The Sisters of Notre Dame find it a privilege to journey with persons seeking to grow in their spiritual lives.
Bethany Retreat Center – Chardon, Ohio
Lial Renewal Center – Whitehouse, Ohio
God Seeker – For those interested in discernment
Thinking about Spiritual Direction? Here are a few common questions that are asked:
What IS Spiritual Direction?
Who needs a Spiritual Director?
What happens when I meet with a Spiritual Director?
How do I get matched with a Spiritual Director?
Is there any cost?
Have your own questions? Looking for a Spiritual Director? Contact one of the Vocation Directors to start the conversation and to seek help in finding a Sister of Notre Dame near you who is a Spiritual Director. We also invite you to read the reflections of some of our Spiritual Directors, below.
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Kelley Rush, SND
After eight years of teaching students with behavior and emotional concerns in public schools, I entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 2009 – thinking I would be a middle school/high school teacher for the rest of my career. Well, God had other plans for me!
My heart has always been with those who struggle behaviorally. I had the opportunity to use this gift first at Julie Billiart School, as an Intervention Specialist, then, in the inner city at Cleveland Central Catholic High School. While at CCC, in addition to teaching, teaching geometry, algebra I, algebra II, and social skills, I worked closely with the boys’ basketball team providing support where needed and establishing study tables after school. Each of these were grace-filled experiences of sharing the SND charism, beautiful opportunities to serve those on the margins bringing the love of our good and provident God to all I encountered.
Presently, I am the Vocation Director for the Sisters of Notre Dame in Chardon and am on our National Vocation Team. As a vocation director and spiritual director my ministry is two-fold. First, I walk with young women and men who are discerning a call to religious life and/or are looking to deepen their relationship with God through spiritual direction. Secondly, I promote vocations by giving vocation talks to parishes, schools, young adult groups and through diocesan events. During these presentations, I share my gift of faith and encounter with Christ. I also facilitate retreats for college students and serve as a spiritual director for busy student retreats and discernment retreats.
God has blessed me with many beautiful opportunities to minister to and with others during my eight years with the Sister of Notre Dame. Each ministry I have had has been a blessing! In my present role as vocation director and spiritual director, it is such a gift and privilege to walk with young adults on their sacred journey helping them probe the mystery of God in their lives. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me next!
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Mary Leanne Hubbard, SND
Even before I became a sister, I was a God-seeker, and I was fortunate to be mentored in the spiritual life by priests and faithful laypeople.
Eventually I found a spiritual director with whom I meet every month who has helped me well over 20 years to recognize God’s presence and work in my life. Then I myself became a spiritual “director,” such a misnomer, since it is rather GOD who directs this ministry. Many people seek a deeper connection with God, and greater clarity about meaning and direction in their lives. From my experience, it is helpful to have someone to listen to the Spirit’s movements within, as these movements may be so subtle that we often do not trust what we hear as possibly coming from God.
Besides my regular ministry as a seminary professor and formator, I frequently meet individuals and small groups of people who would like to deepen their spiritual life and find direction in their lives. God, however, does not confine Godself to the realm of the “spirit.” God uses every part of our lives: relationships, thoughts, work, our health, etc. Generally, I use two images to help others understand the ministry. Sometimes I feel like a marriage counselor with the individual and God in the room, both seeking to understand the other better, and I am the facilitator of the conversation. Sometimes I feel like a safari leader pointing out the wonders in the thickets, “did you notice that…oh, how lovely (or dangerous).”
The more I accompany others on the inner life, the more my life and relationship with the living God is enriched. This ministry of spiritual direction convinces me again and again that God is truly real, tangible, palpable….worth pursuing diligently.
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Dean Pfahler, SND
Ever since I got my first pair of glasses at age 12, I knew I had been missing way too much. Distinguishing one leaf from another on trees was just the first eye-opener.
From then on, life became one revelation after another. I didn’t want anything to elude me: not the intricacies of the natural world, the subtleties of relationships, the human experience captured in literature, nor the nuances of language. Middle-school students taught me – their teacher – to see. Myriad cultures in Papua New Guinea opened my eyes to a new respect for diversity. Far-sighted companions pointed out the spiritual path to compassionate living.
Later, mid-life studies invited me to probe the underlying movements of the Holy Spirit in dreams and spiritual direction. One insight led to another. Becoming a pastoral presence to adults, especially newcomers to faith and others in transition, allowed me to see God-in-action in sharper focus. Now as a spiritual director and campus mentor, I am privileged to witness the Holy One at work (and play) in the lives of seekers of all ages. What a gift and an awesome sight!
And yet here I am still sitting by the Jericho roadside with the blind Bartimaeus, calling out, “I want to see!” The Gracious Mystery among us has so much more to show us all.
Photo: Courtesy of Young Catholic Professionals Orange County
Profiles in Ministry: Sister Ruth Lubbers, SND
In my younger years, I was so caught up with doing things right.
I needed to appear good. As time went on I came to realize I was missing so much of what God was doing and wanted to do in my life. I need to look differently at my life to recognize the many ways God was lovingly present. I always wanted to be a loving presence for others. I began to see how the two fit together – allowing God to be lovingly present and my, in turn, being that presence for others. I have been blessed with a couple of insightful and caring spiritual companions over the years who have helped me to grow in these capacities.
In my young adult and vocation ministries, I have continued to be and to help uncover the presence of God in Christ through spiritual companioning – walking with the other in discovering God’s voice, God’s footprints, God’s promptings. It is a humbling and holy endeavor to listen with another as to where God is present and where God is calling – not to do it right but to be fully alive in God’s love.