Franciscan Spiritual Direction Training Program



Spiritual direction is an ancient practice of accompaniment that honors the divine light in each person, helping the seeker to further awaken to the mystery called God in his or her unique and sacred journey. The spiritual direction relationship is grounded in contemplative practice and includes deep and attentive listening for movements of the Holy Spirit in relationship with self, others, and creation.



Our two-year program is inspired by our passion for the ministry of spiritual direction. Participants are guided by an experienced team who will welcome them as colleagues to create an atmosphere of mutual ministry and learning. Emphasis is placed upon the role of the spiritual director as companion rather than leader in helping others to recognize and follow the movements of grace in their lives.

We explore in depth our core topics, which include Self Knowledge, Contemplative Attitude, Practices of Prayer and Silence, Listening and Speaking Skills, Psychological Knowledge, Discernment, Intimacy, Social Justice, Historical and Biblical Contexts, and Freedom.


We welcome all with personal experience that includes a practice of daily prayer and at least three to five years experience of being in spiritual direction. Candidates are required to submit a completed application and two letters of recommendation, and to attend a personal interview.

Ideal candidates bring life experience that reflects a deep grounding in their relationship with God, have received affirmation of this call from others in their community, and desire an experiential and academic program in a contemporary Christian context while being open to learning from other faith traditions and practices.


Requirements for graduation include; monthly spiritual direction, attendance and participation in all classes and small groups, required reading and reflection papers, class presentations, monthly meetings with two directees and an individual supervisor beginning the interim summer through graduation, and attendance at two weekend retreats. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon completion of these requirements.



Classes will be primarily held online

Saturdays 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

with one in-person instructional weekend and one weekend retreat at a retreat house each year, if it is safe to do so.

Fall 2023: Online classes September 16, October 21, November 18, and December 9.

Spring 2024: Online classes January 20, February 17, March 22-24 Retreat at LaSalette, and April 20.
May 18 Graduation for Class of 2024.

Information for the 2024 – 2026 Classes


$50 one-time non-refundable registration fee
$1250 per semester, which includes two weekend retreats and 12 sessions of individual supervision
Books generally cost less than $75 each semester

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE by July 1, 2024 for the 2024-2026 class.

Applications will be reviewed and people will be accepted on a rolling basis as they apply.

For application or further information, please contact:

Br. Bob Frazzetta, OFM

Franciscan Spiritual Direction Certification Program
100 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02215

617-542-6440 x 270
[email protected]

The Shrine is located in Downtown Crossing, accessible from the T with stops at Park Street and Downtown Crossing. Nearby parking garages offer reasonable Saturday rates.

Here’s What Our Graduates Have Said About Us
“The teachers in the program helped us to gain the skills we needed, and the
content was rich. The greatest gift I received, however, was the result of the
sharing of teachers and students towards a deeper and more intimate relationship with God.” Jim Morris

“Enlightening” John Barrett
“It has been a life-changing journey.” Cynthia Tokos

“This training has nurtured my call to the ministry of spiritual direction. I am excited to accompany others on their spiritual journey.” Alice Poltorick

“The Spiritual Direction training program at the Shrine has exceeded my already high expectations. I have felt God’s Presence more deeply, grown in knowledge and skills, and found real joy with my classmates in this ministry.” Mary Iannuzzi


Screen Shot 2018 09 18 at 1.15.57 PMCarol Mitchell Ph.D. Program Director ~ Since 1994, I have accompanied people in spiritual direction, led weekend retreats and days of prayer and worked on directed retreats, including the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. My first career was as a clinical psychologist where I focused on trauma and abuse issues as well as helping to train long term prisoners to become addiction treatment counselors. I am married with three grown children and five grandchildren, two of whom live across the hall from me.


Rev. Nash Garabedian, Jr. M.Div., D. MIN. ~ I completed my training for spiritual direction at the Center for Religious Development, Cambridge, MA in 1986. In addition to offering spiritual direction and directed retreats, I have worked as a maritime and racetrack chaplain and served United Church of Christ churches in Maine. I currently serve and as law enforcement chaplain for the Portland Police Department, Portland, ME.

3Lucretia B. Yaghjian, M.Div., Ph.D. ~ I am a graduate of the Franciscan Spiritual Direction Program at St. Anthony Shrine and joined the FSDB leadership team in 2018. I trained previously in spiritual direction at Weston Jesuit School of Theology where I received the Master of Divinity degree. As a former college professor with a Ph.D. in English Literature, I taught theological writing for 25 years at Weston Jesuit, Boston College, and Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, and continue to embrace writing as a spiritual practice. I offer spiritual direction at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Acton MA, and work with FSDP Year One students at St. Anthony Shrine.

Sara Milone

Sara Janecko Milone, M.Ed., M.Div. ~ Steeped in Jesuit education, I have degrees from the College of the Holy Cross, Loyola Marymount University, and Boston College. I completed my spiritual direction training at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, and I am trained to direct the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.