Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is a process of accompanying people on their spiritual journey, listening for what gives them meaning, and helping them grow closer to God/the Divine/the sacred. You may wish to meet once, or several times, during your stay at Crieff Hills, as a way to deepen your retreat experience.  Sessions are typically one hour long, and a private meeting space at Crieff Hills can be arranged if necessary. All of the spiritual directors listed below have been trained through rigorous, multi-year, spiritual direction certification programs through Ontario Jubilee or the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids. The fee is $60 per session, and is payable directly to your spiritual director. Please contact any of the following spiritual directors to arrange a suitable date and time to meet.

Marijke Bio Pic 1

Marijke Strong – contact: strongmar[email protected], www.marijkestrong.com, or call/text 289-925-4444

Spiritual background:

  • Certified spiritual director, Dominican Center Grand Rapids
  • MDiv in Theology, with emphasis on spiritual formation
  • Certified Master Level + Professional Level coach, specializing in Enneagram coaching, relationship coaching, Internal Family Systems, life coaching and leadership coaching
  • Ordained pastor, with experience offering pastoral care and community building in church settings as well national denominational leadership
  • BA in theatre and English (interest in sacred movement, embodiment, creativity, beauty, story, myth, and archetypes)
  • Experience as faith-based camp director (emphasis on spirituality in the outdoors)
  • Experience as support worker to special populations (emphasis on respect, reciprocity, and the Whole Self)

Special interests:

  • Centering prayer, breath prayer, art and poetry in prayer, nature as Divine presence
  • Grief work and spiritual trauma
  • Deconstructing religious experience, rediscovering spirituality
  • Restorative Circles (conflict transformation and reconciliation practices)
  • Creative writing, sacred movement/embodiment (somatic practice), art, poetry
  • Celtic spirituality, and its invitations into nature and interbeing
  • Themes of belovedness, wholeness, True Self / False Self, integration, self-awareness, the natural world, community, creativity, curiosity, justice and peacemaking
  • Interest in the Sacred Feminine

Marijke receives spiritual direction to explore wholeheartedness, to remember belovedness, to welcome Life, to find sacredness in the everyday, to become present to the Self, to become aware of Divine presence in all things, to explore how she might engage lovingly and reciprocally with the world.

Janet Bauman

Janet Bauman – contact: [email protected] or call 519-502-0788

Spiritual background:

  • Nurtured in the Mennonite tradition, where she continues to make her faith home
  • Studied theology, biblical and religious studies and education
  • Taught for 23 years at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in Kitchener, including church history, religious studies and English, and coordinated the chapel program
  • Participated in Tending the Soul:Training in Spiritual Formation – six retreats sponsored by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Special interests:

  • Creative writing, journaling and art as spiritual practices
  • Celtic Christianity and its emphasis on the natural world as divine revelation
  • Re-imagining the Church’s relationship with the Bible
  • Walking the labyrinth as a spiritual practice

Janet meets with her spiritual director to listen for the call of the divine in all of life, and to notice what gets in the way of embodying that call.

Ralph Brubacher 2019 (8x10 in.)-2

Ralph Brubacher – contact [email protected] or call 519-664-2414

Spiritual background:

  • Nurtured in Mennonite faith, other traditions and life experiences
  • Offered pastoral care for many years in various church settings
  • Inspired by teaching elementary/secondary students in special ed./regular
  • Sense of sacred has been informed as a husband, father and grandfather

Special interests:

  • Mid-life journey as an opportunity for transformation
  • Aging – letting go and awakening to new possibilities
  • Facing illness and end of life
  • The relationship between running and spirituality
  • Centering prayer and meditation

Ralph meets with his spiritual director to connect more deeply with Divine Belovedness, enabling him to live freely in his daily life, informed by inner knowing.


Miriam Frey – contact [email protected] or 519-501-2084 or www.sacredlistening.weebly.com

Spiritual background:

  • Grew up in the Mennonite tradition
  • Studied eastern and indigenous religions
  • Lived 3 years as a volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee
  • Completed a D.Min degree in Spiritual Direction at Regis College, Toronto

Special interests:

  • Dream work as messages from God/the Divine
  • Enneagram as a tool for self-awareness and transformation
  • Mindfulness and meditation

Miriam meets with her spiritual director to discover the sacred, which is hidden deep within, and to pay attention to how the Divine invites her to live.

Paul Miki

Paul Miki – contact: [email protected] or call 905-625-1330

Spiritual background:

  • Formation in the Catholic tradition with many years of experience in interfaith/ religious encounter and dialogue
  • Served for many years as a spiritual formation educator and school chaplain
  • Served several years as a family life minister and retreat facilitator
  • Completed a D.Min in Leadership in Ministry at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto

Special interests:

  • Interconnectedness and interdependence of all persons in our unity and diversity
  • Response to the call to be at one with our common home, Mother Earth
  • Spirituality and social justice

Paul meets with his spiritual director to explore the work of Love Loving/the Divine in his very depths and in the everyday events that are a call to participate in the co-creation of a community of love, life, grace and transformation.


Catharine Mitchell

Contact: [email protected] or call 519-716-7605, website www.bflows.ca

Spiritual background:

  • Raised in the United and Lutheran traditions, with deep Celtic roots
  • Study of interspiritual, earth-based, and mystical traditions
  • Exploration of the interface between Science/Nature and the Divine
  • Archetypes/symbols as the language of the Sacred
  • Participated in the 9-month Ignatian Exercises in Daily Life

Special Interests:

  • Connecting with the Divine through the Arts (journalling, poetry, visual arts, music)
  • Loving notice of Nature as a container of Divine Presence
  • Exploration of the presence of the Divine Feminine
  • Diversity and Inclusion; 30 years as an elementary teacher connecting with special populations

Catharine meets with her spiritual director to pay attention to how the Divine moves within her and to explore how her life can reflect this Presence.