9 Aug 2011

Providing Mothers With Support

   In my experience I have found that if you gather a 100 "normal everyday" Catholics and ask them if they know anything of spiritual direction or what a spiritual directors does you will get, on a good day, maybe 2, 3, raising their hands.  This is quite sad because Spiritual Direction is one of the Church's most supportive ministry and for mothers it can do quite a lot to renew, recharge and rejuvenate her over tired spirit.

This is something very close to my heart because as a Catholic Mom I know how important it is for me to have support for my spiritual nature.  It is something I have spent my life receiving and giving.   My journey toward my calling begins as a Social Worker for the Catholic Social Service organization here in Lansing.  I was employed as a social worker who worked closely with families who were involved with the Family Courts.  These family were trapped in circles of abuse and domestic violence; the work was difficult and very rarely was there a satisfying end.   Often I wondered if what was at the root of the troubles were a deep spiritual wounding.  Of course it was not something that these families could use, their needs were far more basic: housing, safety, food; for anything so ethereal as their relationship with God.

But the experience did give me much to pray about, what was God calling me to do?  Knowing that many of my fellow moms were Catholic women who enjoyed gathering for spiritual support, I felt called to look at how can I bring together my social work, my love of the Church and my vocation of helping others that I found Spiritual Direction.

I was excited by my studies, loving the spirituality of Ignatius, of learning personal spiritual development, and how to be with someone on their journey and exploration of their relationship with God.  It struck me that this wonderful ministry could help Moms.  Mothering is difficult during the best of times and without the support of God it is almost impossible!  It truly is something that will bless mothers and something I hope moms will find.


  1. It would be wonderful and very healing if real Catholic mothers got interested in spiritual direction. It seems to me that there is a natural gift in mothers for this kind of thing, but it does need some nurturing or "training" because one of the big issues is the problem of feelings overruling faith, whereas feelings should by guided and formed by and through faith.

  2. Father John, thank you for your comment! I feel that a much bigger stumbling block is the fact that spiritual direction is not a "well known" ministry of the Church. Those who "get it" are very enthusiastic about it, but then they go and preach to the choir: their friends who also understand and receive direction.

    I feel there is a huge learning curve that must happen. Directors, such as myself, must teach the general public about direction. Retreat Centers, colleges, who are providing training in direction must do more to teach their students the "business" of direction: How to market, how to ask for payment, how to become a ministry-business.

    With out that many, many people who now have no idea what direction is and what it can do for you will then understand its benefits and beauty.

    To paraphrase Matthew 5:15 its time for Spiritual Directors/Spiritual Direction to stop keeping their light under a basket.


Augustine is not an Excuse

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.  -St.Augustine A few weeks back, the incorrigible Milo Yiannopolus posted  his side ...