Creighton Online Retreat Published
Creighton University’s Online Retreat, available on the Online Ministries website for the past 10 years, is now available in book form. Published by Loyola Press, “Retreat in the Real World: Finding Intimacy with God Wherever You Are” makes the online resource available to people who don’t use the Internet every day and who have expressed interest in having a book version available to them.
“People don’t always want to pray right at their computer,” said the Rev. Andy Alexander, S.J., vice president of University Ministry and one of the co-founders of Creighton’s Online Ministries. “They were looking for something easier to carry when they prayed in another room or even another city.”
The 34-week retreat is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
“We knew that the Spiritual Exercises was not a book to read but a guide for directors to give this retreat experience to others,” said Maureen McCann Waldron, co-founder of the Online Ministries website.
Knowing that St. Ignatius encouraged colleagues to adapt the exercises to fit people’s needs, Fr. Alexander and Waldron studied the exercises and adapted them for people with busy lives. The retreat is user-friendly and guides the person or group step by step each week in how to let the material find its way into the background of one’s consciousness. Each week includes background information, a simple reflection, prayer-helps, Scripture readings, and photography; each week’s activities build on the previous week. An audio version enables people to download mp3 files, so they can listen to the retreat in their cars or on mp3 players. The retreat has also been translated into Spanish, Japanese and Russian and is in the process of being translated into Chinese, Swedish and the Swahili language, Kiswahili.
Other Creighton colleagues also supported the project. The Rev. Larry Gillick, S. J., director of the Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Creighton, wrote reflections for each of the 34 weeks. Providing photos to capture the theme of each week was the Rev. Don Doll, S.J., internationally known photographer and Charles and Mary Heider Endowed Jesuit Faculty Chair. Past online participants also shared their reflections and comments.
“The retreat doesn’t take extra time; it takes extra focus. It’s a hallmark of the Ignatian tradition, and the themes of the retreat interact with the real-world activities of a busy life,” said Fr. Alexander. “The results are growing spiritual freedom and a deep and wonderful new relationship with Jesus and his mission.”
The book is available at bookstores or online, including the Loyola Press website at http://www.loyolapress.com/retreat-in-the-real-world.htm.
The retreat is an integral part of Creighton University’s Online Ministries website at: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html. More than 21 million people from 130 countries visit the site annually. The site also includes daily reflections, spiritual programs, ministry dialogue and other programs.