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Spiritual Guidance Institute

In response to the need for continuing education and growth of spiritual guides, Siena Retreat Center is pleased to offer the Institute  for Spiritual Guidance. The Institute offers workshops that create opportunities for guides to learn and further integrate the art and skill of companioning another person.

Now in its third year, the Institute is intended for both seasoned spiritual guides and those who have more recently completed training.


Component 1: Deepening the Conversation in Companioning

Spiritual guidance is always about the story of our journey and the story of our relationships.  As we companion others, we invite them to see beyond the familiar surface, to explore the depths of their experience.  It is here that we discover the presence of the Mysterious Other.  In this experiential workshop, we will explore various approaches to notice and tend a deeper, interior awareness and practice ways of listening deeply within ourselves as well as to one another.  This workshop is intended for both beginning and experienced spiritual guides.  Participants must have completed a spiritual guidance training or be presently enrolled in a training program.

Saturday, August 11, 2018
The day begins at 9:00am and concludes  at 4:30pm.  Register here.
Cost of $60 includes non-refundable deposit of $20.00 and the noon meal.  Please register by July 30, 2018

Facilitator Colleen McGeady Ambrose is the Director of Siena Retreat Center’s Spiritual Guidance Training Program, has a private practice in spiritual guidance and is a presenter on topics related to spirituality.


Component 2:  Supervisor Training for Spiritual Companioning in the Paradigm of the Universe Story

A one year program beginning August of 2018 and ending August of 2019

Being a supervisor for spiritual guides is a special, needed ministry.  With the lens of the universe story we will explore how creation’s gifts of interiority, diversity, and communion    are intricately woven within every story shared.   How do supervisors help spiritual guides grow in their awareness of the ever evolving life-graces of those they guide?  Together, program participants will develop necessary skills, become more aware of their own gifts, and work on their growing edges as trained supervisors.  Through input, reflection, exercises, and supervised practicum they will grow in spiritual insight and the art and skill of supervision.  The training will be facilitated by    Jo Giarrante and Terry Johnson.  Participants must have three years’ experience as a spiritual guide, commit to the full year of training, complete Reflection Sheet with registration, and register before July 30, 2018.  Register here.

Program Elements:

Sunday, August 12, to Tuesday, August 14, 2018:  Opening gathering at Siena Retreat Center

Practicum experience:  six sessions to be scheduled with individual supervisor during months in-between

Friday, August 9, to Sunday, August 11, 2019:  Closing Gathering Siena Retreat Center

Costs:  $550 includes $50 non-refundable deposit and Opening and Closing Gatherings (meals, overnight accommodations, and program), plus $60.00 per session for six sessions of Practicum.

Co-facilitator Annette Jo Giarrante, MDiv, CCPC, has had a private practice in spiritual direction and life coaching for over 20 years.  Jo trained and was on staff at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago.  She offers retreats and seminars on spiritual direction and supervision, communication skills, spiritual development, conflict management, and self-care skills.  Jo is on the staff of Siena Retreat Center’s Spiritual Guidance Training Program.

Co-facilitator Terry Johnson is a graduate of the spiritual guidance training programs at Claret Center and  at Siena Retreat Center and has over twelve years’ experience as  a spiritual guide.  As a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese, Terry has served in several parishes in the Chicago area.  He is former director of the Hesburgh Sabbatical program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.