Become a Spiritual Director

For more information contact:
Cathy Maguire, RSM
215-934-6206 or

Download the application

What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction offers a way to attend to God’s presence in one’s life in the context of a trusted relationship.

About the Program
Drawing from the rich wellspring of the Contemplative Tradition and the Charism of Mercy, this program seeks to nurture and support those who wish to deepen their own spirituality and explore spiritual companionship with others. Our process focuses in a particular, but not exclusively, on the art of spiritual accompaniment with those on the margins of life.

Tuition for the program is $2,800. Cost includes 24 month program, room and board. A $50 non-refundable application fee is also required.

Program Timeline
Initial information meeting – March 5, 2017
Two residential weekends – October 12-14, 2017 and November 9-11, 2017
Two residential weekends – February 15-17, 2018 and March 15-17, 2018
A week-long intensive – June 8-15, 2018
Two residential weekends – October 11-13, 2018 and November 8-10, 2018
Two residential weekends – February 14-16, 2019 and March 14-16, 2019
A week-long intensive – June 7-14, 2019
One residential weekend – October 17-19, 2019

In the interim, participants will:

(1) Participate in personal spiritual direction;
(2) Complete required reading;
(3) Submit integrative reflection papers;
(4) Share personal reflection of experience
with a designated group of peers;
(5) Maintain involvement with those on the
During the second year, participants will become actively involved in the ministry of spiritual direction and engage in monthly

Goals for Participants

(1) To deepen in relationship with God and faithfulness to God’s call, while discerning the ministry of spiritual direction.
(2) To become deeply grounded in the spirituality of mercy, especially as it relates to spiritual direction. To develop and deepen the capacity for compassionate listening to self, others and creation and learn to recognize God’s tender presence to our brokenness.
(3) To integrate the theological, spiritual and psychological wisdom that grounds spiritual accompaniment, with a particular emphasis on authentic self-development.
(4) To engage in a contemplative, holistic,transformative process toward the art of spiritual direction.
(5) To enter into the contemplative practice of ongoing supervision as an integral, essential part of spiritual direction.
(6) To be open to healing and mutually transformative relationships with persons who are poor and marginalized.

Program Topics Include:

Historical development of and various approaches to spiritual direction
Basic principles of the spiritual life
The Spirituality of Mercy as inspired by Jesus and Catherine McAuley
Traditions of prayer
Scripture in spiritual direction
Operative theological assumptions
Human growth and development
God’s identification with the lowly
Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Counseling
Social Justice: Mercy Critical Concerns
Contemplative action in a graced world
The spiritual growth and ongoing conversion of the director

Coordinating Team
Maria DiBello, RSM is Program Director at Cranaleith
Kathleen McAlpin, RSM, Member of  the Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International
Suzanne Neisser, RSM, Jesuit Center, Wernersville and Neumann University
Mary Trainer, RSM, Founder of Cranaleith

Direction Statement of the Sisters of Mercy:
Animated by the Gospel and Catherine McAuley’s passion for the poor, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas are impelled to commit their lives and resources to act in solidarity with:

• the economically poor of the world, especially women and children;
• women seeking fullness of life and equality in church and society;
• one another as they embrace their multicultural and international reality.

This commitment impels them to:

• develop and act from a multicultural and international perspective;
• speak with a corporate voice;
• work for systemic change;
• practice non-violence;
• act in harmony and interdependence with all creation; and
• call themselves to continual conversion in their lifestyle and ministries.