Since 1969, Loyola House has been promoting the personally-directed Ignatian retreat. All of our programs are rooted in the methods of Ignatius and the dynamics of his Exercises. While there are alternative ways of experiencing the Spiritual Exercises, Loyola House is famous for offering them in a 40-day format. This fits well with Ignatius’ suggestions for those who are able to disengage themselves by withdrawing “from all friends and acquaintances, and from all earthly concerns.” (SpExx ).
“Grateful to be accepted into the program. Received more than I had hoped for, a new fire has been lit in my heart!
“Truly a privilege to be here and to be guided so gently and so completely on this life-giving journey with Christ.”
The full Spiritual Exercises Experience includes the 30 days that comprise the four “weeks” recommended by Ignatius. We start with five “disposition” days during which we prepare participants to enter into the Exercises themselves. These days include input on the theological themes and methods of prayer. The last five days are spent in “appropriation”. These days offer a workshop atmosphere in which the participants give time to reflection and discussion that help them understand and appropriate the experience of the 30 days of prayer.
The Spiritual Exercises have been described as a school of prayer, a means of discernment, a means for growing in relationship with Christ. The text of the Spiritual Exercises is considered a unique spiritual classic. This treatise on prayer offers a method of prayer that allows the “retreatant” to follow Jesus and seek God’s will in any circumstances, from the most mundane activity to the most moving experiences. For many it is an inner “Camino” pilgrimage with Christ.
Ignatius designed the Spiritual Exercises to assist a person to come to spiritual freedom and make a good decision in congruence with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. As Ignatius says, they are “Spiritual Exercises which have as their purpose the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment.” (SpExx )
Loyola House enjoys a reputation for keeping our tradition of being a solidly grounded Centre, faithful to the text of St. Ignatius – reinterpreting it in the context of today’s world.
Who are the Spiritual Exercises for?
Women and men who are serious about their Christian life
Those who desire to grow in their relationship with Christ
Lay persons, religious, priests, Christians from any tradition
Those who have important decisions to make about their life
The young who have the potential to spread the Gospel
The elderly who seek to understand the path their lives have taken
People on sabbatical or involved in a change of career
Those making decisions during a period of transition
Women and men in positions of leadership
Those in Christian formation programs, as part of a community or volunteer organization
Those engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction
Directors: Our team of spiritual directors includes qualified Jesuits, lay persons, sisters, and priests.
Pre-requisite: Candidates for this program should have sufficient background for the Spiritual Exercises. This includes the experience of regular spiritual direction, the ability to pray with scripture and gospel-based prayer using your imagination. Ideally, this will have been experienced in the context of two 8-day directed Ignatian retreats.
Applications due by July 15. Maximum participants is 16.