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Spiritual Guidance Series

The Siena Series in Spiritual Guidance: Cultivating Spiritual Companions for a More Just and Compassionate World

Are you a spiritual guide hungry for ongoing growth, community, and soul-care?

Consider joining this new online learning series for 2022.

Designed to deepen the art and skill of spiritual guidance, these virtual workshops will cultivate self-knowledge, open space for conversation and connection; and build skills through focused topics.

Presented live on Zoom, these programs will enrich both seasoned and recently-graduated spiritual guides, as well as companions-in-training. The timely content has been developed in collaboration with SGTP program graduates, who recommended topics helpful to their practices.


The Multiple Faces of Grief
Saturday, September 24, 2022

9:30am - 3:00pm Central


Facilitated by: Gloria Alt

Being a presence to those who experience loss and grief can be an important part of what we do in spiritual guidance. Our seekers might have suffered the loss of a loved one; feelings of grief and loss also surface in many other aspects of life--illness, job loss, divorce, financial difficulties, aging, and family dysfunction. A number of people also feel loss and grief due to a sense of anxiety, isolation and hopelessness during this time in our society.

Whatever the cause of their sorrow, our challenge as directors and guides is to be witnesses and companions as a seekers grief journey unfolds.

In The Multiple Faces of Grief” we will consider how grief stories and the issues of loss come up in our spiritual guidance sessions. We will explore aspects of grief and loss as we think about how we can best create, hold, and sanctify space for and with our seekers. We will reflect both separately and together on this material, with the intention of being able to be insightful, compassionate, and fully present to our seekers.

The cost of this Grief Workshop is $75 which includes a $20 non-refundable deposit.

Deposits can be paid online at the time of registration, by mailing a check made out to Siena Retreat Center, or by calling the front desk at 262-898-2590 to pay with a credit card.  Deposits must be received to complete your registration and get workshop readings and details. 

Siena Retreat Center
5637 Erie Street
Racine, WI  53402

Gloria Alt is a 2020 graduate of the Spiritual Guidance Training Program. She has an MA in Religious Studies from Edgewood College. She retired from the fields of law, accounting, and nonprofit administration to be the caregiver of her late husband. Gloria is a Certified Bereavement Companion in Dr. Alan Wolfelt's companioning model of grief support. She gives 5-week Bereavement Support Groups, as well as one-time workshops on aspects of grief. She practices as a spiritual guide for both individuals and groups, online and in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.

Miriam Brown, OP, a Sinsinawa Dominican, is a spiritual guide, retreat facilitator, presenter on current spirituality themes, and was a team member of the Center's Spiritual Guidance Training Program for over ten years. She has a master's degree in Religious Studies from Fordham University and directed an ecumenical organization for 13 years. Miriam has an eye for the Spirit's movement in the world and flowing in each person's precious life.

Jo Giarrante- Annette Jo Giarrante, MDiv, CCPC, has had a private practice in spiritual direction and life coaching for over 20 years. Jo trained and served on staff at the Institute for Spiritual  Leadership in Chicago. She offers retreats and seminars on spiritual direction and supervision, communication skills, spiritual development, conflict management, and self-care skills. Jo is on the staff of Siena Retreat Center's Spiritual Guidance Training Program.

Des Raftery is a licensed clinical social worker and a spiritual director. He holds a bachelor's degrees from St. Patrick's College Maynooth, Ireland, and master's degrees in Social Work and in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago. Des is certified in numerous disciplines and therapies. He is a divorcé and family mediator, and has presented many workshops, training seminars, and retreats in Ireland, Great Britain, West Africa, and the United States. He is also a social worker with the Elk Grove Village, Illinois Police Department and maintains a private clinical practice.

Sue Sklansky has a master's degree in Counseling and has worked 30 years in non-profits, most recently as the Director of Care and Engagement for a Presbyterian church in Wilmette, Illinois. She is a 2020 alum of the Spiritual Guidance Training Program, and is an End of Life Doula. As a passionate Two on the Enneagram, she enjoys learning to use the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram, and to guide others to healthy awareness and wholeness.

Suggested Reading for February 26: "The Enneagram and Spiritual Guidance"
The Journey Toward Wholeness: Enneagram Wisdom for Stress, Balance, and Transformation by Suzanne Stabile
Enneagram Companions: Growing in Relationships and Spiritual Direction by Suzanne Zuercher 

Suggested Reading for May 20-21: "Healing and Transformation of Trauma in Spiritual Direction"
Articles to be provided

Suggested Reading for September 24: "The Multiple Faces of Grief"
The Handbook for Companioning the Mourner:  Eleven Essential Principles by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.  (A summary of the principles will be provided prior to the session. This book talks about how to be deeply present when difficult stories are shared, and can be helpful to any spiritual director.)

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Faces of Grief

$20.00 deposit required
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