News and Updates: Where GRE Led Me: "An Additional Ministry: Spiritual Direction" by Joe Walters

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where GRE Led Me: "An Additional Ministry: Spiritual Direction" by Joe Walters

I left institutional church as a college freshman in 1968. Thirty or so years later, a young couple asked me to be their daughter’s godparent. I went to a class for godparents, and learned that I had to be a practicing Catholic to be a godparent. I returned to my local parish. Later, I became a member of the RCIA team. I felt inadequate as a facilitator. In 2008, I saw an ad in America magazine for on-line learning opportunities at the GSRRE.  Initially, I enrolled in the Certificate in Faith Formation program. With Dr. Cataldos encouragement. I switched to the MA in Pastoral Care after taking her Psychology and Religion class. Fordham awarded me the MA in 2012. I concurrently completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, which Dr. Cataldo also introduced to me. I became a certified Catholic chaplain in 2013, and work part time at the University of Oklahoma medical center in the Pastoral Care department. I am now living near the Fordham campus and finishing class work towards a DMin. in Christian Spirituality. I have the blessed opportunity to participate in a Practicum in Spiritual Direction this year. This ministry is a natural outgrowth of my experience and training as a chaplain: to explore deeply with another person the way that God loves them and is working in their lives. It is very gratifying and rewarding to apply the substantive knowledge of scripture, ecclesiology, history of Christian spirituality and reflective methodologies and techniques that I learned in my courses at Fordham in my chaplain work and in my new ministry as a spiritual director. I have the capacity to work with a few new directees and welcome inquiries from members of our community.


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