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A Message from Fr. George Witt, SJ

June 5, 2020 – The following letter from Fr. George Witt, SJ, executive director of the Office of Ignatian Spirituality, was included in our June 2020 newsletter.

Dear Friends,

My colleagues and I at the Office of Ignatian Spirituality are deeply troubled by the recent deaths of unarmed people of color—George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others—and we stand in solidarity with all those voicing outrage. The racism and injustice behind these tragedies is further laid bare by the ongoing suffering caused by the pandemic, which we know affects people of color disproportionately.

For those of us who are white, now is a time for prayer, learning, reflection, and action. Racism is a soul sickness, as Fr. Bryan Massingale, writes. It warps the way we see our brothers and sisters and how we and our society treat one another. Racism as a soul sickness is not so much something we either "are" or "are not." It requires ongoing conversion of heart, wherein we hear the cry of the oppressed more loudly and respond in greater love. We all have work to do.

It is important that we turn to God in prayer during difficult times. St. Ignatius reminds us in the Spiritual Exercises that we can recognize the voice of God in how we are drawn beyond ourselves toward others. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities for prayer, reflection, and action listed here.

May God continue to heal us, fill our hearts with love, and make us instruments of God's justice and peace.

Sincerely In Christ,

Fr. George M. Witt, SJ
Executive Director




Recent News

Examen Live! returns on Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern, featuring the prayer lead by the Office of Ignatian Spirituality's own Ignatian Spiritual Direction Initiative. At the end of the week, let's take a deep breath, remember that we are in the presence of God, and spend a few minutes in prayerful reflection. Sign up to receive updates and reminders.

July 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for Our Families. The often-frenetic rhythm of life that we follow is detrimental to our family life. This is an important problem, because no one—neither we as individuals nor society as a whole—can do without families. This is truer now than ever during the time of crisis that we are living. As Pope Francis says, “families are not a problem, they are first and foremost an opportunity.”

July 1, 2020 – Fifteen representatives from Jesuit parishes and organizations in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina, participated in a Day of Virtual Action in Spanish with a member of Senator Bob Menéndez's (D-NJ) staff on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

On the eve of the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, we gather (online) to pray as one Ignatian community for healing, justice, and peace. Join us on Thursday, July 30, from 7:00-7:30 PM ET for this bilingual prayer service.

June 29, 2020 - Join Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, on Sun., Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., for a live, interactive discussion as he shares the Ignatian way of making decisions and the surprising closeness to God it brings, which is needed now more than ever. This event is hosted by the Jesuit retreat houses on the East Coast, and proceeds from the event will go to support their ministries.

June 18, 2020 – Today, we thank God for the Supreme Court's decision which blocks the current administration from ending DACA. In the last few months, we have been witnesses to many families’ enduring uncertainty as they awaited a decision on DACA. We abide in deep gratitude today.

For nine days leading up to the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are praying a Sacred Heart Novena, which was written and adapted by Fr. David Stewart, SJ. Pope Francis asks us this month to "pray that all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus." Pray this short, simple prayer with us for nine days—June 11-19.

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Loyola on the Potomac
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, Loyola on the Potomac is located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in southern Maryland.