In response to Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of the Year of Faith—called to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council—the University spent the last 12 months creating a series of lectures exploring how the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola apply to Catholic life today.
Led by the Center for Mission and Identity, the series “Education of Desire: The Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality,” included six lectures that examined the intersection of contemporary issues with the Spiritual Exercises, particularly as they shed light on modern moral issues.
“The people within this community came together to think about the Ignatian tradition within the Catholic Church,” says James Riordan, a former Jesuit who is now a major gifts officer and who chaired Xavier’s Year of Faith committee. “No one was excluded from this conversation of faith. That’s the Ignatian tradition.”
The six lectures were:
• “Deepest Desire: Seeking God in the Ignatian Tradition,” an exploration of the role of desire in spiritual life grounded in the Ignatian tradition.
• “Is the Universe Purposeful?” a look at the universe and the role of science in exploring questions about the possibilities of the existence of multiple universes.
• “Conscience and Freedom in a Time of Planetary Crisis,” which explored Catholic understandings of conscience and their relevance to major crises facing our world today, particularly hunger and climate change.
• “Is There But One Christian Spirituality: Discernment and the University,” an exploration of everyday decision-making and larger life choices in the Ignatian framework.
• “Option for the Poor? Economics and Inequalities,” a look at market economics with a particular focus on the option for the poor.
• “Setting the World on Fire: Faith that Inspires Action,” a panel discussion about faith that incites action in the life of the University.