The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. Read the Advertising Disclosure for more information
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will be based on an independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, which will however not affect the review but might affect the rankings. The latter are determined on the basis of customer satisfaction of previous sales and compensation received. We do not rank our recommended psychic reading websites on their host psychic practitioner's ability to predict the future.
Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On April 01, 2023

Sr. Mary Jo Chaves - Franciscan Spiritual Center

Sr. Mary Jo Chaves - Franciscan Spiritual Center

MysticMag has the opportunity to talk with Sr. Mary Jo Chaves from the Franciscan Spiritual Center. We touch on topics such as Spiritual Direction, Spiritual discovery and learn more about this ministry.

What exactly is a Franciscan Ministry and what are the core beliefs and values?

The Franciscan Spiritual Center in Marylhurst, Oregon is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia which is a Roman Catholic community of women religious. Our website gives you a good sense of our vision and mission as well as the core beliefs and values that we hold as a Center. Peace, Presence and Community are the three cornerstones of our ministry. Each program that we offer reflects these values. We welcome all who come to our Center. We have a staff of 8 people. We have just hired a new director – Christine Naylor – who will be in place by Nov. 7th. Our former director, Larry Peacock retired September 22nd.
You can also get a good sense of who the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are by googling “Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia” and visiting our website.
To be Franciscan means that we are followers of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi, both 13th century saints who believed that living and personifying Gospel values was all that mattered. We commit to following in their footsteps holding to Gospel values for our 21st century. Relationship is core to our tradition.

How does Spiritual Direction resonate with you and how would you describe it to those who are unfamiliar with the term?

I have been a spiritual director since 1996, engaging full time in this ministry. I see it as a covenant relationship between myself as the director and the other as the directee. The directee agrees to share their spiritual journey and I agree to listen for the questions that might help the directee to discern how the Divine is at work in the person’s life. We can talk about anything the person wishes to bring to the session. The key question is: how is the Divine at work in the person’s life in whatever way the person gives expression to their belief in the Divine. It is different from counselling or therapy since it is not necessarily issue oriented and as a director I am not there to offer advice. I am there to be a companion on the directee’s journey. I often say to directees: you lead and I will follow, companioning you wherever you may wish to go on your spiritual journey. I am in awe of what it has meant to accompany people on their spiritual journeys. Presently I direct approximately 30 people who meet with me monthly. They come from diverse spiritual traditions, diverse lifestyles, ages and backgrounds. It is as if the music of their souls plays to the music of my soul.
I also serve as a co-facilitator for our two year training program to teach people and assist them in discerning their call to be Franciscan Spiritual Directors. There is a good description of this program on our website.

What advice would you offer someone embarking on a journey of Spiritual discovery?

Listen well to the movement of the Divine in your life. The Divine comes to you disguised as your life and is in the very fabric of your being, whatever name you might give the Divine. I am here to hold very still and to be like a mirror that reflects to you how you are aware of the Divine.

How does one go about joining or following your programs?

Check out our website. Our programs and staff are listed there. Get on our mailing and constant contact lists. Call or visit our Center and ask about our programs. You are also welcome to contact Sr. Mary Jo Chaves, the author of this article, by email if you wish: [email protected]

Would you say that your values, beliefs and practices have shifted with the times?

The core of our values, beliefs and practices remains the same; the times determine how we give expression to them.

If you would like to find out more about Franciscan Spiritual Center, visit

About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.