Givers of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatian Retreats and Formation from across Australia and New Zealand came together for the first time in Sydney earlier this month to See all things new in Christ. Christine and Peter Webb from JISA Faber in Brisbane share their experience:
The JISA National Gathering was a dream as bold as Ignatius’. We shared “in a deeply personal way the mission entrusted to Christ by the Father…loving the world back to life” (Monty Williams, The Gift of Spiritual Intimacy, p. 21). We experienced growth in ourselves and together even in that brief time while, as Teilhard writes, being “impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new”. We had the lovely realisation that we have so much in common simply because of the work we do.
Especially, we met people who we’d only known from Zoom or had not seen for a long time. We experienced First Week griefs and Fourth Week joys. We experienced the missionary impulse driving our local and national endeavours; we had new conversations and made new companions. For the attendees, we felt our founding mothers and fathers, Jesuits, and others, weren’t far away.
We loved: the Jesuits as hosts, including at the Saturday evening meal when they served the wine; the songline responses to what we experienced; the delicious food; the Pentecost liturgy; the dinner setting of lights and leaves; the beauty of our surrounds, the red tree, and the amazingly beautiful camellias. Thank you to the organising team.