September 19, 2021

Here is some brief information about some of the things happening at St. Peter's Church this month. After these items, you will find an article from Sr. Fran Sulzer, FSPA and Br. Guillermo Morales, OFM about Spiritual Direction and their ministry here at St. Peter's Church.

 Fr. Michael

SEMINARIAN EDUCATION FUND

Throughout the Archdiocese a second collection will be taken up this weekend, September 18-19 for the education of future priests for the Archdiocese. These funds provide support for those studying for the priesthood and future service to the Archdiocese.

LUNCHTIME PROGRAMS AT ST. PETER'S

 Though we continue to observe required protocols for any gathering here at St. Peter's, we have been able to resume some Lunchtime Programs in the lower level of the church. Below is a brief listing of some programs being offered this month. More details about any of these programs will be found elsewhere in our church bulletins, on our website or by calling Fr. Derran, the Director of our Programs.

Healing Hearts/Mending Lives

Fr. Derran began the Healing Hearts/Mending Lives lecture series on Tuesday, September 7. These presentations are held monthly at 12:15 pm in the Lower Level, Room "A". For more information consult the church bulletin or church website.

Catholic Films

Beginning September 20, selected Catholic videos will be viewed most Mondays in the lower level from 12:15 to 1:00 pm in conference room A. A short discussion will follow each viewing.  The first film to be viewed is "Mary of Nazareth."  Everyone is invited.

Contemporary Issues in Catholicism

Everyone is invited to attend a new lecture series beginning on Tuesday, September 21st entitled, "Contemporary Issues in Catholicism."  The first presentation is by Fr. Dennis Kolinski, SJC who will speak on the topic “The Pursuit of Truth in Our Time.”  His talk will be in the lower level, conference room A at 12:15 pm. There is a free will offering.

Unity: The Spirituality for Today's World

Fr Tom Ess, OFM, a member of the St. Peter's Franciscan Community is offering presentations and participation sessions on "Unity: The Spirituality for Today's World. The remaining sessions will be offered on Friday, September 24 and Friday, October 1.

175TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

The first concert of our 175th anniversary of St. Peter's Church will be held in the St. Clare Auditorium this Wednesday, September 22 at 12:15 pm. Fr. Robert Hutmacher, OFM and Mr. Michael Novak will premiere Fr. Bob's song cycle of eleven poems of Emily Dickinson. They will capture the four seasons through the poems set to music by Fr. Bob. Further details will be found on the church website or on the flyers located at the entrance to church. Join us for this lunch time musical presentation.

7TH ANNUAL GALA

Our most important fund raising event for our ministries here in the Loop..... St. Peter's 7th Annual GALA will soon be here. Due to COVID it will once again be a virtual event from 6:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, October 2. Please check out the information elsewhere in this bulletin about how to register for the Gala site or go to St. Peter's website for more information at www.stpetersloop.org. Your generosity helps us maintain our ministry to you and all who come to St. Peter's for Masses, confessions and a quiet place to pray in the midst of the noise and busyness of the Loop.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

Br. Guillermo and Sr. Fran wish to share with you some of our thoughts on Spiritual Direction and how it fits into our ordinary daily lives.   Both of us see Spiritual Direction as an opportunity to reflect on one's personal experience of relationships with others, or their work, and relationship with God.  This kind of focused reflection can bring clarity to one’s purpose and a deeper understanding of one’s personal path or what matters most in life.

Spiritual paths are sometimes clear and sometimes not so clear.  Key components are honesty, openness and discernment of searching to find God in life. A person’s understanding of self and God grows and changes over time.  Spiritual Direction attends to these movements of growth and change through conversations with a friend or a spiritual director. 

Spiritual Direction draws on subtle, underlying beliefs that we have about spiritual life and the human person.  Karl Rahner, a famous Jesuit who recently died, said that to be spiritual is to be fully whole and human.

Spirituality opens us to the Immanent-Transcendent activity of God in our lives. We might experience God in the beauty of an early morning sunrise or in the power of a storm that suddenly wakes us in the night. Beliefs about our spiritual life are also nurtured in liturgies when understandings of the Scriptures are broken open to help us find God in our life today.  Whether experienced for the moment or on the God above and beyond us, God is active and present.  Spiritual Direction helps us become aware of those moments.

Most of us have experienced God’s activity in our lives even though we might not have been aware of it, for example through the goodness of a friend, a loving parent or spouse, a caring doctor or nurse.  Hearing the Truth is another way God speaks to us. God also draws us into relationship when we experience Beauty in nature, in music, a photo or a piece of art. 

Each Spiritual Director and Directee brings their own development, culture, values, background, spiritual practices, etc. to the direction process.  Just as every directee is unique, every director is also unique.  A relationship with a spiritual director needs to be a good match.  It is normal to have conversations regarding what is or is not useful to the directee.  Generally speaking, Spiritual Direction helps us deepen in our self-understanding and acceptance of ourselves.   

Christian based Spiritual Direction explores our relationship with Christ: it seeks to grow in self-understanding with regard to God and the world.  Spiritual Direction invites persons to notice God’s activity and their responses. 

Spiritual Direction is a profession with training and certification.  Directors are prepared to listen for the longings of the human soul.  In a confidential sharing an individual shares their experience of their evolving relationship with themselves and God.  In hearing themselves and in dialog with a director an approach for the person may evolve.   Generally, Spiritual Direction is a once a month occasion.

Spiritual Direction is different from Counseling.  Each addresses the human person from a different lens.  Counselors draw from different therapeutic frameworks to treat a range of needs: they may explore the origins of relational struggles and treat emotions that are stuck in repetitive patterns.   Counseling supports persons through grief and losses of all kinds. Spiritual Direction companions persons with similar needs but in a way that invites and incorporates a realistic trust in in God.   

If you are interested in Spiritual Direction or wish more information please see the Spiritual Direction information box in today's bulletin to contact Sr. Fran or Br. Guillermo or call the church office.