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Spiritual Directors

Maureen Barr


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"You find God in yourself and yourself in God" St. Teresa of Avila
Often we don't take time to pause and place ourselves within the Spirit and listen. In spiritual direction I assist a person to take time to explore, expand or reconnect with the spirit within and recognize God in their daily lives. I feel blessed to be witness to God working in each person's life. Before I took my spiritual direction training I was a teacher and principal. I have studied at Newman Theological College (BRE) and the University of Seattle (MRE) where I was able to explore my interest in theology, scripture, faith leadership, spiritual direction and spiritual practices. I also have background in Ignatian, Franciscan, Augustinian, and Buddhist meditation and prayer practices. My experience and training have especially prepared me to assist those who are: in time of transition, trying to find balance, doubting their faith, struggling to find meaning in life, or dealing with illness or grief.


Sr. Isabel Cid


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"Spiritual direction provides an 'address' on the house of your life so that you can be 'addressed' by God in prayer. When this happens, your life begins to be transformed in ways you hadn't planned or counted on, for God works in wonderful and surprising ways."
Henri Nouwen

As a Sister of Providence I believe in the loving presence of God attentive and active in the created universe. When I ponder my life the experience is that God Providence is there caring, giving, showing, creating, calling, inviting, inspiring, accompanying, preparing, being friendly, and providing everything.

In the process of spiritual direction, Providence gives us the Holy Spirit. The directee and the director receive in their hearts the graces to be attentive to God's presence, the "God of Life". The encounter becomes a sacred space. My part as director is to use the gifts that were given to me on purpose for this divine ministry, especially the gift of contemplative listening, the delicate sacred practice of prayer to detect beyond the words and the silence where and how the Holy Spirit is deeply at work in the directee.

Attentiveness to God's work is particularly important. Providence's call to the ministry of spiritual direction has been a long journey of graces with people. I have been enriched in encounters with persons who guided me and persons who asked for guidance. Other gifts are teaching skills, spiritual formation, and training to be a formation provider in my religious community, experiences in Ecclesial Base Communities, the practice of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and a variety of ways of praying, workshops on Spirituality of Creation, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Reiki, and others, completion of Presence Formation Program for the Ministry of Spiritual Direction in the Christian Tradition at PRC.

I can offer spiritual direction in English, French and Spanish.


Margaret B. Clark, D.Min.


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Without question the greatest joy and meaning I've experienced through my years ministry in parish and hospital settings has been listening to fellow travellers on "the road to find out". Whether standing alongside a family in health crisis as a hospital chaplain, fostering experiential learning as a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) supervisor, or sojourning sacred paths of prayer and discovery with a person in spiritual direction, there is always the opportunity to listen with both accrued skills and a disposition of open heartedness. I see prayer as a relationship between the Divine Other (whom I also call God) and the spiritual seeker. God loves us first, and keeps loving us no matter what. Learning to receive this divine love and open to its leading can be a life-long process. In serving through a ministry of spiritual direction, I see myself as one who witnesses the relationship evolving between the Divine Other and the spiritual seeker. In this concentrated listening I seek God's guidance and wisdom so that I may respond to the seeker with compassionate respect, suggesting spiritual resources from both my own Christian and Roman Catholic traditions and the wealth of spiritual wisdom found in diverse faiths. My spiritual formation and education for spiritual direction has occurred through Master's studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta, and doctoral studies at St. Stephen's College in Edmonton. I am certified as a Specialist in Spiritual and Religious Care as well as a Teaching Supervisor in CPE with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC/ACSS). Newly retired, I'm following a leading of spirit that brings me to a more intentional offering of spiritual direction as a way of continuing to serve through ministry.


