Spiritual formation for modern mystics

We don’t need to enter monasteries to become mystics or to cultivate our spirituality:
We are all mystics! The mystic heart is the deepest part of who or what we are.
We need only to realize and activate that essential part of our being.
– Wayne Teasdale

The Mystic Heart Wisdom School is a year-long spiritual formation program that builds on the Core Curriculum of Seton Cove and provides an in-depth study of the Wisdom Tradition. This tradition, also known as the Perennial Philosophy, is the core synthesis of religious thought from the world’s great religions.

True to the Seton Cove mission of providing hospitality and holistic programing for people of all faiths to nourish their spiritual growth and journey toward wholeness, this program will foster spiritual inquiry within community.

Through sacred study and spiritual practice we will walk in the steps of the great saints and teachers who paved the way for the modern day mystic. The curriculum will include: book studies, the Enneagram, contemplative practice, body prayer/qi gong, mindfulness, and individual and group discernment processes.

The Mystic Heart Wisdom School will meet four times a year in a retreat format and will be centered on the following themes:

  1. The Perennial Tradition and the Mystic Heart
  2. Source and Presence: The Divine I Am
  3. The Trinity: Entering the General Dance
  4. Carrying on the Work of Love

Who should attend: Chaplains, Spiritual Directors, Religious, Clergy, graduates of the Leadership Pilgrimage, and all those who wish to cultivate contemplative practices with which to deepen their relationship with the Great Mystery of the Divine and skillfully carry the work of love out into the world.


Patricia Speier, DMinis Director of the Seton Cove and Director of Formation for the Seton Healthcare Family. She is a spiritual director, teacher, and retreat facilitator who specializes in the use of literature and writing for spiritual growth and ethical development. She is passionate about the connection between Spirituality and Leadership and has developed the Leadership Pilgrimage, a year long intensive for leaders in all fields (business, medicine, law, religion, non-profit) which is now in its 13th year. Speier is a 2008 DMin graduate of Perkins School of Theology and a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest. She has studied spirituality at the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico and Integral Spirituality with Ken Wilbur.

Gordon Peerman, D.Min., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Nashville. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Yale, and Vanderbilt. He founded the Saint Thomas Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program in 1997. As a vice president at Saint Thomas Health Services, he coordinated the dissemination of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to fourteen other hospitals in the United States. He is an Episcopal priest and has taught Buddhist Christian Dialogue at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He and his late wife Kathy Woods taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health.

Hannah O’Donoghue, CCVI, RN, MS, has spent the past 50 years of her religious life in various roles in health care.  She is a spiritual director and former health care executive who focuses her ministry on holistic approaches to healing. She received preparation in spiritual direction at St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver, CO, and energy based therapies in Bethesda, MD.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author of over two dozen books on religion and spirituality, including The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature and The Sacred Art of LovingKindness. He received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a PhD from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently co-directs One River Wisdom School, writes a regular column for Spirituality & Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, and hosts the weekly Internet radio show, How to be a Holy Rascal. His newest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent.

Will Fiorello, MA, is an educator, program manager, and spiritual director at The Seton Cove. He is passionate about supporting the unique life journey of each person he works with and finds great purpose in accompanying others as they cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness. He utilizes a wide array of therapeutic and educational tools—from the contemplative practices of the ancient mystics to the latest advances in neuroscience and mindfulness. Will received his Master of Arts in Counseling from the Seminary of the Southwest, his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University, and studied Analytical and Depth Psychology at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich. He is a Veriditas® trained and certified Labyrinth facilitator and a faculty member of the Mystic Heart Wisdom School.

Dates: Jan 18-20, 2019 Mar 29-31, 2019 Jul 26-28, 2019 Nov 1-3, 2019

Location: Oblate Renewal Center, San Antonio, Texas

Program Fee: $2,850 (Includes program materials, lodging and meals. $500 non-refundable deposit included in fee.)

Early Bird Discount: $2,550 if application submitted by September 15, 2018

Pre-requisite: One class from the Seton Cove’s Core Curriculum or the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership and/or an interview with a facilitator.

Requirements: Completed application process. Attendance at four, 3-day retreats over a ten-month period. Three reflection papers.

Vision Statement: We envision a society where the contemplative life, grounded in love, is valued, encouraged and celebrated.

Mission Statement: We provide spiritual formation that nourishes the contemplative life while supporting the mystic heart of true self.

For Details: Contact Patricia Speier at 512-451-0272