A new approach to training Givers of the First Spiritual Exercises (FSE) and Guides of Ignatian Spiritual Conversation is being trialled and developed nationally and internationally.
FSE Four Spirits Distance Training pilots using Zoom are underway in NSW (with participants in metropolitan and Western Sydney and Central West NSW); ACT (with the Missionaries of God’s Love men and women); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (with members and associates of the Ignatian Maranatha House of Prayer); and Alberta, Canada (with members of the Calgary Association of the Spiritual Exercises Apostolate).
Jesuit Tertians had a taste of the FSE distance tutorials in their training to give FSE retreats earlier this year in collaboration with CLC in country parishes. Following her ACT training, Judy Bowe MGL gave FSE to young people in Nairobi, Uganda, through a local National Evangelisation Team.
It was a connection made through the FSE website which led us to use Zoom and progress our long-held dream to offer FSE far and wide, with geographical distance no barrier. Tapestry Ministries, an ecumenical Christian community in Saskatchewan, Canada, got in touch about using FSE for their Advent 2017 distance retreat for 60 people of all ages.
We joined them in the retreat experience and discovered first hand how practical, intimate and fruitful it can be to give and receive retreats using Zoom and Whatsapp to share in prayer and spiritual conversation.
Frances Tilly, Deputy Director of the National First Spiritual Exercises Program