Jesuits believe that retreats and spiritual direction are key ways to strengthen one’s relationship with God. The Society of Jesus and our partners at parishes, social ministries and apostolates offer a wide range of spiritual renewal programs centered on Ignatian spirituality.
The USA East Province sponsors five retreat centers – Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass., Ignatius House Retreat Center in Atlanta, Ga., Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, Pa., Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, N.J., and Loyola on the Potomac in Faulkner, Md.
These centers provide guided and directed weekend, 8-day and 30-day retreats for individuals and groups based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Some programs may focus on a theme, such as the Lenten journey, or be designed for men and women in recovery.
The Office of Ignatian Spirituality (OIS) is an office of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus committed to partnering with people and ministries to promote Ignatian spirituality for mission. Their ministry operates from Maine to Georgia offering opportunities to experience the graces of the Spiritual Exercises, to gather Ignatian spiritual directors and practitioners, and to bring together seekers looking to find God through the wisdom of St. Ignatius Loyola.
The “retreat in everyday life” is a popular version of the Exercises that is spread out over the course of six to eight months and entails praying for an hour per day and meeting regularly with a spiritual director. Retreats of this kind are offered regularly in parishes and other Jesuit ministries.
Whatever the format, Jesuit retreats and spiritual direction have the transformative power to reshape lives and provide the freedom to respond to God’s invitation to come closer.