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Every now and then, life presents us with a unique, powerful and life-changing opportunity that, if we are free to embrace it, will lead to profound inner growth and spiritual transformation. The retreat staff of St. Anthony Retreat Center is offering just such an opportunity this fall with an on-line 34 week retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, beginning September 15, 2020. You can make this remarkable retreat experience at home during the ordinary activities of your life.
St. Ignatius was a sixteenth century Spanish saint and the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) who, during a long and painful recovery from battle wounds, was led by grace to a most profound and intimate encounter with Jesus Christ. Using journal entries that provided a road map of his spiritual journey, he fashioned a series of spiritual exercises or prayer experiences to help people from all walks of life meet Jesus in an individually directed, thirty day retreat. Knowing, however, that most people would not have the luxury of spending a full month away from their duties in life, he extended the exercises across a period of thirty-four weeks so people could make the spiritual exercises in their normal setting of life.
The Online Ministries Department of Creighton University in Omaha has incorporated these everyday exercises into an on-line retreat, and our retreat team will facilitate this 34 week retreat, meeting weekly via zoom to review the materials and resources for the week, teach new prayer skills, and to help each of us process what we are experiencing as the retreat progresses. And because we will begin the retreat in September, we will have the added benefit of following our Church’s liturgical calendar, so that as the spiritual exercises unfold, they will coincide perfectly with our liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter!
The requirements of the thirty-four week retreat are basic and simple. St. Ignatius asks us to:
- Spend a period in prayer each day
- Reflect on the material of the exercises throughout the day
- Keep a prayer journal throughout the retreat.
Meanwhile, during weekly zoom meetings, the retreat team will introduce some very fruitful ways to pray, offer practical tips to get the most out of our prayer time, along with sharing sessions for personal support, encouragement, and the motivation to sustain us in our efforts. As the retreat team says, “We’re here to help, but it is God who is going to give you the retreat.” Just imagine what God can do if we are willing to spend time with him and give him access to our hearts each day for 34 weeks? I can assure you, you will never be the same.
For this retreat you will need the following:
- Bible (both Old and New Testaments)
- The book Retreat In the Real World
- A journal
- A smartphone (such as an Android or iPhone)
- Laptop or desktop computer with a camera
- Access to the Internet.
The retreat team asks each participant to consider donating $30 to St. Anthony Retreat Center to cover the cost of the book, printed materials and resources, but any contribution is fine, and everyone is welcome regardless of income or donation!
We hope you are curious to learn more about this on-line retreat. For more information, please contact us at (559) 561-4595 or you may register below! Please share this information with a friend.