Sister Dr. Linda Soucek, SNDdeN recently sent us her update.
Thomas Merton characterized spiritual direction as “two beggars going out in search of food.” I have taken up the art of spiritual direction after my career as a clinical psychologist. I received my training at the Linwood Spiritual Center in Rhinebeck, NY. The center sits on the shores of the Hudson River near the town of Rhinebeck and is a beautiful setting for a retreat or learning about spiritual direction.
Conducted from May to November 2022, by a team of three, the training program had a unique timeline and was a mixture of in-person training and Zoom. The focus of the training was eclectic but had an emphasis on the writings of Carl Jung. Marist Brother Don Bissom, who is a Jungian expert and is nationally known for training spiritual directors, presented the principles of Jungian theory with clear and interesting presentations.
Kathy Donnelly, a Sister of St. Ursula and the director of the spirituality center, was a member of the training team. She contributed sessions on various types of prayer and led our daily morning and night prayers. Janet Corso, a laywoman who has been a spiritual director for many years, contributed her knowledge and experience to the group. She organized several practice sessions of supervision and consultation for the group.
There were twelve budding spiritual directors in our group, and what a diverse group it was! For example, I was the only woman religious. There was a young Marist novice among us. A Korean woman is the pastor of a Presbyterian church. A female deacon at the local Episcopalian church suddenly became in charge of all the liturgies and other aspects of her parish when her pastor died suddenly. One of the men is a member of Focolare. It was interesting to have the opportunity to understand better this movement in the Church. A student counselor at Vassar College wanted training in spiritual direction to help her facilitate better the students’ relationship with their loving God. We all completed our training in November 2022.
Spiritual direction is an art and a gift. I am eager to share this gift with others and round out my retirement activities.
Sister Dr. Linda Soucek, SNDdeN