Last year, Father General Arturo Sosa announced the Ignatian Year, which will begin on May 20, 2021, the anniversary of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s injury in Pamplona, the event that led to his conversion. This year is a call to allow the Lord to bring about our own conversion, inspired by Ignatius’ personal experience. Guided by the Universal Apostolic Preferences, the year’s theme will be “To See All Things New in Christ.”
An appeal to the Ignatian family
Father General launched an appeal to all the members of the wider Ignatian family. Together with the companions in the mission—lay people, religious men and women, and those who, from other beliefs or human convictions, participate in the same struggle—he hopes to share more deeply the foundational experience through which the apostolic body of the Society participates in the mission of reconciling all things in Christ. During this Ignatian year, Fr. Sosa also wants the Society to learn to accompany young people and to learn from them. Finally, for Jesuits, he emphasizes that the Ignatian Year is a new call to be inspired by Ignatius, the pilgrim.
“Dear fellow Jesuits, dear companions in the mission, this can be a moment of transformation for the Society of Jesus. It can be a moment that releases new energy, new freedom, new initiatives, new love for others and for our most afflicted brothers and sisters. Remembering St. Ignatius of Loyola and his conversion, we are encouraged. Yes, change is possible. Yes, our ‘hearts of stone’ can become ‘hearts of flesh.’ Yes, our world can find new ways.” – Father General
The Ignatian Year in Canada
In Canada, too, the celebrations of the Ignatian Year extend to the entire Ignatian family, from the Sisters of St. Joseph, who are celebrating 170 years since the establishment of their order in Toronto, to the religious congregation of the Xavières, which is celebrating 100 years since its foundation.
The Jesuit Province of Canada is currently planning activities to implement Father General’s vision in our context. These activities target various audiences (the general public, the Ignatian family, colleagues, and Jesuits) and focus on conversion and rooting our experience in the Spiritual Exercises. Here is a preliminary list of the activities and retreats that will be offered:
- A Look at the Spiritual Exercises in Canada. A series of four conferences (for different audiences) will present the various adaptations of the Exercises that are used in Canada, some of which have been developed here.
- An Intraprovincial Marathon. A work of art that depicts the conversion of Ignatius will travel throughout the province, from Haiti to Canada, visiting Jesuit communities and works. Jesuits and colleagues will have an opportunity not only to use it as a focus for prayer and reflection but also to share the fruits of this encounter.
- Cannonball Videos. Inspired by the transforming experience of St. Ignatius after being wounded, these short videos will present the conversion experiences or moments of transformation of a number of people in the province.
- Ignatian Family Conference. This one-day conference, designed to strengthen the bonds between various Ignatian groups, will examine and celebrate the variety of ways in which Ignatian spirituality is lived.
- Ignatian Family Retreat 2021. The theme of this retreat (for the province and the Ignatian family) will be the gift of Ignatian spirituality for community as mission.
- Province Meeting 2021. This first gathering of Jesuits of the new Province of Canada will give Jesuits a chance to see each other and experience the reality of the province.
- Province Ecological Retreat – 2022. The 2022 provincial retreat will focus on integral ecological conversion as defined in Laudato Si’, and on the vital contribution of Indigenous spirituality.
- Website. A section of the province website will be dedicated to the activities of the Ignatian Year in order to be a source of information and a means to present our mission to the wider community.
Given that the specific details of these projects may change, more information will be shared soon.