This year the tertianship group in Dublin consists of 6 members. We gathered for the first time on 21 September 2020. We will be together until the end of May 2021.
During this time we will share with each other our experiences of our jesuit vocations through the spiritual exercises, reflecting upon our foundation texts, sharing our stories of ministry, and through different ministries.
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.