Spiritual Exercises Retreat
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius evolved from St. Ignatius’ personal conversion experience of prayer, reflection and insight. They are a compilation of prayers, meditations and guided contemplations. Persons making the Spiritual Exercises commit to daily prayer and weekly meetings with a trained Prayer Guide. St. Ignatius divides the retreat into “four weeks”, although the format for the retreat extends over the course of 30 weeks beginning in September through May.
It is offered in two formats:
- On site, on Wednesday’s at Mercy Spirituality Center, or
- A “Virtual” Option is also available which utilizes Skype & SoundCloud. This format accommodates persons living outside of the area & those unable to attend on Wednesday’s.
The goal of the Spiritual Exercises, in the words of St. Ignatius, is for each Christian “to find God in all things” as s/he continues their daily journey of faith.
NOTE:Application is required for making this retreat. The application process for the retreat, which includes a written application and personal interview, extends from May 1st – mid August each year.
If you are interested in considering this “life-changing” retreat experience in either format and would like more information, please contact Sr. Jody Kearney, RSM at: 585-473-6893 ext.103 or email@example.com.
Prayer Topics of the Four Weeks
This is a time of reflection on our lives in light of God’s unconditional love for us. We learn to notice the inner movements of our hearts and how they influence the decisions we make.
We meditate and contemplate the life of Jesus and get to know him more intimately. Through our prayer and reflection we are invited to commit ourselves to follow Christ as a disciple.
We are witnesses to the Last Supper and we contemplate the humanity of Jesus as we accompany him in prayer through the events of his passion and death.
We meditate and contemplate Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection appearances. We commit ourselves each day to love and serve the Risen Christ in tangible ways in the world.
Phase II – A 3 Year Journey
Spiritual Exercises Intern Formation & Training
For over thirty years Mercy Spirituality Center has offered The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in the Nineteenth Annotation format. In addition to guiding persons through the retreat, Mercy Spirituality Center also trains individuals to be Prayer Guides. Individuals interested in applying for the Prayer Guide Intern Formation and Training Program will have completed the Spiritual Exercises in either the Nineteen or Thirty day format, and will have heard a call to this ministry through her/his prayer. The prospective Prayer Guide Intern’s spiritual director will confirm the call. It is then that the prospective Prayer Guide Intern is eligible to apply for the program. The application process includes a written element and an interview with Mercy Spirituality Center Intern Leaders prior to acceptance.
The Intern Formation and Training Program is a three year process with ongoing discernment throughout. In the first year the emphasis is on prayer, knowledge and skill development, as well as practical application of what is learned.
At the end of the three years, with the successful completion of the goals and objectives of the Prayer Guide Intern Formation and Training Program, the Intern is certified by Mercy Spirituality Center. In addition to maintaining a discipline of personal prayer and participation in a Christian community, Certified Prayer Guides are expected to actively guide a retreatant, to regularly participate in spiritual direction, attend an annual retreat, and participate in two continuing education workshops each year.
What to Expect
Interns participate in the thirty week retreat by attending the weekly sessions.
Program participants will continue developing the necessary spiritual direction skills and apply them by actively guiding a retreatant. They will be able to articulate the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises and grow in self-awareness and self- knowledge through personal prayer and supervision.
The final year will allow participants to further internalize the movements and dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises by recognizing this evolving process in their retreatant. The Interns develop skills in leading group prayer and facilitating weekly briefing sessions for Prayer Guides. Through personal prayer and supervision the Year Three Intern will continue to grow in self-awareness and self-knowledge.