October 30, 2019 – OIS's Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas gathered at the Parish of Mount Carmel in Staten Island for the first time on Sept. 24, 2019. Mass celebrated by Fr. Hernán Paredes. This year, there are two Comunidades at the Parish of Mount Carmel, one offered in Spanish and the other in Mixtec, an indigenous language of southern Mexico. Nearly 70 people attended the Mass, including the program leaders, the participants, and their families.
In his homily, Fr. Hernán highlighted the value of the Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas program and the significance of having a Mixtec community so committed and enthusiastic about engaging more deeply with Ignatian spirituality in their own language. During the Mass, Andrés Fabián, one of the programs leaders for the Mixtec Comunidad, offered a deep-felt introduction of the Comunidades and why, especially for the leaders, it is both a real challenge and a blessing to be able to participate in the program. Fr. Hernán also gave a special blessing both to the guides and to the materials that participants will use in each of the program sessions.
The Comunidad facilitated in Spanish held its first session of the program itself on Oct. 8, 2019. The topic for this first part of the program was “What are the Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas?”
Fifteen people participated in this more than two-hour session in which the local leaders for the Comunidad explained the program. The participants introduced themselves, prayed together, and had the opportunity to share ideas, doubts, and suggestions with the group.
The Comunidad facilitated in Mixtec gathered for its first session of the program on Oct. 22, 2019, also on the topic of “What are the Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas?” Fifteen participants attended this session led by Aida Reyes and Andrés Fabián.
Despite the challenges to forming this Comunidad in Mixtec, the leaders did a great job making this opportunity available. Because the participants only speak Spanish partially and have difficulty reading and writing, the leaders have translated and adapted the material so that everyone can participate and contribute to the group.
February 6, 2020 – In 1975, the Society of Jesus published “Our Mission Today: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice.” Composed under the leadership of then-Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the document reminds us that we are to understand the pursuit of justice in the world as integral to the Ignatian way of proceeding. At the heart of Ignatian spirituality is the invitation to be a contemplative in action, and “action” means, in large part, working to create a more just society.
Jan. 2, 2020 - This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for the Promotion of World Peace. "We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world."
The invitation in Christmas is to reflect and shift our lives towards God’s wishes for us. Our hearts and activities should move in the same direction and be able to celebrate together the Nativity of Jesus.
December 22, 2019 – For Pope Francis, a perfect Christmas begins with us “making a mess” — that is to say taking a risk, seeing and speaking out about bad situations, doing something new, something different, something for justice, something that could change the misfortunes of the present so that the blessed future might arrive.
December 15, 2019 – “The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers… They will see the glory of the LORD,” the prophet Isaiah tells us in today’s first reading. It is a beautiful image, but I can hardly imagine it. When we speak of the desert, the first image that comes to mind for me is not flowers and lilies blooming, but what I see in photos and videos of immigrants trying to cross the southern border into the US.
December 1, 2019 – Advent is a liturgical season of great significance to Christians. We have the opportunity to reflect on, and prepare for, Jesus entering the world as a child in need of love and care. As we contemplate Jesus as a child, vulnerable and fragile, we are able to see his greatness.