Good Counsel was founded in 1985 by Christopher Bell and Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR to help homeless, pregnant women in dire need.
About Good Counsel’s Founders
Christopher Bell received the inspiration to create Good Counsel while working and living at Covenant House in Times Square, a ministry for homeless youth. Joining the Covenant House Community in 1979, where members prayed three hours a day and worked full-time for $10 a week, Christopher Bell encountered the dire need for homeless pregnant women. He turned to his spiritual advisor, Father Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan priest and psychologist, asking, “Why someone isn’t doing something about this?” Fr. Groeschel said he would help him. Together they founded what would be called Good Counsel, which started in a former convent in Hoboken, NJ on March 10, 1985.
Christopher Bell is the husband of the former Joan Andrews and a father of seven children, six of whom are adopted. He’s spoken extensively about this ministry to the media, to business groups, at churches and abroad. Christopher Bell studied Scripture in Rome and has a post-master’s degree in family counseling, from Iona College, an MA in Religious Education and Counseling from St. Joseph’s Seminary, and a B.S. from the University of Bridgeport in Journalism-Communications and International Relations.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, is a Roman Catholic priest, a retreat master, author, psychologist. Father is now retired after three decades on international television. His last program was hosting, “Sunday Night Live with Father Benedict Groeschel”, which was broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He was also the founder and director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York as well as founder and director of Trinity Retreat. Additionally, he founded a home for young men, St. Francis House, which continues to this day. He was a professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York and an adjunct professor at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia. He is one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of Renewal, two religious orders. His involvements with Catholic renewal in the United States are too numerous to mention.
Fr. Groeschel is the founding Chairman of the Good Counsel Board of Directors.
Leonard Crann, Board Secretary
Rev. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, Chairman
Rev. Marius Koch, CFR
Thomas Kolenberg, KM
J. Anthony SanFilippo, MD
Peter Shea, Nominating Committee Chairman
Vincent Stempel, Jr., Esq.
Mark Swartzberg, Vice Chairman, Secretary
John Ginty, Attorney-of-Counsel