Sherry Dahl, MASL


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With roots in the United Church of Canada and branches spread wide through ecumenical experience, I am comfortable accompanying seekers from all traditions and backgrounds. A graduate of the Presence Program of Providence Renewal Centre, I have been a spiritual director since 2002, and I hold a Master of Arts in Spirituality and Liturgy from St. Stephen’s College. Assured of confidentiality and non-judgment, freed from agendas and expectations, held in sacred space around us, between us and within us, you can freely share with me the questions closest to your heart and together we can attend to the eternal Love, Light and Wisdom of the Holy One woven into the particulars of your unique story. My spiritual direction work is enhanced by knowledge of the Enneagram, having been privileged to study at the Enneagram Institute of Stone Ridge, New York, with Don Riso and Russ Hudson, leaders in the field. As well, I have training in Systems Constellations, a profound healing modality inviting awareness as to issues arising from family of origin, even ancestors. Engagement with universal truths through numerous courses in energy work and exploration of Native spirituality with gifted teachers has deepened my Trinitarian faith and brought reverence for the interconnectedness of all of creation. Employment in the court system for over 30 years, rather than darkening my view of humanity, cultivated the capacity to tenderly receive all parts of your story with openness and compassion. To expand my capacity to journey with people in all stages of life, I also completed a certificate in grief support with Jane Symington of Taking Flight International and am currently undergoing training in end-of-life guidance. I am the mother of four grown children and grandmother of two.


 Nils Hahn

 
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I have been accompanying people since 2014, when I started my spiritual direction training in the Pacific Jubilee Program, which I completed in 2015. I am a member of Spiritual Directors International.

While my faith tradition is Christian - I grew up Lutheran, and my current congregational home is in the United Church - I consider myself broadly ecumenical: the Spirit blows where it will.

My being in this world is comprised of a variety of roles, which seem to wax and wane with the seasons of life through which we all travel. Structural engineering is my workaday service by which I earn my daily bread. In my church, I periodically facilitate small groups and provide occasional worship leadership. I am a son, brother, husband, and the father of two school-age children.

My own spiritual practices include regular scripture reading, poetry, art, journaling, prayer, silence, walking among trees or down back alleys, sipping tea while petting the cat, and mindfully washing the dishes. Music - making a joyful noise unto the Lord - is also an important part of my life.

It is from the basis of my training, tradition, callings, life experiences, and practices that I approach spiritual direction and create the spaciousness for you, the directee, to speak what you are needing to voice. I accompany primarily by deep, open listening and being attentive to what is shimmering and percolating in the moment and over time. Together we tune our hearts and ears to hearing whatsoever things are true within you. I guide by reflecting your words back to you and by occasionally asking gentle questions. Through this we seek to discern where God, the Divine, the essence of your own inner knowing and ground of being may be leading you.


Carmen Hopf


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Carmen is attentive to the risk and vulnerability involved in sharing what is truly meaningful as she invites you to share your sacred story with her whether you are beginning or continuing your own personal journey inward. That your story will be heard, that it will be honoured, and that it will be held in loving confidentiality is Carmen’s promise and her gentle invitation to spiritual direction.

Regardless of a person’s faith history, Carmen recognizes that the path to the truth within each one is a deep, revolutionary, revealing, and redeeming movement of grace. She has an appreciation for the privilege it is to have you choose to share your journey with her.

Carmen was raised in the French Catholic tradition and that, combined with her life experience and studies has contributed to her formation as a spiritual director.
“It’s my God, too, my Bible, my church,
My faith; it chose me.
But it does not make me “chosen”
in a way that would exclude others.
I hope it makes me eager to
Recognize the good,
And the holy,
Whenever I encounter it.”

                Kathleen Norris in ‘Amazing Grace’


Gertrude Mulholland, SCIC


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Someone once described the process of spiritual direction as "two persons - director/spiritual guide and directee/seeker - coming together to move in a spiritual direction." I believe that spiritual direction is a journey in faith, guided by the Holy Spirit. As a spiritual director, I feel privileged to be an active listener to how God is present and active in someone's life, leading, guiding, helping that person grow as they daily walk with God. My role is to reflect back what a person is saying so that they can hear with new ears and see with new eyes. My preparation for this ministry comes from studies in spirituality and spiritual direction, my teaching experience, and over 35 years in parish ministry and religious education in both eastern and western Canada. During this time I have served as a facilitator of retreats and workshops and as a spiritual guide for those seeking to grow in Christ. I hold a Master of Arts in Fundamental Spirituality and a Master of Education in Religious Education. I participated in the two-year Formation for Spiritual Direction program at Providence Renewal Centre (2000-2002), and have completed a Post-Masters Certificate in the Practice of Spirituality at Boston College in the Summer 2013.


