Spiritual direction is the loving companionship that assists others on their life journey, helping each person to develop a closer relationship with God by discerning the action of the Holy Spirit in his or her life.
The Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence® School of Spiritual Direction – headquartered in Clearwater, Florida with a school branch also located in Houston, Texas – has established its Spiritual Direction Program in response to Christ’s call to personal holiness and the Church’s need for well-trained spiritual directors to assist God’s people on their spiritual journey. As a recognized institution of God’s vineyard approved by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida and in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, this program is designed to form and train candidates over a two year period through prayer, teachings, and supervision. The program exposes the student to the spiritual heritage of the Church and highlights the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius of Loyola.
THE CENACLE SCHOOL OF SPIRITUAL DIRECTION HAS BRANCHED OUT
We are delighted to congratulate the first graduating class from our Houston, TX Campus which opened in June 2015. The Houston campus will continue to accept students only for the June sessions. All the courses will be taught at the Clearwater campus and live-streamed to Houston.
The program aims to form Spiritual Companions to serve others on their journey to holiness. It is designed for Catholics who have a desire to develop and deepen their prayer and sacramental life, a desire to increase their knowledge of the Catholic faith, a desire to grow in the virtues, and a desire to help others do the same.
“Every Christian should experience the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and Christian Communities should become authentic schools of prayer.”
The Spiritual Direction Program consists of 3 two week sessions, each session a year apart. The sessions are offered each June in Clearwater, Fl and Houston, Tx; and repeated the following October and January, only in Clearwater, Fl. For example, a student entering in June would return in the following two Junes in order to complete the required three sessions. The same holds for a student entering either the October or January session.
The two-week schedule is very intense, with classes each weekday morning, afternoon, and evening, and also morning classes on the weekends. Since there are no required tests, exams or written papers, the intensity comes from the daily schedule of the classes, the personal prayer time, the sharing of prayer experiences, and the healing action of the Holy Spirit. Each student is required to pray an average of 2-3 hours each day on the assigned scripture passages and related graces, according to the suggested Ignatian guidelines for prayer. These personal prayer hours, along with the sharing of graces in small group circles, are the heart and foundation of the Cenacle program.
A distinctive feature of the Spiritual Direction Program is the healing that results from praying on Scripture and the sharing of those prayer experiences. Through the Ignatian model, the students experience extensive healing in their lives. This emotional and spiritual healing is absolutely necessary as God moves each participant into a deeper relationship with Himself. Healing helps the student attain a deeper self-knowledge, a more profound understanding of who God is, and become a more compassionate and attentive listener.
Along with the theology and academic courses, there is a specific focus on developing the skills and art of good listening and responding. This involves role playing, demonstrations, and assisting the potential spiritual director to be objective and respectful of the uniqueness of God’s action in each individual. In between sessions, the student is required to read and review the course bibliography, to participate in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and to complete a 16-week supervised practicum.
Catholic candidates must be in good standing with the Church. Members of other denominations can be considered for admission. All candidates are subject to approval by the Leadership and Advisory Council for admission and final certification.
Anyone interested in applying to the program, please visit our Registration Page http://www.marianservantshouston.org/school-of-spiritual-direction/registration-process/