09 July 2010
|Members of the Society of Jesus adapt the yearly spiritual exercises of St Ignatius to fit their situation and surroundings (Angelika Mendes/JRS)|
|Ignatius’ spiritual exercises are a sequence of contemplations and prayers designed to assist a person in ordering one’s life to God’s greater glory|
Yei, 29 May 2010 — The JRS pastoral programme in Yei, Southern Sudan, guided the priests and bishop of the Yei Diocese in their annual retreat from May 26-29, 2010 at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Yei.
As part of the conclusion of the diocesan year-long celebration of the Year of the Priest, the priests wanted to make their retreat immediately prior to Holy Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2010 which was the official closing date of this year dedicated to the church’s priests. Choosing the theme "Stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands" from St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy (2 Tim 1:6) JRS Pastoral Coordinator Fr. Kevin White, SJ directed the nine priests and their bishop through a version of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Ignatius then and Jesuits now adapt and adjust the Exercises as situations require. Adaptability was required with JRS Yei’s retreat. The JRS pastoral programme was initially given six days in which to offer the retreat but due to a sudden change in scheduling it was only possible to begin two days later than scheduled. Despite the fewer days available for the retreat, the priests all appreciated the time devoted to rest, fraternity, and prayerfulness with the Lord.
Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits, formerly known as the Society of Jesus, in 1540. Four and a half centuries later in 1980 his successor Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ would found JRS.
Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises are a sequence of contemplations and prayers designed to assist a person in ordering one’s life to God’s greater glory which always brings deeper personal happiness and fulfillment.
The retreat is often given in a secluded location over thirty days of silence in which retreatants pray for up to five hours a day. Yet, this is only one, albeit, the ideal way to make the retreat.
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