I would like to invite you to share in a special prayer for the conclusion of our 175th anniversary year. The St. Ignatius of Loyola novena is nine days of prayer in anticipation of his feast day on July 31st. A novena is a spiritual exercise anticipating a major holiday or saint’s feast. The idea is to focus our prayer in a particular way in order to prepare for the coming celebration.
Our St. Ignatius novena will be an opportunity to reflect upon the many ways God has blessed us over our long history, especially this past year. Praying back through our anniversary can enable us to grow in greater appreciation of God’s gifts. The grace of gratitude is an essential part of our novena.
We will also take this time as a chance to consider our future. What do we desire and long for in the years to come? What kind of parish community do we hope to be? It is a prayerful way to seek the Lord’s guidance for what lies ahead.
Our prayer will be directed by material from the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus last year, called “Decree 1: Companions in a Mission of Reconciliation and Justice.” As a work of the Jesuits, College Church shares in the Society’s worldwide mission. The daily reflections are meant to draw us into the mission and prayerfully consider what it means for us.
Keep in mind: this is prayer, not homework. Consider how the material touches your heart, not simply your head. Feel no obligation to get through every single word every single day. If there are a few lines that speak to your heart, remain there to draw fruit. Be aware of spiritual movements, especially those that lead you to deeper joy and consolation. Let us begin!