Spiritual Direction

"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

Spiritual direction, sometimes referred to as spiritual guidance or spiritual companioning, is a relationship in which a person desires to be more attentive to his or her 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 an individual’s life-story and journey as Sacred and confidential.
The persons relationship with God, as it is experienced in daily life and spiritual life, is the focus of the session as they are intricately woven together. Essentially,  the seeker decides what is brought into the session conversation. Coming to spiritual guidance is intentional and allows the Spirit to touch and inform the heart. There is a growing awareness of the “God-moments” of everyday life.

My personal style is to listen well without judgement. I ask questions to challenge, suggest and invite the person to “hear” 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 assist a person in opening to Spirit's wisdom. The expressiveness of creativity can “nudge” the soul to go to a deeper level without the cumbersome use of words.

Generally, a person is already in a relationship with God before s/he enters into spiritual companioning. This intentional journey continues long after leaving a particular director/guide. 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 catholic tradition, I am open to companions those of  other traditions and those who seek to find spiritual 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 day to day of living and encounter.  

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!”

Understandings for Beginning...

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.


Session Stipends...

Spiritual guidance should never be financially out of reach preventing a person from seeking spiritual guidance. The sliding scale ranges from (suggested) $65.00  (sliding scale $65.00 - $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. Since my income goes directly into
the congregation, checks should be made out directly to: The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi 

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 of  offerings for the support of 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 respected
     and blessed for your continued journey. 

Professional Background


  • Boundless Compassion Facilitator Training (Joyce Rupp, OSM), Racine, WI, 2018
  • Boundless Compassion Conference: Institute of Compassion Presence (Joyce Rupp OSM), Racine, WI, 2013
  • Capacitar (www.capacitar.org) Training 2009
  • Mandala Exploration/Integration: Personal and Professional Assessment Levels I, II, III Certificate,
        Mercy Center, Colorado Springs, 2005
  • Campus Minister Certification, May 2003
  • 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)
  • Practicing Artist: 1976-present
  • Bachelor of Science in Art Education Cardinal Stritch University, 1976
  • Licensed lifetime master teacher and student teacher supervisor
  • Behavioral Assessment Training Level I & II -NRVC (National Religious Vocation Conference)

Stella DeVenuta
SanctuStar Oasis
Located in Juniper Court LL
3201 S Lake Drive
Saint Francis, WI 53235
[email protected]
Call or Text: 414-581-4006