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Group Spiritual Direction: Community for Discernment Paperback – September 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Well written, clear, practical. --Vision

From the Back Cover

Group Spiritual Direction is a resource for people wishing to explore the possibilities of spiritual community within the context of group spiritual direction. Rose Mary Dougherty's writing acknowledges the growing need that many people have for small communities of support in their relationship with God, and it describes the diverse means that various religious traditions and denominations have used to address this need. The text presents group spiritual direction as a unique form of spiritual community which assists people in ongoing individual discernment. Drawing on years of experience as a spiritual director and as one who has offered group spiritual direction in ecumenical settings, the author provides both the theological understanding and the detailed information needed to establish spiritual direction groups. She consistently invites the reader to return to her primary assumption: the most important element in group spiritual direction is the contemplative stance of presence to God for one another within the group meeting and prayer for one another outside the meeting. The author also offers practical suggestions for fostering this contemplative stance as well as ways to prepare people for group spiritual direction.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809135981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809135981
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Dougherty, a trainer of spiritual directors at the Shalem Institute, shared her expertise in this basic text. Chapters 1-3 were about spiritual direction in general--interesting and informative, but I found myself feeling impatient to get to the "group" part. Consideration of groups began with Chapter 4 and was worth the wait. The author presented a clear, sound model of how to organize and conduct a spiritual direction group and included readily understandable examples and verbal illustrations. I especially appreciated her relentless emphasis on the role of God in spiritual direction. My only reservation about her recommendations was that she seemed to underestimate the importance of discouraging spouses and close friends from being in the same group together.
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As one who has many years of small group work behind him and who has trained a fair number of small group leaders I very much appreciate Rose Mary's presentation on Group Spiritual Direction. Although I am a novice when it comes to spiritual direction/guidance (SDSG), I have a great trust in the small group process. A few years ago when I became aware, through the Oasis SDSG program, that spiritual direction was happening in a small group format, I knew that I wanted to facilitate small group spiritual direction. I bought Rose Mary's book.

Rose Mary's is a sound, basic format in which to do group spiritual direction. In the past year I have been blessed to facilitate group spiritual direction with four small group leaders who had no prior experience with spiritual direction nor did I in a group setting. Using Rose Mary's format as a teaching and facilitating tool we have formed a spiritually intimate support group that quickly realized the value of returning to silence as a way to return to center and is constantly in wonder of the presence of the Holy Spirit as our guide.

As a spiritual guide who trusts the guidance of the Holy Spirit you will soon grow to trust Rose Mary's format for facilitating group spiritual guidance as you experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within the group. If your bliss is found in being a conduit for the spiritual growth of another, you will significantly add to your bliss as you risk being a facilitator of group spiritual guidance. Blessings on your journey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rose Mary Dougherty's book is an amazing tool for both individual and community spiritual growth. She articulates clearly the power of a group gathered to lean into God's invitation in each other's life. I look forward to gathering people together to open a space for this kind of attentive listening.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An invaluable outline of leading Spiritual Friends groups - what they are and aren't, promise and pitfalls. Belongs on every pastor's shelf.
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