Spiritual Companionship Rooted in the Atrium

September 2022

Catherine Maresca with Susan Piescik

Communal listening is an experience of holding and supporting the concerns of one another within the bigger embrace of God. This is enhanced with other catechists who already share a common CGS background and language.

Susan Piescik, catechist and formation leader

An ongoing challenge, as part of our catechist community matures, or is no longer able to work in the atrium, is how we can continue to serve as we age? Susan Piescik and others among us have found their way by becoming spiritual directors. Their work in the intersection of spiritual direction and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd allows participants to use the rich language of CGS – often not easily understood without explanations. 

Another ongoing challenge for catechists is finding a group where we can pray, discern a call, and/or heal in a CGS context. A group that can understand the details and challenges of our work, and listen with compassionate hearts, will offer an atrium experience: a place that nurtures our relationship with God.

I am hoping that our first yearlong offering of Group Spiritual Companionship, which starts in October, will be an opportunity to address both of these challenges. The group will be led by Susan Piescik. Part of her formation as a spiritual director included participation in a group. She writes, “Whether sharing or listening, participation in a Spiritual Companions Group has become an important part of my life.”

Here is her invitation for your consideration:

Looking for community and attentive listening to the longings and questions of your heart? Consider joining the newly forming Spiritual Companions Group with other CGS catechists. Apply your knowledge and experience as a co-listener to reflect communally on the spiritual journey. How do our beloved materials and presentations help us to take a “long, loving, look” at the ways our lives are being drawn into the mystery of God? Individuals take turns sharing – an anecdote, challenge, pending decision, loss, or question – while other group members, together with a trained spiritual director, listen carefully and respond in ways that encourage deeper exploration. Monthly participation is encouraged to build continuity and a community of prayer. 

We are grateful for Susan’s willingness to share this gift with a group of you starting on October 4, and meeting monthly through June.  See other dates and information here. Give yourself and other participants the opportunity to be heard and supported in the intersection of CGS and Group Spiritual Companionship.

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