Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL)
The SEEL Retreat is for Faculty, Staff, Administrators and Graduate Students of Loyola University Chicago
October 2015 through April 2016
What are the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life?
The Spiritual Exercises are an unfolding series of prayers, meditations and reflections put together by St. Ignatius of Loyola out of his own personal spiritual experience and that of others to whom he listened. The process of the Spiritual Exercises respects the uniqueness of each person and leads retreatants to a deeper relationship with God and others.
The Exercises often help a retreatant explore and find answers to these kinds of questions:
- Do I desire a deeper relationship with God, myself and the world in which I live?
- Do I desire a greater sense of direction and purpose in my life in light of my relationship with God?
- Do I feel that there is more to my life than I am experiencing?
- Do I want to understand better what I really want in my life?
Who may participate and what is the cost of the retreat?
Through the generosity of Mission & Identity and the Loyola University Jesuit Community, the retreat is open to all faculty, staff, administrators and graduate students at Loyola University Chicago. Retreatants are asked only to pay a $50 resource fee for materials.
What will the retreat require of me?
Retreatants commit themselves to the following:
- Praying daily from 40 minutes to one hour per day. This time may be completed all at once or in blocks of time. Resources will be available as aids to prayer, which often takes many forms.
- Meeting weekly with a spiritual director for about an hour of conversation in which retreatants discuss their experience of prayer.
- Gathering monthly for communal prayer for up to one hour with other retreatants and Loyolans who have in prior years engaged in the Exercises. These prayer services will alternate between the Water Tower and Lakeshore Campuses.
- Attending four large group sessions for common prayer formation.
What prior experiences would assist me in knowing that I am prepared to make the SEEL retreat?
- A regular habit of prayer
- Personal experience(s) of the reality and presence of God in my life and the world
- A spirit of generosity with one’s time for God, an openness to God
- Previous experience(s) with spiritual direction.
When will the retreat begin and end?
The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life retreat for Loyola administrators, faculty, staff and graduate students will begin with an orientation gathering the first week of October 2013 and continues until the Christmas break. The retreat will resume in mid-January 2014 until its completion the last week of April 2014.
If I am interested in participating in the retreat, what should I do next?
If you would like to participate in this year’s retreat, please submit your completed application no later than September 27, 2013. Click here for application: SEEL Retreat
Shortly after receiving your completed application, you will be contacted to arrange a thirty minute face-to-face interview with the retreat team to discuss the appropriateness of the retreat for you at this time.
Please be aware that space is limited and completing an application does not guarantee acceptance into the retreat.
What have past retreatants at Loyola said about their experience with the Spiritual Exercises?
“The retreat made God real for me and had me recognize where God is working in my life.”
“This retreat is probably the most significant experience I have had that has led to my wanting to stick it out as a faculty member at Loyola. I would encourage other Loyolans to make this retreat.”
“I had no idea these exercises were so powerful and such a blessing.”
“The retreat was very timely in my life.”
“I wanted to grow in my own faith and to experience a greater sense of community at Loyola. The retreat met both of these expectations far more than I suspected it would.”
“Whenever prospective students come to meet with me, I always talk about Loyola's commitment to the individual and education of the “whole person.” I've learned through my time in the Spiritual Exercises that Loyola feels the same way about staff and about spiritual development. I'm amazed that Loyola makes this incredible retreat available to staff. I've been so blessed by my time in the Spiritual Exercises.”
“This experience has been the best journey I have had in my ten years at Loyola.”
If I am interested in Ignatian spirituality but not able to engage in the full Spiritual Exercises at this time, are there any other programs for me to consider?
Yes. The Office of Mission and Identity hosts a number of events throughout the year including noon time lunch events on Ignatian prayer and practice, Ignatian inspired book clubs, and Lenten prayer groups. We can also assist you in finding a spiritual companion/spiritual director to discuss one’s understanding and experience of God. For current information click here.
Where can I learn more about the retreat or other Mission programs?
For further information or an application, please feel free to contact one of this year’s retreat co-coordinators:
Phone ext. 87431
Phone ext. 56467
“By this name of Spiritual Exercises is meant every way of examining one’s conscience, of meditating, of contemplating, of praying vocally and mentally, and of performing other spiritual actions, as will be said later. For as strolling, walking and running are bodily exercises, so every way of preparing and disposing of the soul to rid itself of all the disordered tendencies, and, after it is rid, to seek and find the Divine Will as to the management of one’s life for the salvation of the soul, is called a Spiritual Exercise.”
The Spiritual Exercises, 1st Annotation,
Saint Ignatius Loyola; The Spiritual Writings, Mark Mossa, SJ, SkyLight Paths, 2012
The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Retreat is sponsored by the Loyola’s
Jesuit Community and Mission and Identity