Sr. Mary Petrosky is a psychiatric social worker and a spiritual director who has served her religious order — the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary — in the United States, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. She does spiritual direction and pastoral work at Holy Name of Jesus Convent in New York City.
Petrosky explains that a spiritual will -- like the ethical wills of Jews – is designed to delineate and then share the values, life story, faith, hopes, and dreams that we hold most dear to us. She celebrates the importance of memory and challenges us to pass on to family and friends what we consider to be the nub of our lives and our deaths.
Petrosky's "Ten Principles to Help Guide You in Writing a Spiritual Will" is a very helpful resource (see excerpt). These suggestions are accompanied by sample wills which reveals the wide range of options in this spiritual practice. She turns to St. Francis whose Testament can be seen as his spiritual will. We really appreciated the author's "Group Use Guide" at the end of the paperback!