A lot seems to be happening with people at different stages of formation in Ignatian congregations. Here's a little news round-up...
The Jesuit first-year novices are currently making their long retreat at St Beuno's Jesuit retreat centre in Wales. This retreat - also known as the Spiritual Exercises - is a central part of their formation and discernment, and you can read more here.
Two Ignatian women are also making their long retreat at St Beuno's - Stacey, a Sister of St Peter Claver preparing for her final vows, and Teresa, a first year novice with the Faithful Companions of Jesus.
The Spiritual Exercises have recently received a lot of publicity thanks to the Scorsese film Silence. One of its stars, Andrew Garfield, prepared by doing the Exercises with James Martin SJ as his director, and shares movingly about the experience.
Theo, a second-year novice with the Congregation of Jesus, is preparing to go to Guyana for a few months, to work in the interior of the country. Her first placement was very different - in Manchester, working in projects for the poor, homeless and socially isolated - but no less significant. She describes it with enthusiasm here.
On 7th January in her home parish in Armagh, Barbara Gartland made her first vows with the Society of the Sacred Heart. At the start of the Mass she greeted everyone and briefly explained the vows and way of life to which she was committing herself - you can read her reflection here.
Please pray for all of them, and for all those in formation or discerning with Ignatian congregations.