Spiritual Director at Loyola Spirituality Center
When I entered the Spiritual Direction program at St. Kate’s, I was a single mom of a child with special needs and I had a fulltime job at a busy, low-paying nonprofit organization. It was a little crazy of me to think it was a good idea to find a sitter and then race from work to that first night class in June 2011. Yet that first class, and each of the Spiritual Direction classes and experiences that followed, ended up being exactly what I needed to become a better parent, to live more in line with my own values and gifts, and to meaningfully enter the next phase of my life.
In the introduction class, we were assigned to read the words of Etty Hillesum — for me, it was like the heavens opened up and revealed the secret of the Universe. The studies that followed — including Ignatius’ Rules of Discernment, Jungian work on the “shadow,” Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle — continued to expand my capacity for compassion, both for myself and others. This St. Kate’s program also taught me to be more deeply present for others and equipped me for the challenge of accompanying a close friend throughout her hospice and dying experience.
I am grateful to be working as a spiritual director, but I am even more grateful to be living with an expanded capacity for compassion and deep presence.