On a sunny spring afternoon, Angela arrived at my office for her first spiritual- direction session. She was a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect, and was frankly a little embarrassed about her prayer life. An oncology nurse for many years, with three adult children and five grandchildren, Angela never felt she had enough time for prayer. At a retreat, she heard others talk about seeing a spiritual director, and it kindled a longing in her for that kind of support. Our initial session went well, and Angela decided to come again. After we had met monthly for more than a year, she reflected: “Spiritual direction is, for me, a place of safety and grace.
Liz Ellmann, executive director of Spiritual Directors International, reports an inspiring start to the United Kingdom Catholic Network for Retreats and Spirituality conference in Swanwick, England, titled, “Dancing on the Edges: Rediscovering our Spiritual Roots."
Keynoter and Spiritual Directors International member, Valerie Lesniak, PhD, (shown at far left with Tess Rynn, SND) introduced the theme of spiritual director as “dancing, rooted and living on the edge.”
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On the way to the spiritual direction conference in Swanwick, Spiritual Directors International executive director Liz Ellmann stopped to celebrate the tenth day of Christmas with Sr. Anne Attard, RSCJ and Sr. Christine Head, RSCJ at Blythe Road Hospitality House in London, England.
The deep ebony crèche figures at the base of the tree come from Zaire where Sr. Anne ministered for years. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)
Hospitality: The Heart of Spiritual Direction by Leslie A. Hay
In this latest addition to the Spiritual Directors International Series, professional spiritual directors and those in formation programs learn to extend traditional forms of hospitality by living out its deeper meaning as they explore ways in which the spirit of hospitality enriches the spiritual direction experience.
Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction announces its third annual juried poetry contest.
The grand prize winner will be awarded a $100.00 USD cash prize. Three runners up will receive $75.00 USD each. The top four selections will be published in the September, December, March, and June issues of Presence, respectively. A number of honorable mentions will also be selected for future publication.
Anyone may enter. However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow.