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- 1. What's the difference between spiritual direction and counseling?
Spiritual direction concentrates on your spiritual life and your connection with the sacred, whereas counseling focuses on therapeutic management of life's problems. Although God is very much present in all of life's circumstances, these two areas are pursued separately.
- 2. What's the difference between a program and a retreat at Marywood?
- 3. What is a retreat?
A retreat is a multiple day experience where you can expect to delve deeply into your relationship with God.
- 4. What is a program?
Marywood's programs are typically two to three hours in length and concentrate on a specific topic. Please visit our Programs page for more information.
- 5. What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction offers you the opportunity to experience God's action and presence in your life through the guidance of a spiritual director, whose ministry is one of listening and support. Our directors listen with openness as you come to know and name the sacred more clearly in your life.
- 6. What types of retreats are available at Marywood?
Marywood offers both private, directed retreats, and themed retreats.
In private, directed retreats, the retreatant is invited to participate in an personal reflective retreat, along with spiritual direction sessions.
Themed retreats are held in groups and although retreatants may request spiritual direction sessions, the emphasis is normally on the theme or subject of the retreat.
Examples of retreat themes may include:
- Listening to God, self and others
- Liturgical and sacramental life
- Justice, peace and goodness
- Franciscan values
- Approaches to spirituality and prayer
- Care of creation
- 7. What can I expect from a spiritual director?
You can expect to be part of a one-to-one relationship with a trained and certified person who listens without judgement and maintains complete confidentiality. You may be asked questions to help you go deeper or you may explore prayers, scripture, poetry, or anything you bring with you. Generally, you meet once a month for about an hour.
- 8. How do I know I could benefit from spiritual direction?
If you have asked questions like "Who am I?" or "What am I to do?" you have the curiosity and willingness to attend to your spiritual journey. If you are trying to discern God's will in your life you are ready for spiritual direction.
- 9. How long and how often are spiritual direction sessions?
Most often, regular one-hour meetings with a spiritual director occur once each month. The frequency of the sessions, however, will vary according to your circumstances.
- 10. What if I am not connecting with my spiritual director?
The relationship with your Spiritual Director is an important element on your journey. If you are not connecting with the Spiritual Director you have chosen, don't hesitate to ask for a change.
- 11. How much does it cost to have spiritual direction?
Typically, the suggested donation for a spiritual direction session ranges from $30 to $50 for a one-hour session. At Marywood, you will not be turned away if you are unable to afford the service.
- 12. How do I choose a spiritual director?
You will likely benefit most from working with a spiritual director who has a background, training and experience in spiritual direction, theology and spirituality. There are multiple programs Spiritual Directors have completed and obtained certification or degrees in that provide the tools needed to assist you with your spiritual needs.
- 13. How do I know I am ready for spiritual direction?
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you are ready.
- Do you desire to establish a deeper, more personal relationship with God?
- Do you desire to listen and respond to God?
- Are you willing to meet on a regular basis with a spiritual director to share your experiences?
- Are you willing to take the time to listen to your true self and to God?
- 14. How do I connect to my spiritual director for my sessions?
Spiritual directors are available for pre-scheduled sessions in person, by phone, or online.