August 29, 2008

Spiritual direction internship program begins on Sept. 9

By John Shaughnessy

For anyone trying to deepen their relationship with God the Father, Benedictine Sister Rachel Best has an offer she believes you can’t refuse.

Starting on Sept. 9, Sister Rachel will lead a spiritual direction internship program that’s designed to help participants recognize “the movement of God in one’s life and grow in relationship with God, self, others and creation.”

The two-year program also trains people who want to become a spiritual director—a kind of “faith coach” skilled in listening who tries to help people draw closer to God in their daily lives. (See also: 'What am I called to do?': Spiritual direction helps people deepen their faith, find meaning in life)

Open to Catholics and other Christians in the extended Indianapolis area, the program meets on Tuesdays from September through March at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove.

“The program has been very enriching,” says Sister Rachel, the director of spirituality at the Institute for Spiritual Direction. “You come in contact with many people in their spiritual journey. They’re seeking God in their life, and this is a way they stay focused on that seeking. What better way for us as religious—especially as Benedictines—to help others seek that way. It helps me stay focused, too, on my journey to God and with God. I think we all walk with God.”

The program involves classes in spiritual direction, retreats, shared prayer and faith sharing.

“We also practice doing spiritual direction with one another, and they are critiqued,” Sister Rachel says. “We start by having them share their stories with one another.”

Nearly 120 people have completed the program since it began in 1991.

“At the end of the program, people become so connected and so bonded,” Sister Rachel says. “You come to the end of the program knowing you have done so much for people on their journey.”

(Tuition for the program is $955 per semester, plus the cost of books and supplies. For more information, call 317-788-7581 or check the Web site at

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