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Catholic archdiocese training guidelines for spiritual directors

Guest Author: 


Reporting for the Clarion Herald in "Spiritual direction in archdiocese has important guidelines", Peter Finney, Jr. writes,

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has established training requirements for those interested in serving as spiritual directors within the archdiocese. The guidelines have been in effect for many years, said Archbishop Gregory Aymond, but they are being emphasized again because of the importance of the ministry in leading others to God.

"Spiritual direction is an ancient tradition in our church,” Archbishop Aymond said. “Those who serve in this ministry are given the privilege to guide others, to walk with others in the important journey of faith with Christ and in service to his people. It is important that spiritual directors are properly formed in order that they can lead people and serve them with genuine faith and integrity.”

Furthermore, spiritual directors are expected to:

complete an approved formation program that includes teaching on the meaning, theology and practice of spiritual direction; the theology and practice of  discernment; and what distinguishes spiritual direction from pastoral counseling, therapy, faith companioning and catechesis...



Spiritual Directors International publishes Guidelines for Ethical Conduct (in English and Spanish), which provides a framework for a healthy spiritual direction relationship. You may want to ask your prospective spiritual directors about their formation and training, on-going education, if they are in supervision for their ministry and if they abide by the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct.

Spiritual Directors International does not endorse or recommend particular spiritual directors. SDI is not a certifying body, but rather a global learning community that supports spiritual directors in their ministry with educational programs, publications, and contemplative practices.

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