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Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola

The Institute for Priestly Formation offers the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola in the 30-day retreat format.

In describing the importance of Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Pope Benedict XVI described the retreat as a “a strong experience of God, sustained by listening to his word, understood and welcomed in one’s personal life under the action of the Holy Spirit, which in a climate of silence, prayer and by means of a spiritual guide, offer the capacity of discernment in order to purify the heart, convert one’s life, follow Christ, and fulfill one’s own mission in the Church and in the world.”

The experience of the Spiritual Exercises can be life transforming.

Feedback from participants in the Spiritual Exercises:

“Although this IPF retreat was offered as an optional feature of seminary formation, I will, no doubt, consider this to be one of the most precious times of my entire seminary formation and priestly ministry.”
Matthew McCarthy, Seminarian, Archdiocese of Toronto, Canada, 2016

“Living in a world full of activity including parishes and seminaries, I would recommend to any priest or seminarian the IPF 30 day retreat because it re-roots your focus to the thing that matters the most: your relationship with God.”
Michael Steffes, Seminarian, Diocese of Grand Rapids, 2016

“Words are not enough to express the tremendous and life-changing gift I have received through the Spiritual Exercises at IPF.”
Rev. Matthew Wertin, Priest, Diocese of Pueblo, 2016

Based on his own experience of being drawn into intimate friendship with Jesus Christ through meditation upon Jesus’ saving life, death, and resurrection, Saint Ignatius of Loyola formulated his own spiritual journey and the wisdom he discovered by accompanying others in prayer into a 30 day retreat experience in which one’s heart can be awakened to the encounter with God in a deeply personal way. The key components of the Spiritual Exercises retreat are Sacred Scripture and holy silence. The retreatant steps back from the activity and noise of the world to be alone with God in the depths of his heart and to come to know the Lord more intimately. The structure of the time is very simple: four 1-hour periods of prayer with Scripture, daily Mass, and a daily meeting with a spiritual director. The director assists the retreatant in moving through the dynamics of the heart that Ignatius recognized as being foundational for meeting God and choosing lifelong commitment to God. Immersed in the word of God in prayer, the retreatant comes to know firsthand the love and mercy that God has for him so as to stake his life on this relationship. Ignatius desired that the retreatant receive the lifelong grace to encounter God in all things.