“In our discernment, we ask ourselves, ‘how is God present in our service, our care and our relationships?’” – Alicia Deak, Dean of Newman College
At a recent Newman College retreat in Anglesea, Jesuits and lay companions dialled in from across Australia and around the world to contribute to a discussion on living out Ignatian values in our lives.
The purpose of the retreat was to help deepen students’ understanding and practice of Jesuit and Ignatian spirituality.
“We are proud of the tradition and values offered by a Jesuit education,” College Dean Alicia Deak said. “We want to make sure that our students are aware of those values and incorporate them into their daily lives”.
The Ignatian values that guided the four-day retreat were ‘discernment’, ‘Cura Personalis’, ‘the Magis’ and ‘seeking and finding God in all things’.
To provide context and stimuli for reflection, lay companions from Jesuit Mission, Jesuit Refugee Service, Jesuit Social Services and Jesuit Communications shared their lived experiences of Ignatian values in their various ministries. Those who dialled in did so from as close as Melbourne and as far as China, Myanmar and Italy, giving students a global perspective to their topics of discussion.
Stephen Cumming, President of the Newman College Students’ Club, said that it was “great to realise the extensive network of Jesuit and lay collaboration that is happening around the world and how we as students of Newman College can contribute to it both locally and globally”.
“At Newman College, we speak of the community of the heart, of the mind, of the spirit and of the imagination”, Alicia said. “And we strive to provide activities and opportunities to nurture each of these elements”.
Third-year Arts student Moira Negline said that the retreat helped her to situate the origins of her values and appreciate them in a new light. “You don’t need to be committed to everything, but as long as you do one thing that shows a discerning attitude; you’re showing care and energy for something that it’s important to you!,” she said.
“In our discernment, we ask ourselves, ‘how is God present in our service, our care and our relationships?’,” Alicia said.
“Discernment helps us make life-giving decisions that contribute to us all as a community.”