NEW YORK — The Center for Franciscan Spirituality and Spiritual Direction, a ministry of St. Francis of Assisi Church on 31st Street, opened in April.
According to its director Tony LoGalbo, the center promotes adult Christian living in the Franciscan tradition as described in the works of spiritual masters such as Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bonaventure and other Franciscans. It accomplishes this by adult spiritual formation through individual and group spiritual direction as well as other growth opportunities.
Members of the center’s staff focus on providing spiritual direction for the many people who seek this form of spiritual development. Spiritual direction or accompaniment, as it is sometimes called, is an interpersonal relationship in which one person (the spiritual director or companion) encourages another (the seeker) to reflect on his/her experiences in the light of the Gospel and Christian wisdom, Tony said. Through this process, the seeker is led and encouraged to discover a more conscious experience of God’s presence and love. This relationship takes place in the context of either a confidential one-on-one or group session with the spiritual director.
The center’s services are provided on a sliding scale of fees. The stipend for each session is determined during the first interview with the spiritual director.
Tony, shown in photo, is a graduate of the Christian Spirituality Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and recently completed a sabbatical program at the Franciscan Study Centre, Canterbury, England. Before relocating to Manhattan last month, Tony had spent 18 years as librarian for the Franciscan Institute in Allegany, N.Y., as well as lecturer in the School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University.
Tony’s associates are Anthony Carrozzo and Sr. Mary Petrosky, FMM, who have been seeing clients since last fall. They both received their training through the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, Calif. All three center members have served in a variety of formation and leadership positions in their communities which add experience to their knowledge of Franciscan spiritual direction.
Future offerings of the Center for Franciscan Spirituality and Spiritual Direction include faith sharing, lectio divina in the Franciscan tradition, programs in spirituality and the arts which will further the understanding and living of the Franciscan tradition in contemporary life, Tony said.
The center’s offices are located in the friary building adjacent to the church. Construction of a gathering room is planned for later this year.
For further information, contact Br. Tony LoGalbo at 212-736-8500 ext. 253.