 1971 hired to direct a five-parish high school program. In 1975, Saint Mary’s Press started to publish it under the title, The Sharing Program.

  9. In 1978 hired by Saint Mary’s Press and moved to Winona, MN.

  10. Worked for 25 years as a writer, editor, and consultant in adolescent religious education

  11. Wrote two religion texts for Catholic high schools; served as managing editor and contributing author in developing religion curriculums for parish junior and senior high; wrote high school confirmation program

  12. In 1993 received a Master’s Degree in pastoral theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute, IN

  13. Divorced in 1997

  14. Moved to Madison, WI in 2002

  15. In 2003 left Saint Mary’s Press

  16. Married Peg Davey in 2004

  17. Started Zanzig & Associates in 2005.