Sept. 4, 2019 – by Henry Frank
The Office of Ignatian Spirituality (OIS) is launching a new program this fall called Las Comunidades Hispanas Ignacianas, or Hispanic Ignatian Communities.
The Comunidades will be comprised of 12 to 15 adults committed to deepening their faith by studying and practicing Ignatian spirituality. Each community will be led by a trained guide, who will facilitate the group in Spanish. The communities will gather monthly to reflect on topics such as Ignatian prayer, the Jesuits, the way of proceeding, etc. Participants will also be given materials for prayer and further study between gatherings.
In partnership with local Jesuit organizations, four Comunidades will begin this fall: the Parish of St. Ignatius Loyola in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; the Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown, New Jersey; the Parish of St. Francis Xavier in New York, New York; and the Jesuit Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Staten Island, New York, where one of the communities will be facilitated in Mixtec, an indigenous language of southern Mexico. OIS is piloting the program in these four places beginning this fall, while exploring the possibility of expanding to new locations in the fall of 2020.
The mission of the Comunidades is summarized in the program’s mantra, “en todo amar y servir” (“to love and to serve in all things”), taken from the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God in the Spiritual Exercises. Participants join the Comunidades seeking to deepen their faith. Their commitment to the community is a commitment to accompanying one another on the Ignatian spiritual journey. As they learn and pray together, the ultimate goal is to help participants discern how they are called to put their faith into action — how they may love more fully and where God is calling them to serve.
This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty. (Spiritual Exercises 223)