Ministry: Co-director at Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center in Skaneateles, N.Y.
Sister Patricia Larkin spends time reflecting with Pat Albrecht at Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center.
What does it mean to be a spiritual director? For Sister Patricia Larkin “it’s just being in relationship with the person, letting them know that they are unique.” In that uniqueness, she says “only they can go to God as they do it. I help them to recognize their special way.” She explains that for some this may be through music, cooking, creation or in their generosity of serving others.
She says that we have a great model in St. Francis who stumbled through his life trying many things until he found God. As St. Francis had a special relationship with God, so do we. Sister Patricia tells the individuals she directs that they don’t have to come to God like someone else does. “I want them to be free of all that and have them realize that God looks on us in total love and admiration.”
As a Sister of St. Francis, praying together in community is a significant part of Sister Patricia’s life. “When we pray for people who request our prayers, we turn it over to God. We pray in communion with the whole church. This is a very important part of the church’s ministry,” she says. “We’re all connected in the communion of saints.”
Sister Patricia’s heart is full of gratitude for her ministry of spiritual direction and retreat work. “It’s so enriching,” she says. “When people tell you their unique stories and how they have been led, you know God is at work. It makes me stand in awe. It is humbling.”