The way God uses dreams to “nudge” people toward a deeper spirituality became a fascination with Theresa O’Bryan about 10 years ago when she attended a seminar on spiritual direction with dreams. She realized then that dream counseling was something she wanted to provide.
“Dreams are very much a part of scripture,” she said. In the Old Testament, God speaks to the prophet Elijah in dreams, as well as to Joseph and Daniel. In the New Testament, God tells Joseph in a dream not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
“God calls people through dreams to a prophetic ministry,” O’Bryan said.
She will use her training and eight years of experience as a dream counselor to lead “Praying Your Dreams: Finding God Within,” a one-day program which will be held on June 13th.
It will be a homecoming for O’Bryan, who graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy in 1963. The Retreat Center is the former home of the Academy. She lives in Huntingburg, Ind., and said her years at the Mount were instrumental in growing her spiritual life.
“I think just being at the Mount, the environment, the liturgies, the way of life we lived and studied, it helped us to grow even more in our faith,” she said.
The goal of “Praying Your Dreams” is to help participants “learn to recognize God’s invitation to go deeper in their souls and spirituality,” O’Bryan said. Participants will receive dreamwork tools and learn to work with the Holy Spirit and the language of symbols. The program lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the $40 fee includes lunch. (The cost is $45 if paid at the door.)
“I hope that it will give them a depth of spirituality that encourages them to learn what God is saying to them in their dreams,” O’Bryan said. “The top of an iceberg is our consciousness. Underneath it is huge, it’s all about our subconscious. What is God nudging us to pursue? How are we grace-filled through that invitation?”
Following her graduation at Mount Saint Joseph, O’Bryan – then Theresa Castlen – completed her degree in pastoral theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (Ind.) College. For 30 years she was a liturgical director for two Indiana parishes, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Jeffersonville and Holy Family in Jasper.
She pursued spiritual direction training through the Diocese of Evansville, and she earned her dream work training through a two-year program at the Haden Institute in Asheville, N.C. She earned her clinical pastoral education through Deaconess Hospital and she now works part time as a hospital chaplain at Memorial Hospital in Jasper, Ind. She offers spiritual direction and prayer days.
To register for “Praying Your Dreams,” call 270-229-0206; email [email protected]; or register online at www.ursulinesmsj.org/registration-form-for-sponsored-programs.