Sisters reach out with virtual spiritual direction and retreats

Dec 17, 2020

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia have long offered one-on-one spiritual direction, with the sisters and staff of Manna House of Prayer also offering directed retreats on a variety of topics.

However, the threat of Covid 19 has made most in-person meetings impossible or impractical. The sisters at Manna House quickly assessed the situation and began offering both spiritual direction and many of their retreats virtually.

Virtual spiritual direction was not new to Manna House. Several of the spiritual directors had previously used Facetime, Instant Messenger video conferencing and Skype to reach out across long distances to offer their services. This year they used that experience, and the addition of other technology tools like Zoom, to increase their reach.

 “In these times of COVID 19 and all of the uncertainty and suffering it has caused, the heartbreak of losing loved ones, jobs, markets, businesses and the future that we’d dreamed of or banked on it is sometimes helpful to have a ‘spiritual companion’ or ‘soul friend’ to visit with about the deepest concerns and questions that haunt us,” Sister Marcia Allen, a spiritual director at Manna House said. “The sisters who staff Manna House have experience and training in journeying with others in difficult times. If you are wondering where God is in all of this chaos and loss of meaning you might welcome a companion or friend for deeper conversations from time to time.”

Sister Janet Lander, a spiritual director at Manna House, said she had been using technology to companion with her directees for years, particularly those who lived in other countries. However, with the increase of Covid, the use of technology has become even more important.

“In this day and age, even before Covid, it was important to be able to connect with people who couldn’t take time off from work to travel to Concordia,” Sister Janet said. “Thanks to advances in technology we’re able to connect, not just by voice, but visually. This is so important because it allows you to read your directee’s body language and connect.”

To inquire about spiritual direction, contact Manna House at (785) 243-4428 or email retreatcenter@mannahouse.org. To view the schedule of upcoming retreats, visit www.mannahouse.org and click on the retreats and workshops link. Upcoming retreats can also be found on the Manna House of Prayer facebook page at www.facebook.com/MannaHouseOfPrayer. If the internet is not convenient or available, you can call Manna House and request a printed copy of their 2021 brochure.

Congregation/Community: 
Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia
Website: 
csjkansas.org
Contact Information: 

Manna House of Prayer, 785-243-4428 or retreatcenter@mannahouse.org

Catherine Doud, Director of Communications, cdoud@csjkansas.org