The Spiritual Direction program is integral to the development of our students over their time on the Hill. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are asked to choose a director from one of the many available on campus. Freshmen who desire to have a spiritual director may do so on a voluntary basis. Students meet with their director at least twice a semester, although they are encouraged to meet more often, and many do.
Spiritual directors each have their own method of spiritual direction that draws from various sources of Spiritual Direction training programs, continued study, and experience in this ministry. An important element of spiritual direction is to offer the student hospitality by creating a safe, welcoming place where he can feel secure, a place where he can speak honestly and openly about anything in his life, and a place where he can be accepted by an adult without rejection or judgment. Questions can be asked or answered, and problems of whatever kind can be discussed.
Students know that these meetings are confidential. Spiritual direction is a place and a time to talk about a relationship with God and what that means. A director might ask about the student’s classes and activities, how he is taking care of himself, how he is getting along with his classmates, or how God is present in his life. The spiritual director will encourage the student to reflect upon all the experiences of his life and bring these to the meetings.
The whole process is a sacred sharing in the student’s life. Spiritual directors will share their own thoughts, reflections, personal experiences and recommendations when appropriate to do so. Directors will challenge the students, when necessary, to take responsibility for each of their own questions, ideas and responses.
There is a significant maturing process during the course of the time the student is here. The first year sharing is quite general. In the junior and senior years, the meetings tend to be more in depth and a lot more questions about God are explored. Many more questions arise about religious life and the priesthood. The director will support the student in times of discernment in whatever way is possible.
“The most important part of life at St. Lawrence is definitely faith. The problem with faith is that it is not an easy concept to understand. Help in understanding your faith is key to becoming an adult Catholic in the world today. Spiritual direction is the most useful tool offered to every student so that he can understand the presence of God in his life. Any problem the student faces can be brought to his spiritual director for another perspective and insight into different solutions. I have personally taken advantage of this service in dealing with the difficulties of discernment. Becoming a priest or brother takes a great amount of thought and prayers. Questions constantly arise and my spiritual director has aided me through every bump in the process. I have taken his advice to heart and I know that he is simply the helping hand of God. Each meeting takes me one step closer to understanding my faith life.”
Logan Swanson (’08).