Spiritual Directors in Europe
The Association ‘Spiritual Directors in Europe’ (SD-Europe) seeks to encourage and support the ministry of spiritual direction throughout Europe.
The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st are seeing a revival of the formal ministry of spiritual direction throughout Europe.
* SD-Europe is committed to encouraging and supporting that revival where it can.
All of God’s people are called to the ministry of spiritual direction, although some people have been gifted with a special charism for it.
* SD-Europe is committed to calling an annual gathering of men and women involved in spiritual direction throughout Europe.
It has done this because:
- Many spiritual directors work mostly alone, and isolation is a problem. Such an opportunity to meet with fellow workers is rare.
- Some countries in Europe have much more experience of the formal ministry of spiritual direction than others. This provides a chance for that experience to be shared.
- We have much to learn from each other: both from the richness represented by our different spiritual traditions, various church denominations, and diverse cultures; and from our collective discernment of what the Spirit of God is saying today.
The aims of this gathering have emerged to be the provision of:
- A safe space for the mutual support, affirmation and encouragement of those present. A place of networking, nurture, stimulation, challenge and prayer: all under girded by the invoked presence of God.
- The opportunity for those present to learn from the experience and practice of others present.
- The opportunity for each person present to explore their own spiritual journey more deeply.
And to do all this in a process that attempts, wherever possible, to honour the principles of spiritual direction, e.g.
- all present take responsibility for the agenda
- there will be time to listen to each other
- there will be time to listen to God.
A consequence is usually a renewed commitment both to the ministry of spiritual direction, and to the individual’s spiritual life.
Many of those engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction cannot afford to attend SD-Europe’s annual gathering.
* SD-Europe is committed to holding its annual gathering in different countries around Europe, to the provision of bursaries to enable attendance at its annual gatherings, where appropriate; and to the encouragement of the setting up of local supportive gatherings.
It has created its own website www.sd-europe.eu to publicise its activities.
The revival in formal spiritual direction in Europe is matched by a similar revival in other parts of the world.
* SD-Europe is committed to co-operative working with other organisations around the world that have an overlapping vision.
[ version February 2006]