"When you come to the end of all the light you know and it is time
to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one
of two things shall happen. Either you will be given something solid
to stand on or you will be taught to fly." ~Edward Teller
Spiritual Direction - Guidance-Companioning
Spiritual direction, sometimes referred to as spiritual guidance or spiritual companioning,
is a relationship in which a person desires to be more attentive
to their spiritual life. The seeker meets with the director on a regular basis,
specifically for the purpose of becoming more aware of God's Presence
in in their life and to live a Spirit guided life.
Spiritual guidance holds sacred each individual’s life-story and journey through
compassionate listening, non judgment and confidentiality.
Coming to spiritual guidance is intentional and allows Spirit
to touch and inform the heart.
Each persons relationship with the Holy, experienced
in their daily life and spiritual life are intricately woven together.
The seeker decides what is brought into the session conversation.
The primary focus of direction is recognizing the “presence” of the Holy/ Divine in the midst of it all!
It is the spiritual Directors place to listen, receive and hold the sacred story of the seekers life.
Always, it is the “SPIRIT” who is the guide!”
My personal style is to listen with an open heart and without judgement.
I ask questions to invite the person to “hear” a loud what they have shared.
Ultimately, the person takes to heart whatever new insights that open them to personal and spiritual growth.
Occasionally, creative suggestions are offered
to encourage opening to Spirit's wisdom. The expressiveness of creativity can “nudge” the soul
to go to a deeper level without the use of words.
Generally, a person is already in a relationship with God before entering into spiritual companioning.
As director, I support witness a persons spiritual growth as they claim and live the journey.
Though my faith is nurtured and practiced in the
"c"-atholic/christian tradition, I am open to companion individuals
of other traditions who seek to find spiritual growth and grounding.
Spiritual guidance/direction is not a substitute for therapy or counseling.
If you are seeing other professionals for therapy or counseling is is important
to share this. This openness helps me as spiritual guide to be more fully attentive
to your process and life-story.
There are clear distinctions between spiritual direction and therapeutic relationships.
In general, therapy is about finding healthy resolutions to issues and behaviors.
Spiritual guidance /direction is about responding
to God as “Divine Presence” in the midst of the confusion or pain of struggle
as well as in the in the blessings of day to day encounter.
Understandings for Beginning...
1:1 Spiritual Guidance Sessions...
One hour sessions are scheduled every 4 to 5 weeks.
The Initial session determines if the "fit" is good for the individual and the spiritual guide.
We agree to meet for a set of 4 sessions.
After this period, together we evaluate if this is a good match
for us to continue. This applies to those meeting on site in person as well
as those doing guidance sessions by phone, Face-Time or Zoom.
As a director, I prefer to have prior experience with the individual before agreeing to proceed
with direction virtually but I am open to those I have not had experience with.
It is also helpful for the individual to schedule occasional in person sessions.
For those at a greater distance from Milwaukee,
a 1x a year for a mini-retreat at our hermitage
or another area retreat environment is encouraged.
A session begins with a few moments of quiet to fully “arrive”
and invite the presence of Spirit. Content of session is confidential and the input
is what the person brings and desires to share.
Shared prayer or quiet is typical for ending the session.
The sliding scale ranges from
suggested $60.00 (self-sliding scale $60.00 - $100.00)
If this is a burden please discuss.
Finance should not keep a person from seeking spiritual guidance.
This ministry as my “work” sustains my living needs
and allows me to be a contributing member
of my religious community for the support and care of
our senior sisters and to pay rent for the meeting space.
Since my income goes directly into
the congregation, All checks should be made out directly to:
The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi
Additionally, stipends can be submitted via Zelle through their bank apps.
(simply use 414-581-4006)
Those who are able to offer a higher stipend make it possible
for those who are not able to do so.
I appreciate the generosity supporting this sacred ministry.
Cancellations should be re-scheduled within a week
of the cancelled date to not incur the stipend.
If not rescheduled within a week of the original appointment
the person is asked to are asked to
offer the agreed stipend to cover the time that was reserved for them.
If an appointment is not cancelled and the person does not appear,
they remain responsible for the agreed upon full stipend.
An e-mail “invoice” reminder is sent as necessary.
For ease, stipends can be submitted via Zelle, Venmo or by check
If you choose to terminate, for whatever reason,
I ask you to discuss your decision in person.
Please do not end by e mail, text or phone message.
Please know that your choice will be honored, respected
and blessed for your continued journey.
- Boundless Compassion Conference: Institute of Compassion Presence
Joyce Rupp OSM, Racine, WI, 2013 (Facilitator Certification 2018)
- Capacitar Training (www.capacitar.org) 2009
- Mandala Exploration/Integration: Personal and Professional Assessment
Levels I, II, III Certificate, Mercy Center, Colorado Springs, 2005
- Campus Minister Certification, May 2003 (ccma.net)
- Spiritual Direction/Guidance Certificate, Siena Center, Racine, WI, 2000-2002
- Member of Spiritual Directors International (2002-Present)
- Certification in Theology, Mt. Mary College, Milwaukee, WI, 2000-2001
- Master of Science in Art Education University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1993
- Creative Process Retreat Ministry (1985-present)
- Behavioral Assessment Training levels I/II-National Religious Vocation Conference
- Licensed lifetime master teacher and student teacher supervisor
- Practicing Artist: 1976-present
- Bachelor of Science in Art Education Cardinal Stritch University, 1976
Stella DeVenuta, OSF