From May 2021 until July 2022, the Society of Jesus celebrates an Ignatian Year. What is an Ignatian Year? May 20, 2021 marked the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion — that fateful day when Ignatius the soldier, struck by a cannonball, began his transformation into Ignatius the pilgrim. How might we grow in our relationship with God and our love for one another by meditating on this important moment in Ignatius’ life?
God continues to invite each of us into a deepening relationship, to ongoing conversion. We believe that by embracing this invitation, we embrace our God who calls us to act in new, bold ways that reconcile our world, bringing about justice, peace and compassion. For this Ignatian Year, we ask for the grace to see all things new in Christ.
Pope Francis’ Message to the Jesuits and Their Collaborators for the Ignatian Year
Pope Francis spoke about how God’s plans for individuals are greater than the plans they have for themselves, using St. Ignatius as an example, saying, “That cannonball meant that Ignatius failed in the dreams he had for his life, but God had a bigger dream for him. God’s dream for Ignatius was not about Ignatius. It was about helping souls. It was a dream of redemption, a dream of going out into the world, accompanied by Jesus, humble and poor.” Click here to read his full remarks.
The Ignatius 500 Fund
We are pleased to announce that Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, provincial of Jesuits USA East, has established “THE IGNATIUS 500 FUND” to support initiatives and projects created to celebrate the Ignatian Year. THE IGNATIUS 500 FUND can support programs growing out of your community and apostolic works’ inspirations and creativity, realized through communal prayer, music, art, poetry, dance, retreats, lecture presentations, workshops, and the like. The fund is open to lay colleagues, Jesuits, Jesuit apostolates and institutional partners located in the USA East Province.
Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $250 to $2,500. Click here for details and an application.
John Pignone, SJ, Hosts Video on Ignatius and Discernment
As part of the Ignatius500 video series, John Pignone, SJ, who is currently doing his Regency at Xavier High School in New York City, hosted a video segment on discernment that focuses on the conversion of St. Ignatius and how he discerned God’s call in spite of his own longings for more worldly things. As John reflects, “[Ignatius] put aside his previous aspirations and launched himself into the unknown, because that’s where God was waiting for him.”
Fr. Phil Hurley, SJ, Writes Song About St. Ignatius
In honor of the Ignatian Year, Fr. Phil Hurley, SJ, pastor at St. Raphael Church in Raleigh, has written a song about the life of Ignatius that has been recorded by Jesuit singer Cristóbal Fones, SJ, of Chile. The song is titled Aún Más Allá, in English, “Carry You,” and will be included on a new album by Jesuit composers for the Ignatian Year. It is available on iMusic and iTunes, as well as Spotify and other platforms. Plans are under way for it to hopefully be recorded in English as well.
Fr. Fred Betti, SJ, and Cannonball Moments
Fr. Fred Betti, SJ, associate pastor at St. Michael’s Church in Buffalo and the chaplain of The Response to Love Center, recorded a short video about the Ignatian Year and “cannonball moments.” Watch him discuss the significance of how these “cannonball moments” not only transformed St. Ignatius but can transform all of us.
McQuaid Jesuit Celebrates Ignatian Year with Ignatius 500 Reenactment
McQuaid Jesuit President Fr. Phil Judge, SJ, led students into the Ignatian Year with some thoughtful remarks and prayer before introducing a well-choreographed reenactment of the infamous battle of Pamplona.
St. Ignatius was a master of spiritual conversation. Through such conversation, he knew individuals could speak directly to God and hear God’s voice, already speaking back. Even today, spiritual direction is an important way to better come to know God at work in our lives. Have you ever considered meeting with a spiritual director?
The Office of Ignatian Spirituality has a tool to help connect you with a spiritual director.
New book by Father General – Walking With Ignatius
To help kick-off the Ignatian Year, Father General Arturo Sosa, S.J. has published a new book, Walking With Ignatius. The book focuses on the current challenges facing the Catholic Church, what it means to lead the Society of Jesus, the situation in his native Venezuela, his relationship with Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope in history, and the world revealed by the pandemic.