“Finding God in Unsettled Times”
… And in Baltimore, Maryland
Extreme heat and a powerful storm added to a tangible sense of unsettledness for those attending “Finding God in Unsettled Times” at Loyola University Maryland June 29 – July 1, the third major Ignatian Spirituality conference sponsored by The Jesuit Collaborative (TJC).
But even with back-up lighting and no air conditioning in the dorms, the conference continued with the help of generators in the meeting spaces. And the prayer sessions, keynote presentations, workshops, and liturgy provided a powerful consoling energy of their own.
Some 300 people attended (and stayed), with close to 100 taking part in the Spanish language sessions. It was a gathering of community rich in diversity, prayer, and spiritual formation.
The conference accomplished several important goals: a significant number of participants were young adults coming from TJC’s Contemplative Leaders In Action (CLIA) program, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and Jesuit High Schools and Colleges. Spanish-speaking men and women traveled from Raleigh, Mooresville, Charlotte, Camden, Philadelphia, Reading, New York City, Rochester, and Boston. The conference blended scholarship in the Exercises, linkage with the Church, a faith that does justice, bi-lingual communal prayer, and presentations grounded in the experience of 'Finding God in Unsettled Times.'
Feedback has been immediate and gratifying. "I am home and still on a conference 'high' … It was a fantastic conference ... Looking around the opening reception on Friday night felt like a family reunion to me …
And another, "Thank you for everything you did to make this weekend not just successful, but fruitful in ways yet to be seen or known. I am positive that we will be reaping the lessons and inspiration for some time to come."
A Hispanic attendee said, "This is the first English/Hispanic conference that I have ever participated in which there was excellent Hispanic programming and integration between Anglos and Hispanics. Thank you for an excellent conference."
A “Visual Examen” closed the conference with reflection on the movement of the Spirit calling people to specific actions at this unique point in time and the personal commitment people are willing to make.
If the excitement and hope expressed by many at the end of conference is any indication, abundant fruit will nourish the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises and ongoing building of leadership and community in the months and years ahead.
Look for an article on the conference in Jesuits magazine this fall.
Pictures from the weekend, podcasts of the keynote speakers, and materials from many of the presenters will be posted above as they become available. Please stay tuned and check back!