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How Do You Find A Spiritual Director?

Originally posted by me on Association Of Catholic Women Bloggers

I receive emails about this all the time. It is the eternal question and a great question. The very short answer is that you can go to your local retreat centre and ask, but there are other ways of locating a director.

At many Catholic Retreat Centres they have programs which provide formation for spiritual direction.  There are a few Catholic Colleges and Universities which give very formal training for spiritual direction, through one a candidate can earn a masters and doctorate in spiritual direction.  Any of these should be willing to give you names and references for a spiritual director.

The "professional" journal of
Spiritual Directors International
I love these, filled with wonderful info!
Because spiritual direction is necessary during the formation of permanent deacons, priests, and lay ecclesiastical ministers, you can ask at those dioceses offices for their list of spiritual directors. If they do not have them for some reason, your parish priest could also be a resource for name of directors.

If you go to a parish mission, many parishes now are hiring spiritual directors to give their missions, you can ask the director for a list of references for directors he or she knows.

Now, many directors, such as myself, are branching out to the internet to offer our services and to provide people with an avenue for direction. There is Spiritual Direction International www.sdiworld.org/ which has a list of directors from all over the Untied States and internationally. You should be able to find someone in your area there. Of course spiritual directors are as varied as the women and men who are directors. You will find that many of us come from counseling backgrounds, or are religous: Pastors, Priests, Nuns, Rabbis, others come from the healing ministries, still others who felt God's call to this ministry.   

Spiritual directors and direction is no longer just Catholic, and those faith traditions will be clearly indicated on the SDI's website. And like anytime when you go to someone who will be journeying intimately with you, you should feel free to ask any question of them about their background, experience, expertise, faith and philosophy of direction. Any good director should be willing to address all your questions and not mind an "interview." I have a three session trial that I offer moms who come to me, that way they can see if we are a good "fit" or not. 

There is also the question of a fee. Many directors are trying to support themselves by doing direction so there will be a fee involved with a majority of directors. The range of fee is usually from 30 to 60 dollars an hour/session depending on years of experience and level of education. No director will ever turn anyone one away if they can not pay so many directors will offer a sliding scale. 

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets could be a potential way of finding a spiritual director, or getting the 411 about a director.  WiseAnne Annette Sherwood, SrAnnMarieS Ann Marie Slavin, PatTheNun Sister Pat, colleenspiro Colleen Spiro, Jeanwise Jeanwise are the spiritual directors I am following on Twitter.  Here is Spiritual Directors International's FaceBook page.

I hope this helps anyone who is interested in spiritual direction.  It is a wonderful ministry of the Church that has not gotten enough "press" and so seems like a HUGE best kept secret.  Maybe this will help change all that.



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