We began with our sharing on the previous week. With every passing week the experiences seem deeper and richer.
Paul introduced us to the Experiments in Europe and the manner in which we are to go about discerning what kind of experiment will bring each one much profit. The experiment will be from 21st Jan to 4th April 2021.
Tom did a nice session with us on the Examen and Ignatian ways of praying. This served as a good refresher on prayer methods.
Paul took a session on the Deliberations of the First Fathers. One of the striking lines he quoted was “… as was with the first fathers, every group of tertians refounds the Society.” We had Eileen O’Driscoll sharing with us her experience of working with the Jesuit team at Manresa retreat house, and how in general she has seen Ignatian spirituality permeate her life and her work.
Brian O’Leary, an Irish Jesuit, gave us a very insightful five hour-long sessions in Unlocking the Constitutions. His input was much appreciated. He gave us keys needed to enter into the Spirit of the Constitutions, the way Ignatius might have wanted every Jesuit to. It served as great preparation for the sessions which we will have in the reading of the Constitutions in the days ahead.
On Friday we had a meeting with the Jesuit community at Manresa retreat house. It was a nice gathering. It was nice to get to know the community and something about them. They too seemed glad to meet us.
Piaras Jackson spoke to us about the functioning of the retreat centre. He also showed us the lovely chapel and prayer room at the retreat house. He told us that we are welcome to pray there during the Spiritual Exercises.
The stained glass windows in the chapel are the creative work of Evie Home.
Piaras Jackson, the director of the retreat house on campus, gave us an enlightening session on the Church in Ireland. He dwelt on the history of Catholicity in Ireland moving all the way down to modern trends.
We then had our community photograph clicked. Piaras was the expert roped in to do the job.
This was then followed by the tertians sharing (in 20 minutes each) the main features of the Church in their own countries. These sessions really gave us a global sense of how the Church has evolved and how the spirit has been moving in varying contexts. It also brought to the fore the challenges of the present day.
During this week we were allotted our Spiritual Guides, and most had their first meeting with their respective spiritual guides. Paul then took an important session on Celibate Chastity. It involved much pondering and serious reflection. In this week the tertians continued to explore parts of Dublin, including Glasnevin cemetery (which has among others the tombstone of Gerard Manley Hopkins), the Cathedral, Dublin castle, the Molly Malone statue, and other places.
We had our Monday morning sharing. We then moved into a round of Sharing from the Heart. Each one shared a significant incident from his life. All others then gave him feedback based on that sharing and based on what feelings got stirred within while listening. It was a very rich exercise and lasted through the week.
By the end of this week we had completed 14 days of restricted movement. So an outing was planned. Paul and Tom took us first to Howth and a couple of other places. The tertians then took some time off to visit places in Dublin.
By the end of this week we were also give our house jobs. The job distribution was as follows:
Tommy’s contact person – Lukas Treasurer/ Shopping etc – Michele House jobs coordinator – Roman Handyman/ Cars – Eugenijus Sacristy – Learoy Laundry – Julian Historia Domus – Learoy Webmaster/ Computers – Julian Bikes and Bike shed – Eugenijus Recycling – Lukas Plants/ Library/ Newspapers – Roman Guestmaster – Michele
Other jobs are allotted on a weekly basis. They are: Sanitising door handles, Dining Room mgmt., Drying the dishes, House cleaning, and dish washing in the kitchen.
Week 1 21st Sept to 27th Sept 2020 We are living amidst unprecedented times, with the COVID-related pandemic having affected the lives of millions of people the world over. Here at the tertianship too we shared in a small way the hardships that many others have faced. As many as eight tertians could not arrive here because of visa and travel related issues in their respective countries. Finally we were six wise men (including one from the east☺) who made it here in time for the start of this school of the heart.
By 21st Sept, all the tertians had arrived. The six tertians are:
We are grateful to God for the gift of excellent guides in the form of Frs Paul Pace and Tom McGuinness. They’ve put together an excellent programme, and have meticulously seen to the preparation of the place here. Our thanks goes out also to the Jesuit community on campus and the Manresa retreat House staff for being such gracious hosts. We’re grateful also to Tommy and Jacinta who do a great job with the cooking.
The first 14 days were to be days of restricted movements in keeping with the COVID guidelines laid down by the Irish government and as adhered to by Manresa house.
On 21st Sept we began with supper, community mass celebrated by Paul, and then haustus. The next morning after a round of introductions we shared our hopes for this tertianship year. Fr Franck Janin, President of the European Jesuit Conference, said a word of welcome via zoom and shared some of his own hopes and joys that connect with this lovely stage of formation. He referred to the tertianship as ‘one big EXAMEN’.
On 23rd Sept Paul briefed us about the days ahead, including mention about the Monday morning session where each tertian would be required to share his reflections on the previous week. Common rules concerning house affairs were discussed, and some household jobs were assigned.
On 23rd Sept Paul dealt with the topic, ‘What is Tertianship.’ He spoke of the spirit of tertianship, and its vision. He then outlined the broad purpose as well as the component parts of the tertianship year.
We then started our reading of the Autobiography of Ignatius. This would connect with our own life’s autobiography. Tom later gave us a template which had points for reflection on our life’s journey, and which could become material for sharing with our spiritual guides.
On 24th Sept we had an excellent session on TRANSITIONS by Fr Richard Ebejer SDB. Most tertians found this session really thought-provoking, timely and relevant to their lives. We watched the movie, The Lion King, that evening. We watched many quite a few movies in the days that followed including Ignatius de Loyola and Eurovision. For our daily Eucharist – the tertians and tertian masters take turns to celebrate the daily mass.
Time flies–this is the common experience of all the Tertians especially after they came back from the placement. And it creates a sort of sentimental feeling.
Having completed the study and reflection on the last parts of Constitutions, GC 36 and Final Vows, the Tertians had a workshop on Jesuit Formation and Personal Growth from the view of developmental psychology. The program was well appreciated.
Now, from the evening of May 8th, Tertian will start a 6-day retreat to collect the fruits of the entire Tertianship. Please join their prayers so that the formation received by Tertians in past nine months may continue to bear lasting fruits in their life.
After Christmas break, the Cadoner House returned to its normal daily routine on January 2. First of all, the community studied Ignatian Spiritual Exercises based on their previous experiences. Then, there were a series of lectures, workshops and discussion on affectivity and priesthood. Finally, Fr Jose de Pablo introduced the Conference of European Provincials, followed by the presentations on the Jesuit Conference of South Asia and the Conference of Asia Pacific. In between, the Tertians also participated in the Rhetoric Parent Day of Clongowes Wood College.
From January 18 on, the Tertians start their 10-week long experiment in different places inside and outside Ireland. They will come back to Cadonar House after Easter.