FAQ - Young Adult Retreats

Frequently Asked Questions About Spiritual Accompaniment

Is this your first time on a retreat where spiritual accompaniment is offered? Do you have questions about meeting your spiritual director?

Here are some answers to questions that you may have. If you have others, please ask your spiritual director. They will be very happy to answer any question you may have.

What does a spiritual director do? A spiritual director is someone who is on the journey themselves. Having felt a call to accompany others, they completed training that helps them to listen deeply to you and to your inner spiritual movements to help you recognize God’s action in your life.

Do you need to be a priest or religious to be a spiritual director? No, while some spiritual directors are priests or religious, many are lay women and men. All have received similar training.

Must I meet with a spiritual director? Not all. However, we do invite you to try spiritual accompaniment. People often find it helpful to have someone listen, reflect back and offer guidance while on retreat. This is your retreat, however, and if you feel that you would rather not meet with your director, just let them know.

Do I need to have lots of experience with prayer or be really committed to my faith life to meet a director? What if I have trouble believing? All are welcome! Spiritual directors meet seekers exactly where they are at. We all need a space to be listened to, to process, to ask questions, to explore our experience. Spiritual direction is a safe space to share because spiritual directors have promised to keep confidential anything that is shared with them.

How many times will I meet with my director over the weekend? How long is each session? Generally, you will have one short meeting with your director on the Friday evening when the retreat begins. At that meeting your director will ask you when and how often you want to meet. As a general rule, you will meet your director once a day for a duration of 30–60 minutes. Some retreatants prefer to meet twice on the Saturday (morning and afternoon).

What does a spiritual accompaniment session look like? What do I do?

Your spiritual director will welcome you and ask some simple questions so they can have an idea of your desire for the retreat. Your director may ask questions to get a clearer picture, offer some guidance that will help you to have a deeper awareness of your inner journey with God and with yourself. You may also ask questions as they arise. They will not tell you what to do or what to believe.

If you don’t quite know what to say and there is some silence, don’t worry about it—the silence may give both you and the spiritual director an opportunity to reflect and listen together to God’s invitation to you.

After the director has listened, they will offer some suggestions for prayer or activities you can do to deepen your spiritual awareness. These will always be respectful of your beliefs and your personal journey.

What can I talk about with my director? Can I talk about work, school or relationships? Is anything off limits?

Because your whole life is the context of your relationship with God, you will want to tell your spiritual director briefly about the important things that are happening in your life and how they are affecting you. Your feelings, your faith, your prayer life, any challenges you may be facing, your desires for your life or relationship with God, your doubts are all part of you, and they all connect to your inner journey. So, no, there is nothing off limits if it’s part of what you are processing on your journey.