A saint for troubled times

April 25, 2023 in Featured News, News

Well-known Spanish Jesuit author José María Rodríguez Olaizola SJ is coming to Ireland to deliver a talk entitled ‘St Ignatius of Loyola – a saint for troubled times’ on Friday 19 May, 2 pm in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park, Ranelagh D06 WY97. All are welcome, tea and coffee will be served and José will answer questions from the floor after his input.

Leon O’Giollain SJ, Delegate for Spirituality, and Director of Ignatian Formation is organising the event. He notes that in Fr Olaizola’s biography of Ignatius Never Alone, the author draws attention to the many failures and disappointments in Ignatius’s life. ” Olaizola says that these experiences were transformative for the saint and he believes that we in turn can learn from them,” says Fr Leon.

He also points out that José María is a sociologist by training and this, combined with his expertise in Ignatian spirituality, makes him a sought-after speaker.

Olaizola is the author of many books including the recently published Dancing With Loneliness, his first book in English, published by Irish Messenger Publications and available for purchase on the day.

In this book, Olaizola addresses the universal experience of loneliness which he maintains is a great opportunity for people to know God, themselves, and others more intimately. He believes that if people can accept loneliness as a normal emotion, they can learn to listen to it and embrace it as a creative emptiness in which something new and life-giving can develop. This experience may provide them with a space for self-awareness, self-reflection, self-discovery, and self-acceptance. It can help them to rebuild trust in others and possibly choose those they trust more wisely.

Brian Grogan SJ, who has written the foreword to this book, states:

“When I picked up Dancing with Loneliness, I expected a book which would make for very sober reading. But this book sparkles and the word ‘dancing’ in the title is a key element. The quality of dance in the author’s style brings hope and consolation. Olaizola is perceptive, imaginative, and down-to-earth, and he conveys his wisdom through literature, poetry, cinema, and personal anecdotes.”

“José María Rodriguez is in much popular demand as a speaker and so we are all the more privileged that he is taking the time to come to Ireland and share his insights into the relevance of St Ignatius for us today. I have heard him speak myself and was very take by his gentle and engaging style and the depth of his analysis. He’s a thinker who knows how to share the fruits of his thought.”

Fr Olaizola will speak for an hour with a short break for tea and coffee before opening the floor for questions and discussion. The event will finish at 4pm.

Fr Olaizola is Parish Priest of the Jesuit Church San Francisco de Borja in Madrid and Director of Communications for the Spanish Province. He has a particular interest in young adult ministry.