Jesuit Retreat Helps Veterans Reflect on God’s Presence
July 20, 2017 — Over Independence Day weekend, a group of U.S. veterans gathered at
the White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis to reflect on God’s presence throughout
their military experience.
The second annual Veterans White House Jesuit Retreat helped participants
focus on their military service and how God was with them and continues to be
with them. The weekend delved in to the trauma created by PTSD and the guilt
and shame that can accompany military experience.
This unique retreat was prompted by
Pope Francis’ call in October 2015 to nourish the ethical and spiritual
dimensions of military personnel and their families. The pope said that we as a
community must teach them prayer as a way of dealing with their new reality.
The retreat was led by Jesuit Father Jim Conroy, co-founder of the Ignatian Volunteer
Corps, rector at Wheeling Jesuit University and a Vietnam veteran. The weekend
consisted of a series of talks by Fr. Conroy, followed by small breakout
sessions and quiet reflection. The veterans had the chance to listen to other veterans’
stories and came together through sharing their experiences.
"I have great empathy for men and women who have
been in the military, in some cases having experienced horrible things,"
said Fr. Conroy, who also led the inaugural veterans retreat last year.
"It's a complicated life.
"Military service can be a time that is pretty
dreadful but it also can be a time that's pretty beautiful. You've got to be
able to find God in places that are real hard but in places that are also real
Father John P. McBride, SJ, veteran of the 75th Infantry Division during WW II who saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and helped in the liberation of France before becoming a teacher, pastor, and chaplain throughout the Northwest, entered into God’s peace October 20.
This fall, the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight program will mark a decade highlighting the mission of Jesuit education through basketball with two Jesuit Basketball Classics, played by four men’s and women’s teams.
Father Lawrence Bernard Murphy, SJ, longtime teacher at Loyola High School and parish priest at St. Brendan’s Church, Los Angeles, entered into God’s peace October 18 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif. He was 90.
The Jesuit High School of Sacramento Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Father John P. McGarry, SJ, as the school’s new president. Father McGarry will assume his duties at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
From November 4-6, nearly 2,000 individuals — mainly young adults representing 26 Jesuit colleges and universities, 49 Jesuit high schools, seven Jesuit parishes, current and former Jesuit Volunteers, and hundreds of alumni of Jesuit schools — gathered to hear speakers talk about social justice concerns ranging from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ communities in the Catholic Church to feminism and environmental justice.
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Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.