Spiritual direction is a faith-based form of support that creates a prayerful space between two individuals: a trained spiritual director and a person receiving spiritual direction. Retreats are places where one can have contemplative time to engage in prayer and reflection. Both spiritual direction and retreats provide ways to fill in the God-shaped hole within each of us, a great resource for Catholic mental health.
Spiritual direction is a place where one’s experiences, challenges, and relationship with God are shared and explored in a safe and welcoming environment. A trained spiritual director could be a layperson, a religious sister or brother, or a priest. If you are interested in learning more about spiritual direction, please reach out to your local priest, parish, or archdiocese.
In Massachusetts, Sisters Joan McCarthy, CSJ and Maureen Casey, SND have been providing and teaching spiritual direction and guiding retreats in the Catholic tradition for almost one hundred years between them. The spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius provide the foundation for much of their approach. Cost is what you can pay (potentially free if needed). These two spiritual directors are in Brighton, Massachusetts but sessions can be virtual from anywhere in the US or in-person. Click here to learn more: http://www.spiritualdirectionii.org.
Retreats are a unique space where you can grow in your relationship with God and yourself. Typically, retreats are held in a quiet, semi-secluded place which allows participants to step away from the busyness of daily life to experience peace and tranquility. You can check with a local priest or Archdiocese to find retreat centers in your area. Or Google ‘Retreat Centers near me.’
In Gloucester, Massachusetts, Eastern Point provides a range of retreats including shorter and longer ones such as the Spiritual Exercises. Spencer Abbey is another beautiful retreat opportunity, led by Trappist monks living a contemplative life of prayer and work, and is located in Spencer, Massachusetts.