January 2018 E-Newsletter
Letter from the Executive Director
LIS Seeks New Executive Director
Hearts on Fire 2018
A Prayerful Remembering
by Br. Charlie Jackson, S.J.
Praying with Pope Francis
Table of Contents
Christian Unity Week Celebrated
Dear Friends of Loyola Institute,
Christian Unity Week, established in the 1930s by the Graymoor Franciscan Friars, occurs January 18-25. The theme for this year is "Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power,” taken from the book of Exodus 15:6.
An unmistakable, biblical motif is God’s unrelenting determination to form a people whom He could call His own. God initiates a sacred covenant with his people for their salvation and for the glorification of His name. The prophets repeatedly remind Israel that their covenant should be characterized by justice, compassion and mercy, made possible by reconciliation, namely repentance and the healing of memories.
These themes for Church Unity Week are central to the tripartite mission of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality: transformation, formation, and discipleship. But frankly we have not taken much ecumenical leadership. It’s true, thankfully, that many Protestants have taken part in our programs; they are drawn, like so many Catholics are, to the gentle invitation and dynamic transformation offered by embracing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
What seems to be missing is a more explicit space for ecumenical dialogue and for fostering the exchange of gifts that each of our Churches has to offer. Wouldn’t, for instance, a course comparing Wesleyan spirituality and Ignatian spirituality be an opportunity for enriching both and for stretching LIS?
As Jesus prepared to seal the new covenant in His own blood, he earnestly prayed that “all might be one.” Let us make our prayer that we might be a reconciling community that serves as an effective sign of how to live in justice and peace for all the people of the earth. May we be active agents of reconciliation.
A few suggestions for Church Unity Week:
Include prayers for reconciliation and unity in the liturgy.
Attend an ecumenical service for Christian Unity in your own area.
Attend a Sunday Service in a church of another tradition in your area.
Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J.
Executive Director, ad interim
From Our Friends at Emmaus Spiritual Ministries
Recipes for Creating a Retreat
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Time: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Presented by: Sr. Sharon Becker, CSJ & Sr. Christine Hilliard, CSJ
BioSpiritual Focusing is a process that allows us to deepen our personal self-awareness through a reflective exploration of inner movements—of emotion, bodily sensation, and memory held in the body. Here at LIS we offer opportunities to assist people to develop a quality of listening presence, both within themselves and with other persons.
A four-week program to explore BioSpiritual Focusing with trained facilitators using the text, Rediscovering the Lost Body-Connection within Christian Spirituality, by
Fr. Peter Campbell, Ph.D. and Fr. Edwin M. McMahon, Ph.D. Those interested in strengthening their BioSpiritual Focusing skills have the option to meet in local Southern California communities for practice and enrichment.
We invite you to join us for a morning of prayer, stimulating presentations, quiet reflection time, and faith sharing in small groups.
Dates: Sunday, February 4, 2018
Time: 10:00 am - Noon, Followed by Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel
Presented by: LIS Associates, Br. Charlie Jackson, S.J. & Fr. Pat Howell, S.J.
Cost: No charge, but free -will offerings are greatly appreciated.
For more information or to RSVP, please email Ryan Pratt at email@example.com
May 6, 2018
Loyola Institute for Spirituality is pleased to announce the
2018 Hearts on Fire Award recipient:
Jesuits West Province
The new province of the Jesuits West was formed July 2017 by merging the California and Oregon provinces. LIS wanted to pay tribute to the Jesuits and their absolutely essential contributions to the vitality and inspiration of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality from its earliest origins. This pastoral vehicle in Orange County offers the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in a variety of forms for the transformation and formation of disciples for Christ and for spreading the Good News of the Gospel.
Jesuits West, under the leadership of provincial, Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., serves the ten Western states of the United States and is a broad network of approximately 100 ministries and works offering education through universities, high schools and elementary and Nativity schools; Ignatian spirituality through parishes and retreat and spirituality centers; help and guidance to the poor and marginalized through social ministries; education and training for the next generations of Jesuit priests and brothers; and care of senior and infirm Jesuits who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.
“We're trying to force ourselves to creatively respond to new needs that the world is presenting us and new ways of serving the Lord," Fr. Santarosa said.
A Prayerful Remembering
Br. Charlie Jackson, S.J.
It may be simply a sign of growing old, but I find that the beginning of a new year sparks in me a desire to look back to what has passed. This looking back, however, is more than the simple remembering of a man growing old. It is more accurately a prayerful remembering, a form of prayer to which I was introduced when I read the prologue to James Agee’s autobiographical novel A Death in the Family. In that prologue, “Knoxville: Summer, 1915,” Agee reflected on an evening he had spent as a boy in Knoxville, Tennessee. Allow me to share some of Agee’s prologue along with some of my reflections about how a prayerful remembering might actually unfold.
We are talking now of summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised to myself as a child… It has become that time of evening when people sit on their porches, rocking gently and talking gently and watching the street… People go by; things go by. A horse, drawing a buggy, breaking his hollow iron music on the asphalt; a loud auto; a quiet auto; people in pairs, … talking causally, the taste hovering over them of vanilla, strawberry, pasteboard and starched milk, the image upon them of lovers and horsemen… A street car raising its iron moan; stopping, belling and starting; … rousing and raising again in iron increasing moan and swimming in gold windows and straw seats on past and past and past…; the iron whine rises on rising speed; still risen, faints; halts, the faint stinging bell; rises again, still fainter, fainting, lifting, lifts, faints forgone: forgotten. Now is the night one blue dew.
It is often helpful to allow the prayer to begin, as the prologue does, by simply setting the stage. You are thus able to visualize the scene and get a feel for it. Note the presence not only of sights and sounds, but also of smells and even tastes – and all this takes place without engaging any of the principal persons or themes.
On the rough wet grass of the backyard my father and mother have spread quilts. We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there. First, we were sitting up, then one of us lay down, and then we all lay down, on our stomachs, or on our sides, or on our backs, and they have kept on talking. They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet, of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all. The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near.
Now not only are the principal persons introduced, but so too is the mood. There is a pervasive sense of calm and quiet that prepares us for Agee’s reflections which are to follow.
All my people are larger bodies than mine, quiet, with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds. One is an artist, he is living at home. One is a musician, she is living at home. One is my mother who is good to me. One is my father who is good to me. By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night. May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father. Oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble; and in the hour of their taking away.
Now, after expanding upon and developing the principal persons, Agee turns within himself and senses that he had been deeply loved. Notice how his words have become prayer.
After a little I am taken in and put to bed. Sleep, soft smiling, draws me unto her: and those receive me, who quietly treat me, as one familiar and well-beloved in that home: but will not, oh, will not, not now, not ever; but will not ever tell me who I am.
Finally, Agee concludes his charming reflection by interweaving a wistful memory of being put to bed with a question that haunts all of us: Who am I?
Praying with Pope Francis
Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for January 2018
Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia
That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their
faith in full freedom.