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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

August 12, 2020 – These two Ignatian examens are intended to guide prayerful reflection on the role that race, racism, and racial bias play in our lives and society. The first examen is written for everyone. The second is written primarily for people who identify as white.

August 12, 2020 – In early March, Jesuit ministry changed nearly overnight. Emails poured in, summarized in the word “canceled.” Masses were canceled. Retreats were canceled. Even Holy Week, for a moment, seemed like it might effectively be called off. But with remarkable speed toward the end of the Lenten season—no doubt attributable to the adaptability innate to the Jesuit way of proceeding—the ministry of Ignatian spirituality moved online.

Elaine Ireland and Jim Palmer from Loyola on the Potomac Jesuit retreat house will lead our Examen Live! on Aug. 14, 2020, at 12:30 PM Eastern. 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.

August 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for The Maritime World. We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families. Our world cries out for healing and renewal. May we place our hand into the hand of the God who calmed the seas that his beautiful gift of creation may be restored and all whose lives depend on the fruits of the ocean be protected, this day and always. As one, may we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.

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.

July 30, 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.

The Faber Training Program to give the Spiritual Exercises is being offered online by Holy Trinity Church in Washington, DC. The application deadline has been extended to August 21, 2020.

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