By Marcia Moore
Having just recently returned from my annual volunteer time at the Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence School for spiritual directors, this topic is fresh on my mind. I love going each January to help out at the school. Besides the obvious warmer weather in Florida, each year I learn when I teach, direct and mentor others.
The Florida school has a three-year program which students attend for two weeks each year in January, June or October. The program is very intense with homework during the rest of the year. A typical day begins at 8:30 a.m. with Morning Prayer, followed by Mass. Classes are held from 10 a.m. until lunch at 12:30 p.m. From 1:30-3 p.m. students attend a group in which they take turns sharing their prayer experience and listening to each other without comment or interruption. A short teaching and assignments for the next day follow.
From 3:30 p.m. until supper at 6 p.m., students may choose to do some of their three hours of Scripture meditation, spend time in adoration or see their spiritual director. Evening classes continue from 7-9 p.m., after which students retire to their rooms or chapel to finish their hours of meditation.
Between the first and second year of classes students must complete the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius either in a 30-day retreat or through the 36-week “Annotation.”
Between the second and third year, the students will complete a practicum experience for 16 weeks using a specific program called “The eight themes of prayer” as written by Father John Wickham, S.J. Something new has been implemented this year; the students will now have an experienced spiritual director to mentor them through their practicum.
(Next time: What’s the Holy Spirit doing?)
(Marcia Moore, M.S. Ed., is a longtime professional Christian therapist and certified Spiritual Director who founded Eagles’ Wings to provide counseling from a Christian perspective. She is a member of St. Alphonsus Parish, Davenport.)