Sharing the Spiritual Exercises

For nearly 500 years, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius have remained the cornerstone of our spirituality, allowing Jesuits and lay colleagues to accompany Christ on a moving journey in four stages – conversion, illumination, desolation and consolation.


Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass., completed a total transformation of the living quarters for retreatants and reopened in fall 2016Over a two-year period, an existing 1960s era living space was transformed into a new three-story retreat wing with ocean views, private baths and many other amenities more in tune with contemporary times. In the past five years, more than 6,000 individuals have sought greater meaning through the various directed retreats, conducted in silence, for which Eastern Point is so acclaimed.

The Office of Ignatian Spirituality, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, offered the Spiritual Exercises in the 19th annotation format for 58 men and women. By embracing daily prayer and making bi-monthly meetings with their spiritual director, participants prayed to know God’s love and mercy more fully, and asked for the grace to discern God’s will in their lives. The retreats taught people to pray in different ways, to contemplate God’s action in the world and to be attentive to the inner workings of the Spirit. 

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Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass., offers the purist and most complete versions of the 8- and 30-day directed retreats in the United States. Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown, N.J.,  has provided spiritual solace to thousands of people who have walked through its doors seeking restoration and God’s presence. Learn more about making a retreat today.

At Ss. Mary and Joseph Parish in Salem, N.H., Fr. Tom Frink, SJ, and his colleagues facilitated four small groups of people making the Spiritual Exercises. Also, at St. Michael’s Parish in Buffalo, N.Y., Fr. Peter Murray and colleagues led two small groups that were through the Exercises.

St. Ignatius Parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass., alternates years, offering the full Spiritual Exercises one year while helping prepare those who would like to make them on other years. This past year was a preparatory year, led by parishioner Kathy Maher. Similarly, at St. Aedan’s Church in Jersey City, N.J., Carol Vicente received her training in the First Spiritual Exercises by their author, Michael Hines, SJ, and is currently offering retreats to fellow parishioners. 

At St. Mary of the Assumption-Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Staten Island, N.Y., Ignatian spirituality programs were offered in Spanish, hosted by Fr. Mark Hallinan, SJ, and Lisandro Pena. Mr. Pena led parishioners through Ignatian forms of prayer at the parish, while Fr. Hallinan became the support person, making sure of the space for the program and providing lunch. 

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