Spiritual healing is Sister Cathie Boerboom’s call to vocations. She is a Reiki Master, certified grief recovery specialist, and certified spiritual director. She offers spiritual direction and retreats, grief recovery services, and Reiki in a private practice in Portland, Oregon.
When did you open your spiritual healing practice?
I began offering Reiki and grief recovery in 2012. I stopped offering grief work when Sr. Carmel Irving and I closed our ministry Shepherds’ Pathway in Portland a few years ago. My hope was that I would pick it up again later. I am now doing that.
I actually started offering spiritual direction in 1985 for some people in Minnesota after training at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. The spiritual direction training was part of the formation program I was in while preparing to become a “Novice Directress.” I felt drawn to being available to people in a way that could not only help them in their relationship with God, but also help them with relationships with self, others and creation.
I took up spiritual companioning again in 2016 when I began three years of study and supervision at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I received my certification in 2019.
Why do you think people tend to seek out the healing services you offer?
Reiki really helps people to center, relax, heal, and find peace. Some find this helps in opening up to and listening to God and their own longings. This often leads to spiritual direction. With spiritual direction, there seems to be a longing in people to deepen their faith through prayer and spiritual living.
How are the services you provide of importance to the well-being of others?
Grief and loss often block us from moving forward with our lives. Grief can be from the loss of a person, health, job, home, pet, community, faith, anything really. The grief recovery method I have been trained in helps people move through the pain, greatly decreasing the intensity while honoring themselves and what was lost.
Spiritual Direction has many benefits. It helps with growth in centeredness and meaning and deepens one’s relationship with self, others, and Creator. It sharpens the awareness of our connection with all of creation. Usually people grow in awareness of goodness and the sacred in their daily life. Best of all, it helps people see and experience more clearly God’s love for them and God’s presence in their lives. The director can support people in responding to these invitations.
Reiki increases energy and vitality, supports the body’s natural ability to heal, often reduces or relieves pain and stress and promotes a state of relaxation, calmness and serenity. Reiki complements other therapies and often deepens a sense of wholeness.
All three ministries are like shepherding. They honor each person and help them find strength and healing within. They guide any reconciliation that is needed and help deepen tenderness toward self. Each of these ministries is sacred and is an amazing way to gently be a loving presence, a God presence.
How do the spiritual healing services you provide connect to the mission of Good Shepherd?
All three modalities call forth the best of my zeal and put my attention on the person I am with, really hearing them and God in them. Often I am aware of living the question Jesus asked the blind man: “What would you have me do for you?” while knowing fully well that the skills and gifts I offer are gifts that I have been given. My compassion and ability to welcome come into full play.
How long have you been involved in healing modalities?
Wow, I believe healing has been my entire life’s work.
Why did you choose this line of work?
The call toward each of these ministries came at different times and ways. Sister Carmel Irving told me about grief recovery training and I immediately felt drawn to it. I was attracted to Reiki before I really knew what it was. It was a God call. When I learned that it is prayer, being with people, and it is healing, I knew it was right for me. All of those felt home to my heart.
I have been blessed with quality spiritual direction for more than 50 years. I wanted to be available to people to companion them in their relationship with God if that was a desire they had. For each of these, it was me wanting to be a channel of God’s love in ways that fit who I am with the gifts and heart God gave and gives me.
Because of my love for God and people and our Good Shepherd charism, I want to continue to be with people who, for whatever reason, are seeking wholeness to become their best selves.
How has your healing ministry affected you personally, and spiritually as a Good Shepherd Sister?
I think every Good Shepherd mission partner knows there is a fulfillment that comes from knowing we are giving whatever we can, even when the result falls short of our desire. This is true for me. I experience a mutual gifting in the trust shared, the vulnerability of both of us, the desire for Godness, goodness shared. My relationship with God deepens as I experience both the goodness in people and the grace of God working in and through me and among us. These ministries also give me meaning, purpose, aliveness and gratitude for all the blessings, the learnings, the people who have shepherded me so that I can offer these to others.
What is the joy or benefit you derive from providing spiritual healing services to others?
This is so hard to put into words. Sometimes I think it must be a little like it was for Jesus when he would touch a person and that person would be well. Just knowing the gifts people receive because of what God does through me is a joy that I cannot put into words other than to say I am very grateful.
To whom do you offer services?
All are welcome to receive all of my services. With a sliding scale, finances are not an issue. A woman who came to me for Reiki and spiritual direction was suffering with cancer. She gave me a large sum of money so I could serve anyone. This beautiful woman died leaving a husband and child who also sought services from me.
Your website shows a photograph of a woman weaving on a loom. What is the significance of that photo?
The woman in the photograph is my mom. It is my loom, another gift received. For me, weaving is a metaphor: together with God and each other we weave our lives, we heal from grief, we make something beautiful.
Learn more about Sister Cathie and the services she offers at https:// www.cathieboerboom.com/
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