LOYOLA SPIRITUALITY CENTRE
(From live interview as part of the Parish Renewal Programme May 2001)
The Centre is based in two rooms (an office, and a larger meeting room) in ‘Old Manresa’ and operates both within and beyond the parish. It effectively started in 1993 as the result of three parishioners travelling to attend men's retreats at Campion in Melbourne, and wishing to have similar spiritual retreats offered here. That group organised the first retreat for men at Sevenhill in 1993, and then asked for the Services of a Jesuit as Spiritual Director. Women from the parish got together in 1995 and organised a women’s retreat at St Paul’s in 1996 (‘Walking Together’) and are actively involved in running the programs. As the result of a request to the Provincial at the time, Fr John Sutherland came across to help with a retreat in 1996 and commenced full time as Centre Director at St Ignatius in 1997. The Loyola Spirituality Centre is very much a collaborative venture with the Jesuits. At present a core group of 15 people (9 –10 from the Parish) are involved in running the various retreats and programmes. These include 2 and 3 day retreats at Sevenhill and Aldgate, follow-up mens’ groups on Friday nights in the Centre once a month , 6 day theme retreats (eg ‘God of Surprises’) for both men and women, a 30 week course on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in Daily Life, days of reflection once a month in the Parish and beyond, talks on spirituality to the RCIA, Family Groups, schools, workshops for priests, other Christian Church groups, parish retreats and Lenten programs in the diocese, lecture series (eg Contemplative Spirituality for Busy People), and arranging lectures by prominent Overseas Speakers operate out of the Centre with the support of the others in the core group. Between 1500 to 2000 persons are exposed to the Centre each year through its programs. The Centre is also part of a much wider network through the National Ignatian Spirituality Apostolate. Members from around Australia meet regularly and the focus in recent years has been on formation to give spiritual exercises. New members are welcome, but formation training is necessary for Spiritual Directors.
Enquiries: Parish Office 8332-0600