Spiritual direction (also known as spiritual companionship) is a spiritual practice in which a person is invited to talk about their life and their faith with a companion who is trained in listening. A spiritual direction session is a time set aside to nurture one’s personal and spiritual growth. The spiritual director creates a safe, confidential, and loving space and asks gentle, open-ended questions which encourage reflection and self-awareness. A spiritual director helps their clients to recognize that God is always inviting them into a deeper and more trusting relationship.
Spiritual direction may feel therapeutic, but it is not therapy. Spiritual directors are not counselors; they do not solve problems. The only “directing” that is done is to help direct the client’s attention to how God is working in their life. The spiritual director is aware of and open to the Spirit working within each person and between the spiritual director and client during every session.
Elizabeth Clemmitt is a spiritual director who has been the Associate for Spiritual Wellness at St. Elisabeth’s since 2019. She meets with individuals in person at St. Elisabeth’s once a month for an agreed upon fee, and she is open to meeting over Zoom. She also offers opportunities for spiritual development to the St. Elisabeth’s community a few times a year through Sunday forums or special offerings during Advent and Lent. Elizabeth is passionate about many spiritual practices including walking labyrinths, using Anglican prayer beads, journaling, yoga, centering prayer (a Christian method of meditation), and spiritual direction. With the encouragement of her spiritual mentors, she completed a two-year training course and received a certificate from the Spiritual Guidance Training Program at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin.
Elizabeth grew up in the Kansas City area, graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts, and completed her Master’s in Music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she met her husband, Richard. Elizabeth and Richard moved to Wilmette over thirty years ago when he was hired to be the full-time choirmaster and organist at Christ Church in Winnetka. They have raised two wonderful sons while Elizabeth has been working part-time as a music teacher at two area preschools and as the director of the youngest children’s choir at Christ Church. She loves to share the joy of music with her young students and her enthusiasm for spiritual growth with her adult clients.
Elizabeth believes that one of the most precious gifts we can give to others is to really listen to them. If you are curious to try an initial meeting or are interested in starting a monthly practice, please contact her at (312) 618-1238 or through the St. Elisabeth’s office.