The Carmelite Centre Melbourne seeks to provide a contemplative space to facilitate spiritual journeys and personal growth. Spiritual Direction is one of the services offered. It is available through conversations about your life in the light of your faith or values.
The focus is on your spiritual journey through the day to day experiences of your life. These conversations assist discernment of what is life-giving for you, and what is binding you or holding you back from becoming all you have the potential to be. With greater clarity and self-knowledge you can then choose the way forward on the spiritual journey with greater freedom.
Spiritual Direction conversations are times set aside for yourself; times to talk and to be heard; times for focused attention on what’s important to you. There is no set agenda or prescriptive process but rather an openness and attentiveness to your deepest longings as they emerge.
When can Spiritual Direction be helpful?
Spiritual Direction can be particularly helpful if you feel a need for change in your life in response to a calling to a deeper spiritual life; or feel stuck and dissatisfied in your spiritual journey; or when you are dealing with difficult circumstances; or when you feel a desire to talk at a deeper level than day-to-day conversations allow; or have a persistent yearning for a more intimate relationship with God. Speaking about what’s happening, receiving the undivided attention of another, focused on what matters to you, can in itself be most helpful, supportive and encouraging on your spiritual journey.
Is Spiritual Direction different from counselling?
The main focus in Spiritual Direction is your spiritual journey. The main focus of counselling is problem solving. Both deal with the concrete reality of your experience of life and both encourage deepening self-knowledge. In counselling such self-knowledge serves the purpose of dealing with the problem or on-going difficult life situation. In Spiritual Direction such self-knowledge enables greater freedom to respond to the fullness of life to which God is calling you, that is, to more fully become the unique person you are created to be. With an appropriate counsellor, counselling can certainly facilitate this journey too without being the primary focus.
How are Spiritual Directors trained?
The qualification of ‘Spiritual Director’ is through a Graduate Diploma which involves both theory and practice. Spiritual Directors themselves receive regular Spiritual Direction and also Professional Supervision.
Who are the Spiritual Directors?
Bernadette Micallef qualified as a Spiritual Director at the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre in 2011 and has been working at The Carmelite Centre since 2012. She is married with three sons (two young adults and a teenager) and has been a lay member of the Carmelite Order since 1991. She has a Bachelor of Theology and a Graduate Diploma in Spirituality (Spiritual Direction) from YTU and is currently studying for a Master of Theology (Carmelite Studies).
Damien Peile is The Carmelite Centre Pastoral Adviser. Damien is available as a Spiritual Companion and draws on his professional qualifications in counselling and theology as well as his many years experience and commitment to supporting others on the spiritual journey.
Can I get to Middle Park by public transport?
No. 12 Tram from Collins St to stop 135 (on Mills Street) then 220 m walk down Richardson Street.
No. 96 Tram from Bourke St to stop 129 (on Canterbury Rd) then 450 m walk down Wright Street.
If you are interested in finding out more about Spiritual Direction or making an appointment, please contact us by email email@example.com