Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?

The term can be off-putting, with thoughts that someone is telling you what to do. Maybe accompaniment or companionship might better but in any case, a Spiritual Director is some-one you can meet on a regular basis to talk about your spiritual journey. It is allowing someone to come alongside you and share your experiences, difficulties and joys.

It has been defined as ‘help given by one Christian to another, which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her.’ The director is non-judgemental and independent, and meetings are confidential. The emphasis is on listening and supporting in an atmosphere of concern and respect for the other person.  It is not a counselling relationship although inevitably problems may be discussed.

The experiences where we meet God as the basis for discussion in Spiritual Direction and the conversation is a three way process involving director, directee and the Holy Spirit.

The directee and director agreed a contract for meetings. Usually they will have a couple of meetings initially to see if both feel they can work together.

Several people in the Diocese had completed training in Spiritual Direction in Drumalis, Larne. This has been run by the University of Maynooth and the Manresa Jesuit Centre of Spirituality. They are now willing to offer this service in the Diocese. 

We are conscious that others have been offering Spiritual Direction for some years and in fact some of us have attended Church of Ireland Directors in the Diocese. We do not seek to take over this ministry but to augment it and would hope to build close working relationships with established directors.

Jeni McAughey

Jeni McAughey – Spiritual Director

I am a retired GP, having working in a North Belfast practice for almost 35 years. I have also been involved in the Royal College of GPs in Northern Ireland as chair from 2004-7. I am a divorced mother of two grown up sons.

I was raised in the evangelical wing of the Church of Ireland but in recent years have felt more at home with contemplative spirituality and in the Celtic tradition. I am a member of the Third Order of the Society of St Frances, an Anglican lay order so I have a strong interest in ecology and green issues. I have completed Spiritual Direction in Drumalis, run by Manresa and the Jesuits, so this followed the teaching of St Ignatius. 

I live in Whitehead and can see people in my home or in the local church hall. As I am retired, I can be fairly flexible about times. 

I can be contacted by email at jmmcaughey@doctors.org.uk

Jean Gascoigne – Spiritual Director

If you are interested in exploring or deepening your personal faith journey and seeking a companion to travel with, then please do get in touch. I offer Spiritual Direction from my studio in Carrickfergus, a quiet and prayerful location, surrounded by a beautiful private garden. Alternatively I can meet in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

As an Art Psychotherapist and Jungian Sandplay Therapist, I have over 20 years’ experience of listening and journeying with people from all walks of life, that are seeking to discover their full potential and connect to their deeper sense of self and God within.  I now integrate a spiritual dimension into my professional practice.

Over many years I have deepened my personal relationship with God through retreats and took seven weeks out to walk the Camino Frances, a spiritual pilgrimage of 500 miles. I recently travelled back to Loyola in Spain for a thirty-day silent retreat, where I experienced a deep sense of conversion and a profound realization that one needs to nurture and care for the whole of ones being.  For care of the ‘soul’ encompasses the physical, psychological and spiritual elements of one’s being.

Often the spiritual aspect of ourselves gets overlooked due to the demands of life. The Spiritual Direction I offer is steeped in the teachings of Ignatius of Loyola and draws on the importance of discernment within our relationship to God, environment, community, and personal relationships and fundamentally in how we foster and grow the gifts and talents God has bestowed upon each of us.

To deepen our relationship with God takes a lifetime, and as part of life’s journey we all encounter ‘crossroads,’ which test and require prayerful discernment. If you are at a ‘crossroads’ in your life, or simply want to deepen your relationship with God, and feel you could benefit from having someone walk beside you, then I offer myself to journey with you, whilst you discern God’s plan for your life and discover the gifts God has in store for you.  

I can be contacted at: Email arttherapyworks@me.com. Mobile 07966434499

Arthur Kennedy – Spiritual Director

Prior to my retirement in 2002, I had a career in government service.  In 2005 I began working as a full-time volunteer at the independent charity, Christian Family Centre, Armoy. 

My duties there were to assist in the workshop, and then from 2012, to run the workshop.  Here I taught residents woodworking skills and provided pastoral guidance to both male and female who, by and large, had drug and alcohol addiction.  I finished volunteering there in July 2017.

I am committed to developing Spiritual Direction as an ongoing ministry and making it as widely available as possible.

I can be contacted by email at iamarthurkennedy@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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