Spiritual Opportunities

Explore Our Ongoing Spiritual Opportunities!

Program Opportunities

Sign up to take part in one or more of the events we have scheduled.  To find those, please visit our events page.

A Day for You

“A Day Away” is an opportunity to take a day to be attentive, be creative, and be quiet at Lial Renewal Center. Pack a lunch, take a walk, sit by the lake or the warmth of a fire… Let the day unfold and leave renewed. Call ahead, and a staff member will be waiting to greet you.

Daytime Meeting Space

Daytime Meeting Spaces allow parish staff or group members to get away during the work week for strategic planning, team building, ministry formation or prayer and reflection…together.

Groups may set their own agenda, or a staff member will be happy to help plan, organize and facilitate your group experience.

Private Retreat

A Private Retreat allows a person time and space for deeper and quieter prayer in a beautiful, natural setting. This time alone with God may be one or more days.

Directed Retreat

A Directed Retreat provides quiet space for prayer, as well as a meeting each day with a spiritual director. This retreat may extend over a weekend, several days or a week.

Meet our SND Spiritual Directors

Spiritual Direction encourages the seeker to become more keenly aware of how God is present and at work.

Spiritual directors are available to listen with you to the Holy Spirit, ask reflective questions, point out resources, assist with roadblocks, and celebrate breakthroughs.

Sister Marilyn Ann Angel, SND

Do you love God? Or are you in love with God? In spiritual companionship/spiritual direction, the directee and I share and reflect together how God is present in all life’s experiences, in prayer and in relationships . Through this on-going sharing, the directee will come to a more meaningful and deeper love relationship with God.

I received my three-year spiritual direction training through a diocesan sponsored program directed by Sr. Carol Ann Smith, SHCJ, in Toledo, Ohio at Lourdes University. This program included an extra year of training for directing retreats.  Presently I am a Faith Formation Director at Immaculate Conception Parish.

Port Clinton, OH/567-395-2385/mangel@toledosnd.org

Sister Joyce Marie Bates, SND

I received certification from Manresa Retreat Center in 1995 and have a background in Ignatian Spirituality including the Spiritual Exercises and therefore can accompany a person in the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. I believe my role is to be a good listener and to walk with the directee.

Sandusky, OH/419-304-1244/jbates@toledosnd.org

Sister Joanne Mary Frania, SND

joannIn spiritual direction I accompany persons on their life journeys, listening for how God may be leading them to facilitate their growth in their relationship with God and finding God as integral in their daily living.

In 1998 I was trained in the 5-month Resident Associate Program at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA; in 2000 I returned for their 30-day Associate Program in order to direct the 30-day retreat and the Nineteenth Annotation retreat according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Sylvania, OH/419-913-9851/jfrania@toledosnd.org

Sister Mary Deborah Giles, SND

Sister Mary Deborah Giles received her MA in Christian Spirituality with certification for retreat and spiritual direction from Creighton University. A seasoned mental health and addictions therapist, Sister Deb grasps the significance of recovery work –be that from addictive substances or ongoing mental health challenges–in freeing one to hear God more clearly and follow more freely. Sr. Deb describes her approach toward spiritual direction as a shared contemplative and existential experience with another seeker in which they together attend to, discern and appreciate the movements of God calling the individual to fullness of life.


Sister Susan Maria Kusz, SND

Sister Susan Maria Kusz has worked in spiritual direction and retreat ministry for the past twenty-plus years in Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin at a variety of retreat/sabbatical centers.

She studied at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Michigan. Sr. Susan has a special love and care for creation and is deeply committed to living and promoting a sustainable way of life in care for Earth, our common home. She writes a weekly blog at https://tendingsacredearth.wordpress.com

Oshkosh, WI/920-231-9060, x 224/skusz@jesuitretreathouse.org

Sister Mary Barbra Ostheimer, SND


Sister Mary Barbra sees spiritual direction as a personal opportunity to share one’s life journey (one to one) with an experienced director and person of prayer in order to personally discover and celebrate what God is doing in one’s own life and to foster growth in one’s relationship with the Lord. A spiritual director also is alert to assist the person seeking spiritual direction (the directee) to note where and how God is active in his or her daily life and prayer. This accompaniment is a special gift on one’s life journey.

Sister received her Masters degree in Spirituality with an emphasis in spiritual direction and retreat ministry from Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. She made the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and participated in the Jesuit training program at Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Whitehouse, OH/714-824-0810/mb.ostheimer@hotmail.com

Sister Linda Maria Pelagio, SND

By God’s grace and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Sr. Linda Maria sees and experiences God’s loving presence in people, nature and in herself through the eyes of the heart. Spiritual direction, for her, is companioning and helping a person become consciously aware of God, who is at work in every situation, fostering growth and developing an intimate relationship with the Divine.

She completed her two year Spiritual Direction Practicum at the Dominican Center in 2011. This program encompasses an eclectic, ecumenical and inclusive approach. She received training in Ignatian Spirituality through the 19th Annotation. She coordinated retreats for persons with disabilities, especially those who are blind and visually impaired.

Toledo, OH/419-270-3642/lmpelagio930@gmail.com

Sister Mary Dean Pfahler, SND

sr dean

Sister Mary Dean delights in helping seekers savor their experience of Gracious Mystery in their lives.  She completed the internship in Ignatian spirituality at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and recently enjoyed a sabbatical at Springbank Retreat: Ecospirituality and the Arts. She is currently engaged in parish and campus ministry in Long Beach California.

Long Beach, CA/419-304-8530/mdpfahler@toledosnd.org

Sister Joan Marie Recker, SND


Sister is available for spiritual direction and retreat programs.  Sister previously served on the international leadership team of the congregation, in provincial leadership and as novice director.  She has an MA in theology from St. John’s Collegeville, MN and completed the spirituality program at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Wernersville PA.  She believes that every retreat is primarily an opportunity to experience God’s unconditional love and to love more deeply in return.

Whitehouse, OH/419-913-9712/jmrecker@ndec.org

Sister Rita Marie Schroeder, SND

Sister Rita Marie uses spiritual direction to help persons discover God’s presence in the daily events and questions of their lives. Her ministry has enabled her to walk with college students and young adults to those facing serious illness or their final journey.

Sister received her spiritual direction certification from Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Toledo, OH/419-708-7075/rschroeder@toledosnd.org

Sister Rosellyn Theisen, SND

After 26 years of ministry of spiritual direction and retreats, it is everyday a blessing to converse with others about their longings for a deeper relationship with God, people, and all creation. As a listener, I hope to be open to the Spirit, and try to prompt ways of reflecting that encourage one to be more deeply prayerful, creative, and free. One’s everyday story is where it all starts.

My training has come from Columbiere Jesuit Center in Clarkston, MI and Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Toledo, OH/419-913-8328/rtheisen@toledosnd.org

© Copyright 2019 Lial Renewal Center