Nourishing body and soul
The Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture in Galway have recently brought out their new programme for 2017. Staff at the centre say they are keenly aware of recent world events and all the uncertainty they have provoked. The Centre hopes the programme contains something both to nourish and encourage people as well as to inspire those who can pass on what they have received to others.
Providing recognised training for those who feel called to deepen their knowledge of Ignatian spirituality continues to be a major part of the centre’s work, according to Moira McDowall, Sister of La Retraite and the Centre’s Coordinator. “It’s very important to us to provide opportunities for people to continue to deepen what they themselves have received and to share this with others”, she says, adding, “People often have it within them but just need a little nudge to recognise this, as well as opportunities to put into practice what they have learned. This means that whether it’s a question of training in spiritual direction or prayer guidance, we also provide not only on-going training and supervision but also occasions where people can work with us and continue to develop their understanding and skills as they begin to guide others.”
Well-Being: in Pursuit of Joy & Happiness and Finding and Keeping the Balance are the names of two retreat possibilities during 2017. According to Moira they reflect the goal for anyone who just knows they need to find some God-space in their lives and to listen to the promptings of the Spirit.
Centre team member Angela Marson is encouraged by the numbers engaging with the centre in recent times. “It’s so easy to get caught up in all sorts of things, and the invitation to carve out a space and time amidst it all, to sit back and listen to what’s really going on within us and around us, is the aim of all our retreats and prayer days, whether in Lent or at any other time of the year”.
Dive Deeper is another course on offer this year. It’s aimed at people in their thirties and forties, offering them a chance to explore and practice different ways of praying. Staff have been taking note of the positive feedback from this course and that’s why they want to develop it further. “How I wish I had come to know all of this earlier in my life!’, was one comment recently received.
This invitation to explore and make connections within one’s own life and the wider world, alone and with others, lies behind the Pilgrimage to the Heart, course. It also connects participants with their Irish Christian roots and includes, for those who wish, a day’s pilgrimage to Inis Mór. “In a world searching for identity and meaning, there’s nothing like learning from one’s own experience, and thanks to our friend Pádraigín Clancy, from Inis Mór, to learn and find meaning from the context of life here in the West of Ireland,” says team member Una Allen, adding that “Seeing life from the perspective of a pilgrim and walking in the paths of those who have gone before us allows us to re-connect with all our basic values, values that give us life and that we want to pass on to our children and children’s children”.
Autumn 2017 sees the return of the mystics, a very popular series of lectures on Mystics, Old & New, conducted by Jesuit Brendan Comerford. Also, fellow-Jesuit and team member Charlie Davy and friends will be launching A Space for Men, a pilot venture.
Amy Hallett Cusack, the Centre’s American Administrator, is the friendly voice on the phone and smiling face of welcome at the door. She’s delighted to welcome anyone interested in hearing more about the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture, Galway and its new programme of activities. You can contact her on 091 725363 or 086 877 6537 or email [email protected]