Our Community

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Kalyn Falk, MA

Director

Kalyn Falk has been honoured to accompany people in spiritual direction and retreats for over 15 years. A graduate of the Prairie Jubilee Spiritual Direction program (2002), she has Co-Directed the Shekinah Formation Program for 2 cycles alongside Mary Coswin, OSB and is mentored by Brother Don Bisson, FMS. 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 also teaches at Menno Simons College in the area of Conflict Resolution Studies and trains with the Crisis and Trauma Resource Center. She has been actively involved in Mennonite Brethren and Anglican communities and is presently part of a small House Church.

Guides

An important aspect of the Shekinah program is the commitment to ongoing development and deepening opportunities for people who have completed the program. Our Guides are graduates of the Shekinah (or similar) program, who will participate in and provide leadership for the Formation program beginning in Fall. They will assist with opening prayer in our weekend modules, help facilitate discussion groups, and provide spiritual direction for retreats. These positions are currently open and we invite applications.

Rachel Twigg

Rachel Twigg just celebrated her 10th anniversary as a spiritual director and continues to feel a sense of awe whenever someone invites her to listen to their unfolding story.  She is also a writer, retreat guide and priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. She has been part of the church since before she was born but spent time in many different denominations and is an ecumenist at heart.  She loves working with all sorts of people but has a particular passion for supporting leaders who identify as what Shonda Rhimes calls F.O.Ds (First. Only. Different.).     Rachel trained as a spiritual director in the Shekinah Formation program and is also an oblate of St Benedict’s Monastery.

Janet Peters

Janet is a recent (2020) graduate of the Shekinah program. While she is currently not doing formal direction, the skills and knowledge she gained about listening, about God, and about herself are finding their ways into her current vocation as Program Director for an Anabaptist summer camp program. Being a Guide felt like another way to continue learning and growing while also giving back and passing forward what she has received.

Janet enjoys walks and hikes, puzzles and games, movies and books. An introvert with a heart for worship and creating sacred spaces, she is glad to continue working out her calling in life with the Shekinah community in a new way.

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.

Janelle Schneider

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.

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.

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.

Lori Matties

Lori Matties has been practising spiritual direction since 2004. She holds a master’s degree in Old Testament studies and is a graduate of the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary Extension course in Spiritual Direction. Lori grew up in the United Church of Canada and has worshiped with a Mennonite community for the last 20 years. She finds the Enneagram and Myers Briggs Type Indicator helpful in observing her own and others’ striving for well being. Lori is a maker of clothing, furniture, jewelry, and garden sheds, and loves to enjoy God’s handiwork in the garden, the canoe and other wild places.

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. 

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

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!