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‘A lived Jesuit approach to spirituality’

Dr Michael O’Sullivan SJ was one of twenty-four people from three continents who were interviewed for the Spirit-Duality event that is being transmitted 14-22 November. The event was organised in England and was available globally online. The course offers five days of talks and interviews with a variety of speakers.

According to the organisers, the event provides an in-depth look into what being on a spiritual journey means to different people and explores how people can learn to live with passion, purpose, vision, and faith.

It also aims to help people discover how to deal with some of the inner and outer conflicts that occur when life throws a curve-ball, then to discuss what effect this can have on the spiritual journey, and to explore how to transform those dualities into life-enhancing experiences.

To this end, the title of Michael’s 40-minute interview, broadcast on Sunday 15 November, was ‘A lived Jesuit approach to spirituality’. Click here to listen ».  During the interview he spoke about childhood influences on his spiritual development, his years of studies in the Jesuits, the influence of Ignatian spirituality, his time as a missionary in Chile, his work as a theologian on behalf of the transformation of the situation of women, and his move in later years to the study of spirituality in higher education and the professions. He refers to his roles as Director of the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education, and Director for more than 15 years of the MA in Applied Spirituality, in which he also lectures and supervises research. He mentions too his international leadership roles in that field of study.

Participants in the online conference were able to post comments. They responded very positively to Michael’s talk. On listener, who had just completed the MA in Applied Spirituality at SpIRE (the Spirituality Institute of Ireland where Michael is director), said she found his contribution to the event both ‘intriguing’ as well as ‘inspiring’.

She also commented on her MA year, saying she felt blessed for the journey “with wonderful colleagues and mentors”. “It was,” she added, “an amazing journey that opened for me a kaleidoscope of insights and self-discovery.” She highly recommended the programme to all those taking part in the Spirit-Duality seminar, and she thanked Michael for “bringing back to me so many happy memories of our time in Milltown.”

Another listener concurred with the description of Michael’s talk as inspirational, particularly as it was placed within the Catholic framework of ‘mission’. And the most satisfactory feedback, from the organisers’ point of view, went: “I could listen to him forever. