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Star Cluster



Four seasoned spiritual writers and theologians gather for an Advent conversation about relationships--human and divine. The mystery of the Incarnation which Advent prepares us to celebrate has to do with God’s nearness. How near is God?


As Saint Ignatius discovered in his own life, God never ceases to seek out each and every one of us. We do not find God; rather, God always finds us because God’s relationship with us is unconditional. God always relates to us. God is supremely relatable. But do we relate to him?


Life in the Spirit is about the cultivation of relationships, divine and human, because everything is rooted in love. The Christmas Season moves us to ponder this mystery.


What difference does any of this make in real life? Join our panel of speakers to explore the deeper meaning of Christmas in times of a stubborn pandemic that fosters isolation rather than relationship.


December 18, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. PST/4:00 p.m. EST


Cost: None



Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck is a pastoral theologian, Ignatian spirituality specialist and teacher, writer and national speaker. He reflects on human relationships especially during the pandemic experience in terms of their sources in culture. He shows how Pope Francis's call to create a "culture of encounter" sheds light on the wonder and magic of the Christmas Season.


Dr. Michael Downey has taught at universities and seminaries in the US and abroad. He is currently a professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at the newly-founded Catholic Institute of Vietnam in Saigon. His areas of research and publication are Christian Spirituality, Trinity, and Hope.  


Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid is the T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University.  She is the first theologian to publish a book on the evil of feminicide arguing that this tragedy demands a fresh consideration of what salvation means (Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juárez, Fortress Press, 2011). 


Monty Williams is a Canadian Jesuit teaching spirituality and culture at the University of Toronto.  He was the recipient of the 2021 Hearts On Fire award given by the Loyola Institute for Spirituality for his creative writings on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

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