Faith Nostbakken, PhD, MTS


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I believe life is both sacred story and sacred journey because God comes to us in the everyday, inviting and allowing us to see the holy in our own experiences. My role and privilege as a spiritual director is to help people discover their own sacred stories by listening with compassion and respect to what needs to be told so that it may be more fully and freely lived. I also believe that there is no landscape on our sacred journeys, whether of doubt or deep conviction, hope or the edges of despair, where God is not prepared to meet us; every interior landscape then becomes an opportunity for our faith and hope to broaden and deepen whether through joy or pain, grief or quiet contemplation. And so I encourage people seeking spiritual direction to “come as you are” and be open to the mystery of God’s transforming presence. Trained in spiritual direction at PRC, I also have a PhD in English Literature and a Master of Theological Studies degree with a focus on spirituality. I am a Lutheran with appreciation for the many denominations and expressions of faith, having worked for a number of years in the ecumenical community and offered spiritual direction to people from a broad range of traditions. Convinced that we are all creative beings, made in the image of the Creator, I am passionate about exploring various conventional and less familiar pathways to prayer, expressions of each person’s unique relationship with and reflection of the Creator. My personal passions also include rich conversation, poetry, photography, music, and dance.


 Elizabeth Poilievre, FCJ

 
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“Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny. . . . we are even called to share with God the work of creating the truth of our identity.” Thomas Merton.
As a Faithful Companion of Jesus I experience God’s deep, abiding presence calling, guiding, challenging me to discover more and more who I am in God. I believe we are co-creators with God, not only in what we do, but also in who we become. In spiritual direction I listen deeply and compassionately to gently explore prayer and the experiences that make up a person’s daily life, and/or the things that are hidden deep within. When these are brought to light it is possible for a person to live more fully into the truth of his/her identity before God. After many years in education I am now engaged in spiritual direction in a more full-time capacity. My formation in spiritual direction and retreat ministry is from Loyola House, Guelph, ON in 1997, and a MA in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University, Omaha, NE in 2006. I have also participated in the Returning to Spirit program which was developed to help people heal from residential school issues. I have seen how sharing the sacred ground of one’s story with another person in the presence of the Divine enables people to live into greater fullness of the person they can become.


Carol Sebastian

 
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Spiritual Direction/Accompaniment provides a sacred and confidential space in which one is invited to explore life questions and discover the blessings of divine relationship. Sharing questions and insights brings clarity. The people we meet and experiences we live are our teachers as we strive to become love. Mining the meaning of these encounters, we grow to see the Spirit at work in our lives. Born into Roman Catholicism, my spiritual exploration and expression is not limited by denomination. My faith has been enriched by people and resources from many traditions. I am married and a mother. I have worked in the corporate world, studied theology, participated in campus ministry, volunteered with seniors and trained as a spiritual director. Meditation, imaginative contemplation, lectio divina, centering prayer, music and nature fuel my growing awareness of life’s abundance. My conviction rests in an inclusive divine whose expression is always LOVE. I welcome inquiries from seekers of all ages and stages. Sessions are available in Sherwood Park and Edmonton.


Myrna Wilson


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Life is like a journey with many ups and downs, twists and turns that can take us to new places, people and events along the way. As we walk, our experiences vary and our needs change. I have discovered the value of moving from the periphery of the daily events into the deeper movements of the soul with the help of spiritual friends. This is where I’ve begun to discover the many treasures of the heart. The Holy Spirit is the guide who directs and leads us on to see God’s peace, purpose and presence unfold in the everyday fabric of life. I have been drawn from my life as a nurse of 15 years to search, grow and move into the place where God invites me to fuller life. Some of the passions and interests of my journey include being a wife and mother to four beautiful children, involvement in healing prayer ministries, worship, spiritual formation groups, and a love for outdoor recreation. I have taken the training for discernment and spiritual direction at PRC and have been involved in various retreats, leading reflections and private spiritual direction sessions. Currently I look forward to completeing a Masters of Theological Study at Taylor Seminary in spring 2014. My Christian heritage is from within the Christian Reformed Church where I am currently an active member in a local church. I respect and value the places where my path intersects with other Christian traditions and have been greatly blessed by the riches shared. Every relationship I have opportunity to be engaged with is treated with respect and openness while listening for God’s movement and creative ways of connecting and meeting each person where needed. My awe continues to grow at the way God meets every individual in the joys, sorrows, mundane and exciting events that awaken us to the sacredness of everyday life. This life is called into the fullness of Christ and reflects one of my favorite quotes, by Irenaeus “The glory of God is man (human beings) fully alive”.