Celebrating the Ignatian Year


Save the Date: July 31 Feast of St. Ignatius
Stay tuned for details about our parish celebration of this significant conclusion to the Ignatian Year. The Ignatian Year began on May 20, 2021 and marked the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion — that day when Ignatius the soldier, struck by a cannonball, began his transformation into Ignatius the pilgrim. 


Brother Barry talks about legacies in his final entry on St. Ignatius. Editor and writer, Vanita Hampton Wright likewise encourages her readers to asks themselves, "What will be my legacy?" She poses helpful related reflection questions in the following article: 

The Legacy of St. Ignatius >

The article also expands on the years following the founding of the Jesuits.


By Brother Sean Barry, SJ
Founding of the Society of Jesus

After Ignatius left La Storta, he and some companions arrived in Rome. There, they presented a plan to Pope Paul III to form a religious order. He approved the Society of Jesus on September 27, 1540, with an initial membership of ten men.

The religious order grew rapidly, and by the time Ignatius died in 1556, it included more than 1,000 members. In the centuries since its founding, the  Society of Jesus has contributed to the arts, sciences, exploration, missionary work, education, and many other areas. Today, there are more than 14,000 Jesuits all across the world.

One can easily consider the Society of Jesus to be Ignatius’ legacy, and it begs the question of what our legacies will be. We are not likely to start a religious order or establish a school, but we still have legacies. They could be the families we raise or the work that we do over the course of our lifetimes. Our actions make an impact on other people who, in turn, affect countless others.

The legacies we leave behind can be positive or negative, and Ignatius’ conversion experience provides some wisdom for creating a positive legacy. Prior to being struck by the cannonball, Ignatius was focused  on himself and his own glory. As he recovered, his focus began to shift towards living in a way that promoted God’s greater glory. Ignatius’ vision of founding a religious order was not necessarily the key to his legacy but rather his growing closeness to God.

The thought of living our lives for God’s glory can be daunting. However, Ignatius believed that that our own deepest desires are God’s desires for us. We can better ensure that we leave behind a positive legacy if we are focused on God and God’s love for us, mindful of that connection between our desires and God’s.

Points for Reflection
•  Ignatius’ conversion was a slow process. What small steps are you taking to become closer to God?
•  Who is someone whose legacy you admire? What can you emulate from their example?
•  What do you want your legacy to be?