Spiritual Exercises

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola is St. Ignatius' master work.  It is a retreat manual designed for a 30 day day retreat that all Jesuit priests do at least twice in their lives. All people can experience the Spiritual Exercises!   Many people experience these exercises "piecemeal" meaning they do some of the exercises in different settings like a Weekend retreat or all of the exercises over a longer period of time (usually 2 semesters or so).

Ways that the Spiritual Exercises can be offered privately or in groups to students, faculty or staff are as follows:

1)  Introducing Ignatian Prayer: This option involves finding a way to pray regularly using one or more of the Ignatian methods of prayer and then meeting with a spiritual director (companion) once per month. The goal is simply to find a method of prayer or reflection that works for you and allows you the time in your day to refocus your energy and connect with something bigger than yourself.

2)  Spiritual Direction or Companioning: This is a more advanced level of the first option and simply involves deepening the experience, looking for patterns in one’s life, finding clarity and direction with help from a spiritual director. A monthly meeting with the director suffices for the practice.

3)  A full version of the Ignatian Exercises: We can offer two versions of this option: a group or individual experience of what Ignatius calls the 19th Annotation. This is merely a full version of the spiritual exercises that is offered to individuals or groups over a period of 9 months or so. It involves meeting every week over that 9 month period (for individuals, for groups we would meet every other week) with some flexibility for schedule and daily prayer practices drawn from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. You are given a guidebook and simply following the daily directions in the book lead you along an experience of all of the spiritual exercises by the completion of the 9 months.

4)  Any of our retreat programs are in fact, versions of the Ignatian Exercises--one just doesn't complete all of the exercises.  For example, a Kairos Retreat concentrates mostly on an experience of the first week of the exercises and glosses over the remaining 3 weeks.

For more information on the Ignatian Exercises contact, Director of Campus Ministry, Mike Hayes at (716) 888 2487 or email: hayes28@canisius.edu