Jim Dooley sm
March 5, 2013
After nearly two decades in Wellington, spiritual director Lyndall Brown rsj is moving to Auckland as part the leadership team of her congregation, The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
Lyndall had come to Wellington from Nelson in 1997 to join a ministry team at Futuna Retreat House, moving with the team to the Emmaus Retreat and Spirituality Centre in Thorndon when Futuna closed in 2000.
At her farewell last month, many spoke enthusiastically of Lyndall’s spiritual support for them including Patrick Bridgman who Lyndall companioned after his ordination to priesthood.
She said that this was also at the start of her work, having just taken up the spiritual director’s role in Stoke after study at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago.
Before this, Lyndall had been religious education adviser in the Palmerston North Diocese.
Lyndall told the 30 or so friends gathered at Pa Maria of the significance for her of the opportunity to engage in spiritual direction and the importance of the ministry in the lives of the many she companioned and the groups who participated in the courses and retreats.
She particularly mentioned the retreats and spirituality workshops for women which she had presented with Sr Ann Maree Thompson rsm and the ‘Nourishing the Soul’ programme that they offered with Frs Gerard Whiteford sm and Jim Dooley sm.
All of these touched the lives of many hundreds of people in the archdiocese and wider Christian community.
She said that she had enjoyed the companionship and hospitality of the Marist communities with which she had worked and the support of many colleagues.
Sr Ann Maree described Lyndall’s work as a spiritual director as a ‘hidden ministry’ – the individual and sacramental nature of the work of spiritual companioning and its lack of a public face. For the person in spiritual direction, the real work is about the inner journey and is private and sacred.
For the director, it is confidential, professional and privileged.
Bev Phillips said the professional supervision group Lyndall had formed in 1997 continues to be one of the many creative ways in which Lyndall has contributed generously to the spiritual enrichment of so many people.
Her friends and clients in Wellington bless her in her new life and work. They will miss her greatly.