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Our Community


Kalyn Falk, MA


Kalyn Falk has been honoured to accompany people in spiritual direction and retreats for over 20 years, and has been a Supervisor for the past decade. A graduate of the Prairie Jubilee Spiritual Direction program (2002), she Co-Directed the Shekinah Formation Program for 2 cycles alongside Mary Coswin, OSB and was the Director for this past cycle. She is consistently delighted by the way God shows up in spiritual direction sessions and is attentive to the skills involved in creating a safe space for people to let down their guard and encounter the Holy.


Known as a warm and engaging facilitator, Kalyn has also been a sessional lecturer at Menno Simons College in the area of Conflict Resolution Studies and trained for both the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute and Mediation Services. She has been actively involved in Mennonite Brethren and Anglican communities as well as a small House Church.

Kalyn is mentored by Brother Don Bisson, FMS and was on the Youth Council for the Manitoba Department of Families as a Community Expert. She spends much of her volunteer time involved in social justice, solidarity work and advocacy.

Janelle Schneider

Assistant Director, Spiritual Direction Formation Program


Janelle Schneider has been practicing spiritual direction since completing the Shekinah program in 2011. Her passion for soul growth includes continuing deepening studies and practices with the Enneagram, archetypes, and personal prayer practices. Married to a retired Canadian Forces engineer, she has had many experiences with transitions and finding the Divine in uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Her spiritual journey has taken her through many different Christian denominations where she has been delighted to discover the presence of Spirit wherever “two or more are gathered". Janelle, her husband and their family have made their home in Winnipeg since 2008.

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Board of Directors

Mary Coswin, OSB

The ministry of spiritual direction found me in 1983 shortly after returning from earning a Masters degree in Formative Spirituality at Duquesne University. After 25 years of meeting with persons of all denominations and ages, and with the encouragement of S.Maureen Conroy, I through St. Benedict’s Retreat Centre launched Shekinah Formation in Spiritual Direction. In the company of Sisters Catherine Labinowich and Sandra Stewart, David Walsh and Kalyn Falk as co directors over these 23 years I have kept learning. What a blessing and joy to have walked with many gifted and called women and men who now accompany others in their unique journeys.


Catherine Bargen, M.A.

Catherine has been working with communities to develop restorative justice programs for over 20 years. Her leadership and experience span working closely with government, nonprofits, educational institutions, Indigenous communities, victim services/anti-violence groups, and religious communities. Whether providing individualized coaching, leading a large-group dialogue, or managing an organizational change process, she is known for her comprehensive skill set, upbeat style, and genuine care for those she serves.

Advisory Team
Our advisory team offers supervision for the program and is an active, prayerful presence for the students. Additional resource team members will join us for our Saturday sessions, offering supervision and additional training.
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Marigold Peters

I was introduced to the idea of Spiritual Direction just after the turn of the century. The subsequent hours of direction became invaluable through the years as I confronted life and faith (mostly one and the same!) transitions. I became interested in providing direction for others and entered the Shekinah Program at St. Benedict’s Monastery, completing it in 2015. Offering direction happened in fits and starts due to a variety of challenges but the practice continues to draw me as I enter yet another life transition. To be entrusted with accompaniment in this way is an honour. I am still learning, both as director and directee and intend to continue to do so.

I have just completed my BA at Providence University College and am employed at River Park Gardens as a Spiritual Care Associate. I love the outdoors in a variety of ways, including hiking, biking, golfing, kayaking, gardening etc. I enjoy reading, cooking, baking, and gathering with friends and family to share food (cheese is one favourite food!), drink, and life stories.

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Elaine Pinto

A former teacher, Elaine served in para church groups as Bible study guide, and retreat leader while raising a family. In mid-life, theological study led to ten years of hospital chaplaincy, and further study in the Christian Contemplative tradition. Through St. Benedict’s Monastery in Winnipeg, Elaine became a Spiritual Director, and a Benedictine Oblate. She is a member of St. Margaret’s Anglican Church where she has served in Pastoral Care as a deacon. Though recently widowed, her life remains deeply enriched with her family (now totalling 18). She is often glad for “another chance” with raising children!


Nancy Philips

Nancy is a Spiritual Director, Retired Nurse, Grandmother and Retreat Director who finds solace in green spaces.  She is a graduate of the Shekinah program of Spiritual Direction formation and Forest Dwelling:  Spirituality for Our Wisdom Years program, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX. 

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Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy  has been blessed to listen to folk talk about them and God for over 20 years as a Spiritual Director. He recently retired as Co-Minister of Pastoral and Spiritual Care from Grace Bible Church, a small non-denominational congregation in Winnipeg. He’s still a husband of one woman, father of 2 grown / married boys and soon to be grandfather. He is also an on-call Spiritual Care Provider at HSC, Winnipeg’s largest downtown hospital. He continues to offer spiritual direction from home via Zoom - which will change soon, we all hope.


Laura Funk

I was drawn to the practice of Spiritual Direction because of my passion for and delight in the spiritual journey. I come from a Mennonite background, with 17 years of experience in an ecumenical congregation, including five years in leadership. I'm married to a Roman Catholic and have experience with other traditions as well. I believe that each tradition has its own gifts and challenges. I particularly enjoy using techniques in Spiritual Direction for healing traumatic memories and harmful images of God. I lead workshops and retreats with Butterfly Journeys and am currently on-track for ordination in 2021

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Sandy Stewart

My name is Sandra (Sandy) Stewart and I am a member of a Catholic international missionary congregation, the Sisters of our Lady of the Missions. I began training in the ministry of spiritual accompaniment in 1988, and graduated from more extensive studies in the field at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership (Loyola Chicago University 1992-94). I had the privilege of being a co-director of the Shekinah program in its beginning with my Benedictine sisters, Mary Coswin and Catherine Labinowich. I find the experience of an ever-deepening relationship with God Trinity very compelling, freeing, and meaningful in the midst of a world hungry for spiritual significance. Accompaniment on such a journey--whether I am the guide or the traveler—is very enlivening for me. I find the Gospel story challenging, the new Universe story amazing, good poetry consoling, ‘forest-bathing’ healing, and chocolate just downright fun!

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