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Old Jun 26, '13, 11:40 am
LPS LPS is offline
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Join Date: September 12, 2010
Posts: 490
Religion: Catholic
Default Interviewing a spiritual director?

I am interested in finding a spiritual director, so I started by contacting the diocese and asking for a list of people in my area.

They replied quickly with a list of about six people. I don't know any of the people on the list or anything about them - how do I start narrowing it down to find one? Do I "interview" them? If so, what would I ask? I'm really not certain what to expect from a spiritual director, so I don't really know what questions to ask.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Oh ... I don't know if this is important or not... I'm a 53-yr-old cradle Catholic who feels SO BLESSED for all that the Holy Spirit has taught me in such personal ways. I just feel like I am at a point where some direction and accountability would be good for me.

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Old Jun 26, '13, 12:34 pm
Michael Mayo's Avatar
Michael Mayo Michael Mayo is offline
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Join Date: March 7, 2012
Posts: 4,703
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Interviewing a spiritual director?

Here are some questions that SDI recommends you ask each person you choose to interview as you seek a spiritual director:

1. What enrichment, spiritual formation, and theological education do you have in spiritual direction?

2. What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation, and contemplative life?

3. What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments? What are you most interested in spiritually?

4. How do you continue your education and supervision for your spiritual direction ministry?

5. What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International? Have you ever been accused or convicted of misconduct?

6. What type of engagement agreement will we establish to clarify roles and responsibilities in our spiritual direction relationship, such as samples provided to members of Spiritual Directors International?

- See more at:

“Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love,
yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you.
I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”.
- Pope Francis

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Old Jun 26, '13, 12:36 pm
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Join Date: April 19, 2007
Posts: 6,010
Religion: Catholic, Obl.OSB
Default Re: Interviewing a spiritual director?

Hmmm...interesting question. I'm trying to think what I would want to ask someone if I were looking for a new spiritual director.

I think part of the question is why you are seeking spiritual direction. If you are discerning a vocation then you would want to ask questions related to that and those questions would be different from someone trying to deepen his/her prayer life. I'm afraid my reason for wanting a director is more general -- I want to be a better disciple and have a deeper relationship with the Lord -- so it's hard to say what questions might clarify whether someone is right for me or not.

If you have a particular spirituality you might want to ask about that. Though I have to say that it's not something that applies to my director. I'm a Benedictine Oblate and he has no relationship to the Benedictines. When something comes up related to this -- "well, in the Rule St. Benedict says blah, blah, blah" -- he'll just ask me to explain or clarify anything he doesn't understand. So he wouldn't interpret the Rule for me but he helps me figure out any issues I may have with it.

I can think of qualities I would be looking for in a director but I'm not sure how to interview for them. I want someone who is holy and wise, someone who is clear that this is my relationship with God not his/hers (in other words, help me on my journey, don't try to turn me into a clone of yourself), someone who knows when I need support and when I need to be challenged, someone who seems to understand what I am trying to say even when I'm not totally clear about it myself, and just in general someone who can help me see where the Holy Spirit is working in my life.

This is rambling and probably doesn't help. I hope you find a wonderful director. Mine has been the greatest gift in my life!
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Old Jun 26, '13, 1:52 pm
L Marshall L Marshall is offline
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Join Date: October 12, 2009
Posts: 825
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Interviewing a spiritual director?

I've usually seen Spiritual Directors interviewed before beginning direction. One priest I know, who was previously on the faculty of a seminary, said it was even required in some cases.

It's all about making sure the Director is a good fit.
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Old Jun 26, '13, 2:03 pm
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Ad Orientem Ad Orientem is offline
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Join Date: February 22, 2013
Posts: 2,492
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Interviewing a spiritual director?

St. Francis de Sales and St. Teresa of Avila say we should look for charity, learning, and prudence.

It's okay to "try out" a spiritual director for awhile and then change directors if it's not working -- but don't let this become an excuse to avoid being challenged.

For more on this, see Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, Three Ages, Part 1, Ch. 17, under the heading "The Qualities of the Director and the Duties of the One Being Directed."
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Old Jun 27, '13, 2:01 pm
Lifeisawesome Lifeisawesome is offline
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Join Date: May 30, 2005
Posts: 465
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Interviewing a spiritual director?

Dear LPS: Glad to hear you are seeking out a director. The SDI questions are fine but as you can see they offer no concern for whether or not the director is prepared to provide you with the truth from the heart of the magisterium of the Church. The book Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God has an entire section on how to find and interview a spiritual director - with particular emphasis on their faithfulness to the source of truth and life that you seek!
Catholic Spiritual Direction - Blogdeeper in the Spiritual Life... Prayer - Meditation - Contemplation - Magisterium Faithful
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