We all share in the same mission, within and alongside the church.
Mission Has a Church
March 29, 2017 - by Kevin O'Brien
(During this Lenten season, we are taking time to reflect on some of the values that are fundamental both to the Ignatian life and to our organization. We will take a look at spirituality, spiritual direction, collaboration, leadership, and mission, focusing on how these values are understood in the Ignatian tradition.)
It’s been said that the church doesn’t have a mission, the Mission has a church. In looking at what “mission” means from an Ignatian context, I find this helpful. For the concepts that make up what we understand as “Ignatian Spirituality” give us a way of perceiving the world and our place in it. Among these concepts are the goodness of creation and our gratitude for all around us; the acknowledgement that we are graced sinners and desire to be forgiven and made whole through God’s love; that we share that love with all around us; that Christ walks alongside us as we partner in building God’s Kingdom of justice and righteousness.
None of these concepts were necessarily original to Ignatius. Of course, he built upon the work of the women and men of the church who came before him. His great contribution to the church and the world was to unite all this into a coherent system as well as to give us some practical tools that make these concepts real in our daily lives. Prayer forms like the Examen, Ignatian Contemplation and of course the foundational experience of Ignatian Spirituality – the Spiritual Exercises – ground us in the reality around us, but also motivate us to become active co-creators of the new heaven and earth that was promised.
Thus, there is no “Ignatian mission” per se. We all share in the same mission, within and alongside the church. There are Ignatian inspired people and communities around the world who are committed to living out this mission from a particular perspective, that of freely sharing what we’ve been freely given, namely everything.
Applications are now being accepted for "The Ignatian Charism for the World Today: An International Immersion Course on Ignatian Spirituality," which is offered by the "Cova Sant Ignasi" International Center for Spirituality in Manresa, Spain. The course, offered in English, is limited to 35 participants, and applications will be accepted through mid-September 2017.
Free, online access to numerous scholarly publications and sources in the Jesuit Studies field is now available, thanks to a project of the Boston College Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. The Portal to Jesuit Studies is meant to serve as a "Jesuit Google," strengthening the institute's efforts to serve as a resource on the history, spirituality, and pedagogy of the Society of Jesus.
Save the date, October 21-22, 2017, for Jesuit Friends and Alumni Sunday, an opportunity for alumni and friends of Jesuit schools to share our common bonds through the celebration of liturgy, followed by a reception highlighting opportunities for continuing spiritual growth and service to the local and global community.
On Saturday, April 1, 2017, Fr. Brian McDermott, SJ, addressed our Ignatian spirituality conference "We Walk with a Heart That Does Not Rest." More than 400 people participated in the conference either in person or online.
Ignatian-inspired leadership is other-focused. Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, instructed us that our work must form women and men for others. Being a leader “with and for” others means considering the needs of those we are serving.
Our Hispanic Ministry is keeping busy with programs and retreats during the Lent and Easter seasons. Here is some information about upcoming opportunities, as well as a couple of recaps from last month.
Despite its historical roots and the popularity of Ignatian spirituality today, spiritual direction for many remains mysterious, even intimidating. Some assume that it is reserved for the “spiritually mature.” On the contrary, spiritual direction is an accessible means, much like the Ignatian examen, of noticing God movement in one’s life.