Glowing with Joy

This past month my wife Sarah made a five-day Ignatian retreat. When she returned it had felt like I hadn’t seen her in weeks, but as she walked through the door she was glowing. As she began to share about her prayer experiences and how vividly the Gospel stories unfolded in her imagination, I knew she had a very real encounter with God. I could feel the graces she received spilling out onto me, and […]

Explore the Gift

Stay where you find fruit. This direction from Ignatius is very wise. If I’ve experienced fruit—consolation, some wonderful insight, a closeness to God, even a new awareness—I can trust that that gift is a signal from God: “Look deeper here, my dear friend, for I have so much more I want to give you.” Another way of looking at this is to imagine receiving a gift, all wrapped in paper and ribbon and a big […]

The Beautiful Racket of My Life

After eight days of silence and stillness on my retreat at Eastern Point Retreat house, I was ready to return to the noise of my life—the “Mom, guess what?” The “Mom, can you hold me?” The clatter of little feet on our kitchen floor. The boisterous shouts of our children playing together that turn frequently into fits of laughter. I was ready to return to conversations with my husband that often occur in snippets between […]


I entered my silent retreat in a frazzled state of exhaustion. The journey of discernment and transition for the last 18 months had zapped me completely dry. I had my doubts that four short days of silence would provide any respite. Silence, however, allows us the space, the time, and the quiet to ask, “God, what are you trying to communicate to me?” As I meandered for hours along the shore of the lake at […]

Mobile Ministry

Mount Manresa, a Jesuit retreat center on Staten Island, is closing after a century of retreat ministry.  But far from stopping this valuable work, the Jesuits are adapting to changing cultural circumstances. “Actually, we might be going back to a much older model we used to have,” explained Father Edward Quinnan, S.J., the New York province’s assistant for pastoral ministry and province representative to the Jesuit Collaborative. “It was a group of Jesuits who would […]

New Thinking about Retreats

Mount Manresa Jesuit retreat house on Staten Island will close next June, a casualty of strained budgets and the enormous expense of maintaining large old buildings.  This piece in Catholic New York focuses on the ways the New York Jesuits are rethinking retreats as they plan new ways to offer Ignatian spirituality to new audiences. Father Ciancimino said the new vision for Jesuit ministry will include among other things: training teams of young Jesuits and […]

Final Week of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure

Happy Easter! We’ve come to the final week of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Jesus is risen! And in exploring our theme of “God’s Love and Our Response,” we take the lessons from the entire retreat and go forward, changed by the experience. This retreat has been introduced during Lent and Easter, but it will have a permanent home on this site. You may wish to return to the entire experience or select portions in the […]

An Ignatian Prayer Adventure for Holy Week

Holy Week begins today and so does Week 7 of our Ignatian Prayer Adventure online retreat.  You might think about following the retreat this week even if you haven’t done it so far.  The readings follow Jesus through his passion and death.  They will help you pray during this sacred time. Next week the retreat ends with scripture readings and reflections on the resurrected Jesus and God’s boundless love. Please share your questions and reflections […]

My Both/And Call

When my son, Brady, was eight weeks old, I led my first Charis retreat in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. I remember kneeling at the closing Mass, both exhausted and energized from juggling being both mom and minister, and begging God, “If you want me to continue this ministry, show me how. Is this a both/and call or an either/or call for me, God?” The words, gentle as always, rose up within me, “both/and.” As […]

Week 6 of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure

For this Week 6 of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, we consider the public ministry of Jesus, focusing on his interactions with people. And because we’re all so busy, we start by joining Jesus on a busy day. Please note that all of the retreat materials will remain online after Lent and Easter, so if you want to slow down the pace of your reflections, feel free to do so. And if you haven’t started the […]

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