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The Jesuit Antiracism Sodality East

“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” – Psalm 139:13-14




A friend is Black and Catholic and works at one of our schools.  The Admissions Department asked him to speak to prospective families about the school’s Jesuit mission.  Due to the pandemic, everything took place online. 

A man joined late and failed to mute himself.  He interrupted my friend’s presentation when he called out to someone in his home, “They’re just starting, talking about Catholic identity.  I bet this guy isn’t even Catholic.”


I recently read the evaluations from last summer’s inaugural eight-day silent retreat sponsored by JARS.  I found them deeply consoling.  Some excerpts:

  • This was clearly the best retreat experience I have ever had. The combination of excellent spiritual direction, music and prophetic witness was ideal.
  • I have cherished our days together, and I feel that my own spiritual life and personal life have been enriched by this experience of Ignatian Spirituality and Black Spirituality.
  • Everything intersected in a way that brought dignity to our calling to promote the Kingdom of God through anti-racism.
  • I consider what was offered as the substance of the retreat to be an embarrassment of riches. I’ve been on directed retreats and on preached retreats, but this retreat was both and even more.
  • My most fruitful retreat in 14 years.
  • From the outset I felt a concrete sense of community and worship.
  • This retreat gave me some language for a deeper understanding of my own attraction and leanings, but more importantly gave me a context – and a profound EXPERIENCE – of a much deeper and broader understanding of Black spirituality.

A second 8-Day JARS retreat is scheduled for August 3-12, 2022:

From August 3 to August 12, 2022, the Jesuit Antiracism Sodality will offer an 8-day, Ignatian retreat to enter into and pray with and through Black Spirituality.  The individually directed retreat will take place at the William J. Kelley Retreat Center in Bay St. Louis, MS for a cost of $800 (financial support available as needed).  For more information click here. To register, click here. 

This month’s reflection was provided by Sean Toole, SJ, of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Estill, SC.  If you would like to volunteer to provide next month’s reflection, please contact Sean:

The views and opinions expressed in this reflection do not necessarily reflect those of Jesuits USA East.

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