53 Mill Street, Westfield, MA 01085 • 413.562.3627

Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction?  Do you wish to deepen your spiritual journey? Would you like to integrate your spiritual insights into your life choices? Meeting regularly with a professionally trained Spiritual Director enables you to expand your spiritual life and integrate spirit into your daily life.

The simple sharing of your life experiences is a rich source of meaning and understanding of how God is ever-present and active in your daily life and how you may be called to greater fullness of life. Genesis has a staff of professionally trained Spiritual Directors with areas of experience and expertise including aging, creative expression and poetry, body image and food issues, Contemplative Practices, grief and loss, the mystics, Ignatian Spirituality, BioSpiritual Focusing, EcoSpirituality, and 12 Step Spirituality.

Spiritual Direction/Accompaniment focuses on the Divine Presence in daily life and seeks to enable a person to respond to the movements of that Presence in ever deeper and broader ways by intentionally meeting with a spiritual director/a companion on a regular basis to share about what is happening in their relationship with self, God, others and creation.

The gifts for you could be:

  • Growing in personal identity by trusting the deep needs of your heart
  • Learning to grow in your spirituality
  • Becoming more aware of the Divine Presence in all of life experiences
  • Listening and watching, in a contemplative mode, for the movements of Spirit and the counter movements of resistance
  • Deeper and more meaningful discernment in making choices
  • Healing wounds experienced in life’s journey

If you are interested in tending to your spirit in an on-going way, spiritual direction may be for you. A session is one hour. Donations average $45 to $65 per session. However, please do not let finances prevent you from this service. To learn more about whether Spiritual Direction is right for you, email JoAnn or call her at 413-364-9796.  


 

JoAnn Bourquard - Spiritual Director

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Jo Ann is an experienced spiritual director with 18 years of experience with individuals and groups, both in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  She holds a Masters Degree in Ministry with a Concentration in Spirituality from Hartford Seminary.  She also holds a certificate in Women’s Leadership. Her formation as a spiritual director and supervisor was at the Spiritual Life Center in Bloomfield, CT.  She has since been involved in formation of Supervisors there.  Jo Ann is certified to teach the Enneagram and is knowledgeable in Jungian spiritual direction.  She is an experienced educator and speaker; an accomplished retreat leader, and has facilitated discernment days of reflection for organizations and groups of with themed topics as loss, self-care, prayer, and life transition.  Jo Ann's directees come from all walks of life, a variety of religious traditions as well as those who are searching.  She has particular experience with ministry to widowed and divorced persons as well as those with serious illnesses.  She is committed to personal growth and believes that spiritual direction is a vital way to transform the world. 

Donna O'Connor - Spiritual Director

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Donna O’Connor completed the Spiritual Direction Internship Program in Bloomfield, CT in 2006.  She has focused her 1:1 work entirely at Genesis since that time. Having taught fitness/yoga classes for over thirty years now, Donna has a particular interest in helping people who struggle with weight, body image and disordered eating, and is experienced in 12-Step Spirituality.  As a BioSpiritual Focusing Facilitator, she often introduces the tool of BioSpiritual Focusing in her sessions should a directee be interested in this process.  “Spiritual Direction is a sure way to access the power of the Great Unseen Wisdom, which resides deeply within each of us and awaits our desire to grow and journey forward into a more intimate relationship with God, our Source”.

Elizabeth Oleksak, SP - Spiritual Director

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"Spiritual guidance is a gift for the one receiving it and the one offering it.  One may say it is simply Grace."

Sr. Elizabeth Oleksak, SP, foundress of Genesis, is an experienced retreat and spiritual director and BioSpiritual Focusing facilitator. Sr. Elizabeth has a background in pastoral counseling.  She studied Centering Prayer with the Trappist Monks in the 1970's. She is also an eco-spirituality resource person.

Faith makes all things possible, and love makes them easy. Faith in God is never out of season. Faith justifies the believer, but love justifies his faith by the works which it produces. Faith believes God to be true; love proves faith to be true.
- Charles H. Spurgeon