Saint Ignatius College Geelong
Ignatius learned to reflect upon the events of each day and to become aware of where God had touched him.
He became deeply aware that God is found in the realms of mind, imagination, emotion and sense; in relationship with others; in interaction with the material world; and in the unsought sufferings of life. He discovered that the whole of life was a pilgrimage in which he needed to be attentive and sensitive to the Spirit guiding him.
This spiritual way of Saint Ignatius, is characterized by a search for the Magis. This is a search for the more, the greater, the more effective. For the Ignatian person, this involves the search for the ever-greater glory of God, the ever-fuller service of one’s neighbor, the more universal good, the more effective means of action.
At Saint Ignatius College, we aspire to form young men and women in the spirit of seeking the magis; through fostering growth in their ability to be discerning persons, our purpose is that they will come to a fuller understanding of themselves as loved by God, and invited by Christ to participate in creating a better world where goodness, peace and justice reign.
While we endeavor to have aspects of Ignatian Spirituality permeating the total environment and programs in our college, there are key experiences when students are given an in-depth experience of its essential elements.
At this stage, the students are familiar with the factual story of the life of Saint Ignatius. The focus of the reflection day, which takes place away from the college, is on the key concept of “Magis” and how that can be integrated into the students’ lives.
The students revisit the life of Saint Ignatius with a consideration of his spiritual journey, particularly his time at Manresa. This was a time of profound prayer and reflection in solitude so students are invited to enter their own quiet interior space and are guided in reflection and activities designed to enhance an awareness of themselves as spiritual people with powers of reflection and discernment.
The purpose this Retreat is to assist students in recognizing the importance of their holistic development and to give them further understanding and appreciation of “fullness of life” in the manner of Christ. Activities are designed to open students to their spirit dimension as well as fostering a sense of community and a heightened awareness of their own giftedness and that of others. A Retreat is God’s time and aims to be a catalyst for growth. The central focus is for the students to review important aspects of their lives and to come to a greater acceptance of their God-given goodness and how this can be a guiding principle for their future lives.
At the beginning of the school year, celebrations of the Eucharist for the separate levels [7&8; 9&10; 11&12] are a major liturgical function for our college community. Priests of the deanery and Jesuits are the celebrants. Students have various active roles as well as providing choir and orchestra.
There is a variety of paraliturgical experiences that occur on a regular basis throughout the school year. The most significant of these is whole school celebration of the feast-day of Saint Ignatius.
Class prayer takes place each morning in homerooms.
The Liturgical Year of the Church is an integral part of the Religious Education Program and seasonal (Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas) paraliturgies are incorporated into this.
Communal staff prayer takes place prior to morning briefing sessions and staff meetings. All attend the Geelong Deanery Mass for school staffs at the beginning of the school year and conclude the year with an Advent celebration of the Eucharist in our local parish church of St Thomas.
Our school leavers are introduced to an Ignatian youth movement for those aged 18-30yrs. It is known as “Magis” and our graduating students are encouraged to make contact via the website: http://www.jesuit.org.au/what-we-do/young-adults
Magis is a long-term project designed to foster Ignatian Spirituality in young adults aged 18 to 30.
The aim of Magis is to produce leaders - people with a sense of God’s place in their lives and a capacity to do something to build a better world.
Magis08, the Ignatian program with World Youth Day 2008, was the first major project under this ministry.
All who participate in the program are offered a relationship with Jesus, based on the life experiences of St Ignatius Loyola.
St. Ignatius used the word magis to talk about a quest for the greater good, always striving for the greater glory of God. In this context, magis or "the more" is used like an adverb:
to see more (clearly)
to love more (dearly)
to follow more (closely)
thereby emphasising the quality or intensity of our doing, instead of simply the act of doing.
The Magis program aims to walk with young adults discovering their identity in their work, at home, and in relationship with others. We are each at a different place in our search for, or walk with, God.
Magis offers a stepping stone along the way, and companions for the road.
For more information on Magis visit: http://www.jesuit.org.au
They are the story of his spiritual journey and religious experience. The spirituality of the Spiritual Exercises continues to transform the lives of women and men, Religious and lay, who desire greater freedom to give and receive love more generously.
Every Friday at 9.00am all of the College community stops and we pray The Examen
This prayer helps us become more aware of God’s presence in our life. During this prayer we reflect upon our experiences over the past day or week and ask for the Grace to be able to recognise God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus in these experiences. This prayer can become a central element in the life of any busy person, helping us to find God in our ordinary, everyday activities.
All students, teachers and staff of the college are now invited to pause for a short time and pray The Examen together. We pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
As I look over the past week I appreciate my life and all the blessings I enjoy and I thank God for these. I recall joyful moments, beauty found in creation or people or myself, and I am thankful for these gifts. I may take one simple event from the past day or week and remember the good feelings it brought me and take a moment here to express thanks for this experience. I give thanks.
As I approach a review of my day I ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit to help me better understand myself and those around me. I ask for the wisdom and insight to see myself more clearly and in doing so I find answers to questions that may arise including why do I act the way I do? How can I change? How can I be more for others?
Every day God is calling me to share in peace, love and happiness with myself and those around me. At this point in the Examen I ask myself how have I carried myself this past week? As I review my actions, words and thoughts I am especially mindful of the times I walked closely with God.
What is it that I need to forgive myself or others for? What do I need to let go of? At this point I turn to Jesus on the cross and ask for forgiveness. What or whom do I need to reconcile with in my life?
Finally as I look to tomorrow, I do so with the knowledge that I can ask for God’s help and Grace at any time. How can I change the parts of my life I have reflected on during this prayer. What decisions can I make today that will affect who I am tomorrow? How can I be better for others today and tomorrow?
We offer these contemplations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Saint Ignatius: Pray for us.
Published each term, Catholic Education Today celebrates the faith, life, achievements and culture of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The most recent of Catholic Education Today (and all previous editions) can be downloaded from the Catholic Education Melbourne website by clicking here.
Also in this Edition