Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction

Are you seeking a closer relationship with God? Are you interested in deepening your spiritual journey? We invite you to explore with spiritual direction. 
Spiritual direction is a process of accompanying people on a spiritual journey and helping them grow closer to God (or the sacred, the holy, or a higher power). Spiritual direction helps people learn how to live in peace, with compassion, promoting justice, and as humble servants of that which lies beyond all names.
Discern God’s Presence

In spiritual direction, you reflect deeply on the experiences of your daily life. Gradually, as you contemplate, you may begin to recognize God’s presence and grace in your life. You may come to realize how God’s spirit is truly with you every day and everywhere. You discover that God has been waiting for you to seek this closer relationship. Spiritual direction is really not about being directed. Rather, it is very much about being encouraged to draw closer to God. Spiritual direction invites you into this relationship whether you attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or none of these. God seeks you where you are. Spiritual directors come in all faiths.

Gifts of Spiritual Direction

You might come to spiritual direction for a variety of reasons, including:
  • Identify and trust your own experiences of God
  • Integrate spirituality into your daily life
  • Discern and make difficult choices
  • Share your hopes, struggles, and losses
  • Develop a sensitivity for justice and concern for the poor
  • Live the essence of your spiritual affiliation with integrity

Meet with a Spiritual Director

The privilege and responsibility of a spiritual director is to journey with you as you deepen your relationship with God. The journey takes place in the context of confidential one-on-one or group sessions with your spiritual director.

Most spiritual directors have extensive training and formation and are seasoned in the art of spiritual direction. Spiritual directors continue tending the spiritual life by engaging in ongoing education, confidential supervision, and also meeting regularly with a spiritual director. You and your spiritual director will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour. Many spiritual directors request a fee, some receive your freewill donation, and others offer their time with no expectation of anything in return. 

After three or four sessions, you will have the opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Whether your relationship with the spiritual director continues for many years or for only a short period of time, it is very important to be comfortable with the spiritual director you choose. What is shared between you is held in confidence. Below you will find trained Spiritual Directors in Christ the King Parish. Feel free to contact one of them or call Suzanne Marciniak, 419-475-4348, ext. 109, for further information.

Deacon Robert Beisser
Deacon Robb and his wife, Cindy have been parishioners at Christ the King Parish since 1991. Deacon Robb was ordained in 1997 and has ministered in a variety of ministries at Christ the King Parish including visiting parishioners in their homes, health facilities and at hospice inpatient units. In 2005, Deacon Robb successfully completed the Internship in Ignatian Spirituality with a concentration in the ministry of Spiritual Direction from Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Deacon Robb has served as the Bereavement Coordinator at Erie West Hospice and ProMedica Hospice. Deacon Robb will serve as a companion for personal Direction.

Deborah S. Lilje
Debbie works as a paralegal. She is a mother and grandmother, and is divorced. She has volunteered with our RCIA team for over 10 years and received her Certification in Spiritual Direction from the Dominican Center at Marywood in Grand Rapids, MI. 

“ I see my role in Spiritual Direction as a ‘guided listener.’ My purpose is to allow the individual to reflect on their feelings, their day, or their past to more clearly identify the ways God has been and is involved and active in their lives – past, present and into the future."

Suzanne Marciniak

Suzanne is married to Tom. She serves as the Pastoral Associate at Christ the King Parish in Toledo, Ohio. She has been in parish ministry for 25 years after teaching with the Sisters of Notre Dame for 12 years. She completed the Internship at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1997 and in 2001 was trained to direct the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. She also had the experience of being a caregiver for her mother who suffered with Lewy Body dementia for 8 years. 

She is honored to walk with people in life. She believes that the process of spiritual direction helps a person to discover God at the depths of their being and in their life experiences. All life is sacred.

Thomas Marciniak

Tom has worked extensively in the areas of teaching, counseling, and psychological counseling with families, children, and adolescence since 1968. He is a commissioned spiritual director from the Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center since 1997 and offers retreats and directs the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises throughout each year. He also had served as a Pastoral Counselor at Christ the King Parish for 8 years. His approach to his ministry is always Christ-centered, whether dealing with relational issues, prayer, dysfunctional behavior, the discernment process in making better life-decisions and, forming stronger marriages. Both psychological and spiritual dimensions are utilized simultaneously in Tom’s ministry to help people see God in all things, and to realize that God defines us - not anything or anyone else.

Sally Meier

Sally is trained in Ignatian Spirituality, a spirituality focused on finding your true self in Christ in everyday life. She received her training at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Her ministry has been leading groups in Imagery Prayer, Praying with Scripture, and book discussion with the focus on deepening our relationship with God. She considers herself a lifelong learner so her journey in searching for Christ in all things continues as she is enriched with wonderful Bible Study classes and other training to grow in understanding and love, as her continued desire is to live her life in Christ. 

On a personal note, if you feel called to a deeper faith, she would be honored to serve as a companion for you on your journey, guided by the Holy Spirit. Sally is married and the mother of two adult children.

Sharon Midgley

Sharon completed four years of study in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Companioning, and Spiritual Direction with the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, MI. She is now employed full-time and is a married mother of two adult children. She is open to exploring where God is touching and calling her directees in the ordinary & extraordinary events of their lives. Sharon is happy to companion people of all faiths and those who are questioning on their spiritual walk.

Kathleen Ray

Kathleen received her Spiritual Director training in Ignatian Spirituality at the Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI. As a spiritual director she has companioned with directees praying through the Spiritual Exercise of Saint Ignatius, as well as guiding others in their individual discernment through prayer. As a member of Christ the King Parish, Kathleen uses her vocation, as a teacher, to be active in adult faith-formation classes, specifically the RCIA process. She is also involved in parish Bible studies, Eucharistic Ministry, and the Lector Program. She truly believes in doing all things for the “Greater Glory of God,” and welcomes the opportunity to companion with her directees through their daily experiences in prayer, while they learn to listen to God’s calling through the Holy Spirit and discover, “God in All Things." 
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