The heart of the Jesuit ethos is Ignatian Spirituality – the way of Christian growth developed by St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. At the heart of this spirituality are the Spiritual Exercises in which Ignatius makes available to others what he discovered in his own journey with God. By sharing these Exercises, Ignatius attracted others to join together as companions of one another, as ‘friends in the Lord’.
The Exercises offer a school of prayer and a means of finding that most precious gift, freedom, through recognition of the fact that God loves us, wherever we are and whatever we have done. Such prayer enables us to overcome any preoccupation with self and to give our energies to serve others.
Today, an integral part of the ministry of the Jesuits is in opening up Ignatian Spirituality to everyone. The Centres of Ignatian Spirituality offer people from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience the Spiritual Exercises, while outreach teams from these centres conduct retreats in rural and remote dioceses across the country. This spirituality is also an important aspect of our schools, parishes and other institutions.