Summer Conferences On Spiritual Direction

Saint Vincent Seminary faculty members Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., professor of theology, and Father Boniface Hicks, O.S.B., director of spiritual formation, will conduct two weeklong summer conferences in 2020, Spiritual Direction I: Art of Accompaniment, May 18 to 22, and Spiritual Direction II: Advanced Topics In Spiritual Direction, June 22 to 26. The conferences are sponsored by the Seminary Institute for Ministry Formation, which is an extension of the Seminary’s commitment to the formation and education of priests, laity, and religious.

The IMF is designed to help all people understand and experience God’s grace and respond to this gift of grace in service, in ministry. Using new technology and traditional methods of learning and gathering, the IMF brings together seekers, friends, and expert contributors to help inform our hearts and minds and guide our response

The conference is an outgrowth of a book the two priests authored, Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Sharing the Father’s Love. Father Boniface, who is also programming manager for We Are one Body Catholic Radio, notes the course is a way for participants to pray better, to grow closer in their relationship with God, and to help others on their spiritual journeys to become better Christians.

The course will consist of five hours of daily instruction, as well as times for one-on-one meetings with the instructors. While housing and meals are part of the registration, there is also a day rate for commuters. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Sacramental Confession and prayer. There will also be sufficient time for walks, silence and reflection to help participants integrate the teaching offered during the course.

Topics include: • The need for Spiritual Direction in our time; • Our one-on-one relationship with God; • One-on-one human relationships; • The interior life; • The importance of vulnerability; • A listening that reveals and heals; • Communicating the Father’s Love; • Introduction to development in the life of prayer; • Some psychological insights for spiritual direction; • The qualities of the spiritual director; • Introduction to supervision and self-awareness; • Saints for spiritual directors.

The second conference will expand upon topics offered in SD1, as well as include new topics. Father Thomas and Father Boniface have also just released a second book, Personal Prayer: A Guide To Receiving The Father’s Love.

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