‘People for God. People for Others’
What do we offer?
The Jesuit Institute is dedicated to encouraging debate on current social issues from a faith perspective and to stimulating critical reflection, research and dialogue. It provides reflection on, and critical analysis of, contemporary social and religious issues from a Catholic perspective.
The Jesuit Institute is passionately committed to the training and empowerment of lay Christians, and to the on-going formation of ministers and clergy. To this end we have established the following schools:
The Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality offers a creative, flexible, skills-based training programme of individual and group spiritual accompaniment, responding to the varying needs of a wide range of constituencies in South Africa while working towards bringing people together. This programme is offered through culturally appropriate training pedagogies and, where possible, in local languages and covers the full range of spirituality training at all levels, including supervisory. This training is developed, sustained and delivered by an integrated and reflective team of Ignatian specialists from the Jesuit Institute.
Retreat Work drawing on those trained in its School of Spirituality The Jesuit Institute, offers a wide variety of retreats. We regard the retreat ministry as an essential part of the ongoing formation of Christians. Drawing on the tradition of Jesus himself we believe that all people need time out from their normal routine to reflect and pray. Just as Jesus withdrew into the desert to discern and deepen his relationship with the Father, so we too need desert experiences. To this end the Jesuit Institute offers residential 4 and 8 day retreats. However recognizing that the majority of Christians are unable to afford the time or money for a residential retreat we have also developed a variety of parish-based retreats in daily life.
The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius At the heart of all the work of the Jesuit Institute, lies the dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. The Ignatian worldview informs who we are, what we think and how we act in the world. This intensive formation process, possibly the most formative single experience offered in the Christian tradition, is profoundly grounded in the Love for God for us and in God’s ongoing invitation for us to make a response in love to God in the world. The Jesuit Institute offers the full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius either as an enclosed 30 day silent retreat, or as a retreat in daily life normally taking between 6 months a year.
A fundamental Ignatian stance is that God is in all things, this stance leads us to work with wider society. We work with people from the business, political and educational sectors, with religious groups, with other faith groups, NGO’s and with others interested in improving society. The Institute is committed to an integrative, multi-disciplinary perspective. This is made possible through dialogue between the areas of specialization of its own staff of Jesuits and lay professionals and by networking with others working in similar areas of interest. Our core calling is to help people to discern, discover and to choose to live out their deepest vocation, which we believe is God’s gift to them and to God’s world.