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Finding Purpose and Identity—A Journey in the Spirit of Ignatius


Through an exploration of the life of St. Ignatius in Italy, students became acquainted with St. Ignatius, Ignatian spirituality, and the mission of the Society of Jesus. Readings, lectures, and site visits in Rome and Assisi provided students with an understanding of formative events in the life of Ignatius, origins and practices of Ignatian spirituality, and Ignatian values. Through written assignments and discussion, students considered how Ignatian values—such as cura personalis, contemplation in action, magis, persons for others, finding God in all things, and the promotion of justice—relate to their own values, goals, and experiences of Italy.

"I believe that learning about the Churches and the saints who have had a significant impact on Rome was one of my favorite things," said Melissa Parra. "Knowing this, in my opinion, was important to me since it allowed me to consider my previous life and how the Jesuit mission can help point me in the proper path going ahead," she continued. "I had an incredible experience overall, and it was made much better by being able to attend with my peers.  It has been a true blessing to have this opportunity in my 20s to learn about another tradition and culture."

Students had the opportunity to tour historical and deeply meaningful places including, St. Ignatius Church, Church of the Gesù, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill Catacombs, Vatican museums, and were part of the Papal audiance. A little bit of fun was included during a pizza making class at Rosso Pomodoro.

"Going to Rome has deepened my spirituality in Catholicism and my connection to god is closer than ever before," Esme Avila-Marquez said about her experience.