The Sisters of Notre Dame find it a privilege to journey with persons seeking to grow in their spiritual lives.
Bethany Retreat Center - Chardon, Ohio
Lial Renewal Center - Whitehouse, Ohio
God Seeker - For those interested in discernment
Thinking about Spiritual Direction? Here are a few common questions that are asked:
What IS Spiritual Direction?
Who needs a Spiritual Director?
What happens when I meet with a Spiritual Director?
How do I get matched with a Spiritual Director?
Is there any cost?
Have your own questions? Looking for a Spiritual Director? Contact one of the Vocation Directors to start the conversation and to seek help in finding a Sister of Notre Dame near you who is a Spiritual Director. We also invite you to read the reflections of some of our Spiritual Directors, below.
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Kelley Rush, SND
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Mary Leanne Hubbard, SND
Even before I became a sister, I was a God-seeker, and I was fortunate to be mentored in the spiritual life by priests and faithful laypeople.
Eventually I found a spiritual director with whom I meet every month who has helped me well over 20 years to recognize God's presence and work in my life. Then I myself became a spiritual "director," such a misnomer, since it is rather GOD who directs this ministry. Many people seek a deeper connection with God, and greater clarity about meaning and direction in their lives. From my experience, it is helpful to have someone to listen to the Spirit's movements within, as these movements may be so subtle that we often do not trust what we hear as possibly coming from God.
Besides my regular ministry as a seminary professor and formator, I frequently meet individuals and small groups of people who would like to deepen their spiritual life and find direction in their lives. God, however, does not confine Godself to the realm of the "spirit." God uses every part of our lives: relationships, thoughts, work, our health, etc. Generally, I use two images to help others understand the ministry. Sometimes I feel like a marriage counselor with the individual and God in the room, both seeking to understand the other better, and I am the facilitator of the conversation. Sometimes I feel like a safari leader pointing out the wonders in the thickets, "did you notice that...oh, how lovely (or dangerous)."
The more I accompany others on the inner life, the more my life and relationship with the living God is enriched. This ministry of spiritual direction convinces me again and again that God is truly real, tangible, palpable....worth pursuing diligently.
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Dean Pfahler, SND
Ever since I got my first pair of glasses at age 12, I knew I had been missing way too much. Distinguishing one leaf from another on trees was just the first eye-opener.
From then on, life became one revelation after another. I didn’t want anything to elude me: not the intricacies of the natural world, the subtleties of relationships, the human experience captured in literature, nor the nuances of language. Middle-school students taught me - their teacher - to see. Myriad cultures in Papua New Guinea opened my eyes to a new respect for diversity. Far-sighted companions pointed out the spiritual path to compassionate living.
Later, mid-life studies invited me to probe the underlying movements of the Holy Spirit in dreams and spiritual direction. One insight led to another. Becoming a pastoral presence to adults, especially newcomers to faith and others in transition, allowed me to see God-in-action in sharper focus. Now as a spiritual director and campus mentor, I am privileged to witness the Holy One at work (and play) in the lives of seekers of all ages. What a gift and an awesome sight!
And yet here I am still sitting by the Jericho roadside with the blind Bartimaeus, calling out, “I want to see!” The Gracious Mystery among us has so much more to show us all.
Photo: Courtesy of Young Catholic Professionals Orange County
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Ruth Lubbers, SND
I needed to appear good. As time went on I came to realize I was missing so much of what God was doing and wanted to do in my life. I need to look differently at my life to recognize the many ways God was lovingly present. I always wanted to be a loving presence for others. I began to see how the two fit together – allowing God to be lovingly present and my, in turn, being that presence for others. I have been blessed with a couple of insightful and caring spiritual companions over the years who have helped me to grow in these capacities.
In my young adult and vocation ministries, I have continued to be and to help uncover the presence of God in Christ through spiritual companioning – walking with the other in discovering God’s voice, God’s footprints, God’s promptings. It is a humbling and holy endeavor to listen with another as to where God is present and where God is calling – not to do it right but to be fully alive in God’s love.