What is the journey to OneSpirit Ministry like? Rev. Maureen Treanor was ordained in 2020, and shares the weaving of her many paths to the door of OneSpirit, feeling of a spiritual’ coming home‘ and the sacred portal of ordination…
I am embodied within the profound grace of ordination. It joins my awareness when I begin my morning prayers, as I bless myself with the oil I prepared for the ceremony in July 2020. The fragrance and touch stirs my senses and I remember…. I stepped through the sacred portal that is OneSpirit ordination this year. It’s joyfully confirmed when I gaze at the certificate that names ‘Reverend Maureen Treanor’ as a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister.
Where it All Began
My OneSpirit journey began on 8th November 2018, and it was a coming home to my true self. But I had begun on this path many years before, through various iterations – something many might find a familiar story.
In 1990 I began a Theology and Psychology degree, graduating alongside men who would go onto be ordained to the Catholic priesthood. As one of my class mates humorously uttered at the time, “we ladies had failed the medical, and would not be ordained”.
From 1994 I had the joy of working as part of the Vincentian Mission Team, a group of Catholic priests and lay people who present faith development programmes in parishes all over Ireland. I trained in Systemic Family Psychotherapy, as supporting families was a significant part of this work. When I decided to leave this Ministry in 2006, I had completed a 3 year term as the first female Director.
In 2006 I became a therapist in a very different kind of Ministry – an inner city project with adolescents recovering from heroin addiction. Often described as a ‘disease of the soul’, addiction needs a holistic approach to enable healing to begin. It has been a great privilege to work with people in recovery, they have taught me much about resilience and love. Working in this area is challenging and rewarding all at once. It was not called Ministry, but at the core of the work of recovery is the Ministry of Transformation and Healing.
My first encounter with OneSpirit came when I met a lady at a Mindfulness workshop who introduced herself as a OneSpirit Minister. A seed was planted that day that began to germinate – was this something that was calling me too? However at the time the training was only available in England, so I kept my eyes and ears open for an opportunity.
To my delight in 2018 I discovered that the OneSpirit Training was coming to Dromantine Retreat Centre in Newry, Northern Ireland – a short journey from where I grew up. My application was easy, and the interview was a telephone conversation. I can still remember my excitement when I received the news that I was accepted onto the course!
The OneSpirit Training
I have vivid memories of the first meeting, as it was a weekend of extreme weather with gales and storms forecast. As I travelled to Dromantine I passed close to my childhood haunts,
and it felt very right that I was making this journey. The welcome from the OneSpirit team was powerful, and at the end of that first weekend I knew that I had answered a profound call deep within me. We were each given a rose that I still have now, dried and preserved, as a memory of this special day.
The structure of the programme was very supportive and individual. We each had a personal tutor, a peer buddy that offered support, and the wonderful gift of an ‘Angel’ who quietly and secretly held you each day in prayer and support. This was a joyous task you also held for another of the peer group. The OneSpirit training manual was very detailed, and supported by an extensive reading list, and we also had online teaching resources which were available 24/7. It was only after the 1st year retreat I began to realise that being ordained was very important, and something I was being deeply called into. The 2nd year programme was a walking towards the sacred moment of ordination. It was crafted to bring you home to your true self, and I felt held and supported.
No one would have imagined that a pandemic would bring the world to its knees in 2020 and change life so dramatically. The OneSpirit Team were superb in smoothly supporting us in the move to online training to complete our learning. We were sometimes stretched beyond our comfort zones, but we were also very surprised at what was possible.
This OneSpirit journey is profound, and I can say that in all my studies over the years this course is the deepest I have ever undertaken. This is an opportunity to sink deep into the well of Life and Faith and Spirituality, and enable deep healing and development to unfold. I was brought to an awareness that the Spirit of God really is alive within me, leading and guiding me on this Sacred journey. I am not yet sure how my ministry will unfold, but I have deep trust that the Spirit that led me to undertake this training, and will gently lead me in the right direction.
– Rev. Maureen Treanor
You can find out more about Maureen on our Register of OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers >>
You can watch the entire OneSpirit Ordination ceremony 2020 on our Facebook page >>
More information about our Northern Ireland training at Dromantine here >>