The Vincentian tradition is the legacy of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, seventeenth century collaborators, mystics and founders who, after their deaths, became saints in the Catholic Church. Better known for their compassion, charity and material service to people who were marginalised, they did not neglect the spiritual needs of those to whom they ministered. This reflexive, mystagogic, four-step explorative study examines how the legacy of their spiritual practice contributes to and informs the contemporary practice of the spiritual accompaniment (an interchangeable term for the ministry known as spiritual direction) by members of the Vincentian Family. The theoretical framework for the research is established by exploring the evolving history of spiritual direction giving particular attention to its availability to and practice with people who are marginalised; exploring metaphors and models for spiritual direction from the early Church to more contemporary offerings; and proposing an over-riding paradigm of story-telling. Key formative influences on the spirituality of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac are explored and more contemporary studies in relation to spiritual accompaniment of people who are marginalised examined. The applied aspect of the research provides a thematic analysis of the findings of two qualitative studies the first with twelve practicing spiritual directors, who are members of the Vincentian Family internationally, and the second with six people in marginalised circumstances in Ireland who have received spiritual direction from members of the Vincentian Family. These are compared with the themes from a representative sample of the writings of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. The research concludes by suggesting some characteristics of spiritual direction in the Vincentian Tradition and identifies the capacity for further research on the nature, character and scope of spiritual direction in diverse contexts.
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Spiritual Accompaniment, Marginalisation, Vincentian Tradition