What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of that relationship.” -William A. Barry and William J. Connolly,  “The Practice of Spiritual Direction.”

Spiritual Direction is not…

  • Counseling
  • Pastoral care
  • Problem-solving
  • A substitute for participation in the life of a community of faith

Spiritual Direction can help you

  • If you find yourself wanting a deeper relationship with God
  • If you want to explore new ways to pray or if prayer has become difficult
  • If you desire a companion on the spiritual journey
  • If you feel the need for someone to help in prayerfully discerning a call of God for you.

What happens during Spiritual Direction?

A spiritual director will ask reflective questions and listen. Since we believe that God communicates through prayer and ordinary human experience, you will be encouraged to pay attention to your experience so as to notice God’s nudges, invitations, challenges, and confirmations. Spiritual direction is a time for reverencing and savoring your experiences of God in your everyday life as well as an opportunity to wonder about God’s seeming absence in your life. Sessions typically take place monthly and last fifty minutes to an hour.

Who is available for Spiritual Direction in the parish and how do I find out more?

Spiritual direction is a trained ministry, most commonly requiring three years in a certified training program. Some spiritual directors are also ordained, but that is not a requirement. Please feel free to discuss your spiritual needs with our pastor, Fr. John Baker, or any of the priests serving here at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea; however, for those of you seeking ongoing spiritual support, you might want to consider meeting with one of the other trained spiritual directors listed below to discuss your needs.

Brenda Callahan: Brenda has been a parishioner here at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea for more than fifteen years. She has been actively involved in parish ministry since she first arrived and she is currently our Director of Adult Faith Formation. Brenda received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Audire: The Central Florida Center for Spiritual Direction located in Orlando and her Master of Arts degree in Church Ministry (with a major in Spirituality) at St. Mary’s Seminary located in Baltimore. She has been providing spiritual direction since 2011 and has a deep desire to companion others on their spiritual journey.

You can contact Brenda directly at (410) 703 8211 or you can email her at bcallahan@stmarykeywest.com.

If you are willing to travel to Miami or beyond to meet with a Spiritual Director, please consider consulting Spiritual Directors International.

Are there any retreat houses located near me?

The closest retreat houses, with spiritual direction available, are located in Miami. To locate those retreat houses, or to find another retreat house located anywhere in the world, please consider consulting Spiritual Directors International.