Who can be your spiritual director?


#1

I understand that each person is encouraged to have a spiritual director while discerning a vocation (ie. priesthood, religious life, married life, single life etc). But the need for a spiritual director is especially essential for those discerning on their vocation to religious life.

However, who are spiritual directors? Do they have to be priests or religious brothers/sisters? Can lay Catholics be spiritual directors, as well, to those discerning their vocation?


#2

I don't know the answer to this and would also like to know though personally I think it depends on what you're inquiring about? If you wanted to consider the Priesthood I would want a Priest as a spiritual director, or if you're considering the religious life, maybe having a brother or a nun be your spiritual director? I'm sure someone who knows the answer to this will post soon but this is just my opinion.


#3

[quote="auderyja, post:1, topic:257000"]
I understand that each person is encouraged to have a spiritual director while discerning a vocation (ie. priesthood, religious life, married life, single life etc). But the need for a spiritual director is especially essential for those discerning on their vocation to religious life.

However, who are spiritual directors? Do they have to be priests or religious brothers/sisters? Can lay Catholics be spiritual directors, as well, to those discerning their vocation?

[/quote]

Greetings Auderyja,

I would say that the advice given by the last poster is good advice.

As I have posted many times in the short time that I have been a member here on Catholic Answers Forum I would recommend in getting a priest. However who ever one gets for the spiritual director my only counsel is that their spiritual director lives and believes ALL of the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

This is not to say that the Holy Spirit does not work through anyone else besides a priest, He does. However only the priest can stand In Persona Christi.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit


#4

Any properly trained Catholic COULD act as a spiritual director (parents for children, for example), but for true guidance it is preferable to ask someone who is trained to be a spiritual director, plus has the reputation of following the Magisterium.

In the Archdioce of Atlanta, we are blessed with the presence of a group of nuns who specialize in retreats and spiritual direction…even direction for deacons and priests of the Archdiocese. They are called “Cenacle” Sisters (that’s not the full name).

You can check out various locations at cenaclesisters.org/

Marvelous people!


#5

You can have multiple of spiritual directors. But if someone is going for religious life he or she should have a Nun or a friar/monk as their main spiritual director for reference into the community. If you are going for priesthood you should have a priest as your spiritual director, but also may use anyone else. But you still need to spend most of the time with the priest for direction, so he could be a reference for the Vocation director.


#6

Deacons can also make fabulous spiritual directors :slight_smile:

I second the advice to make sure whomever you choose is 100% faithful to the Magisterium. I know that we all have our struggles with different doctrinal points, but especially for younger/newer Catholics, I think it’s really important that a spiritual director keep a lid on any personal opinions in that vein.

IME, people who are and want to be faithful to the Church can articulate that and are not offended to be asked.


#7

[quote="EvelynEVF, post:6, topic:257000"]
Deacons can also make fabulous spiritual directors :)

I

[/quote]

Please be careful in the selection of either a deacon or lay person. Make SURE the person is trained at least in counseling. For many years, this was not part of the study program for the diaconate, and some deacons have been warned to avoid counseling in favor of sending folks to priestly counseling.

As in all "advice" matters, please check their "bona fides".

Peace.


#8

Very true. My spiritual director happens to be a counseling psychologist, and sometimes I take that for granted.


#9

[quote="auderyja, post:1, topic:257000"]
I understand that each person is encouraged to have a spiritual director while discerning a vocation (ie. priesthood, religious life, married life, single life etc). But the need for a spiritual director is especially essential for those discerning on their vocation to religious life.

However, who are spiritual directors? Do they have to be priests or religious brothers/sisters? Can lay Catholics be spiritual directors, as well, to those discerning their vocation?

[/quote]

:signofcross:Great question! I have been wondering about this myself.
Kathryn Ann:clapping::angel1::signofcross::harp:


#10

Almost all priests are qualified to be spiritual directors, and are preferable as such, because they can administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

That being said, Religious Order women and men may be trained to be spiritual directors, as well as Catholic lay people. Not all brothers, sisters nor Catholic lay people should be considered without some type of prior investigation. That is just being prudent with the care of your soul. Also, you may not "fit" with certain priests, since they sometimes have personalities which may be adversarial or critical.

Pick a trained person with whom you are comfortable with speaking of intimate feelings. Then stick with them for their continued advice and counsel.

Peace.


#11

[quote="JamestheOlder, post:10, topic:257000"]
Almost all priests are qualified to be spiritual directors, and are preferable as such, because they can administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

That being said, Religious Order women and men may be trained to be spiritual directors, as well as Catholic lay people. Not all brothers, sisters nor Catholic lay people should be considered without some type of prior investigation. That is just being prudent with the care of your soul. Also, you may not "fit" with certain priests, since they sometimes have personalities which may be adversarial or critical.

Pick a trained person with whom you are comfortable with speaking of intimate feelings. Then stick with them for their continued advice and counsel.

Peace.

[/quote]

I disagree that almost all priests are qualified to be spiritual directors. They receive maybe one or two courses on pastoral counseling in the seminary but that is so that they can give short term counsel to parishioners. Yes there may be those who are very gifted and don't need extra training, but those who really want to be spiritual directors often go on for continuing training. I know a lay person who went into training for spiriutal direction and there were a number of priests in her class.


#12

Thank you to all. The Holy Spirit through all of you has given me an answer. :slight_smile:


#13

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