Seeking and finding God in all of life's circumstances
Did you know that we offer Spiritual Direction at St. Thomas More? Karen Schwaner Sheehy is an Ignatian Trained and Certified Spiritual Director. She joined our staff in July of 2023 as the Coordinator of Spiritual Direction and Scripture Studies. You can read more about Karen below, as well as, view her contact information below.
Spiritual direction helps you:
- Develop a closer relationship with God
- Become more aware of where God is in your life
- Share, explore, and identify your spiritual difficulties and blessings
- Discern the will of God for your life, vocation, and ministry work
- Further develop and broaden your prayer life
- Identify and spiritually detach from those behaviors or thought processes that draw you away from the peace of Christ
What is spiritual direction? All relationships develop as two persons pay attention to each other. Spiritual direction seeks to enable a person to be more attentive to God. It is a conversation in which the Spiritual Director helps the person seeking spiritual direction, the "directee," to grow in his/her relationship with God, by noticing how God is revealed through the unique circumstances of their everyday life and prayer. The focus of a spiritual session is on enabling the directee to notice and respond to the presence of God in all of life. It is as simple and as profound as that!
Why would one seek spiritual direction? Sometimes, facing a life choice, or being in the midst of a crisis can lead someone to spiritual direction. At times, a deep desire for "more" draws a person to seek spiritual direction, to find out what that "more" is.
Who is spiritual direction for? Spiritual direction is for those who desire to live their life conscious of God's presence. It's for those who desire to discern God's will; and for those who are seeking to know, love, and serve God.
What happens during a spiritual direction session? During a session, the Spiritual Director helps the directee (participant) talk about their experience of God--in prayer and in life. For ongoing individual direction, directees meet once a month with their director. During their session, the director helps the directee speak about their prayer life and what they notice about the movement of the Holy Spirit in their life. At times, a person may want to do other types of spiritual direction experiences, like retreats or days of prayer and reflection. For these, the director will adapt prayer experiences that address their individual needs.
What should I look for in a Spiritual Director? A director is a "person of faith," who has been trained to help others notice and respond to the presence of God in all of life; so, you would want to be able to recognize the person you choose as your Spiritual Director as a "person of faith." And, since the focus of spiritual direction is on the person seeking direction and their personal relationship with God, you want a director who is a good listener--one who is willing to "stay out of God's way," helping you pay attention to what draws you toward God, as well as what moves you away from God. Of course, it isn't possible to know all of this about a person before you meet. But, after meeting together, you will know if you want to ask that person to be your spiritual director.
Is there a fee for spiritual direction? As a St. Thomas More employee, Karen never requires a fee. Money should never keep anyone from spiritual direction. That said, some people do give a gratitude donation to St. Thomas More in support of the ministry. Retreats, days of prayer and reflection, and other types of prayer are discussed on an individual basis.
Karen Schwaner Sheehy: Wife, mother, devoted Catholic, certified Spiritual Director, motivational speaker, published author, and lover of the Lord. Karen enjoys finding God in all things, including hiking, working with her spiritual directees, facilitating Bible study classes, leading retreats and women’s spirituality classes, working here at St. Thomas More, and spending time with friends and family.
- Master of Theology from the University of Holy Cross in New Orleans, LA (Dec. 2019)
- Ignatian Trained and Certified Spiritual Director from the 2-year Internship at the Archdiocesan of New Orleans, LA (May 2020).
- Retreat director combining spirituality, catechesis, praying with Sacred Scripture, individual reflection, journaling, and faith sharing.
- Evangelist, public speaker, and published author.
Direct Office Line: 725-204-7319 | Email Address: [email protected]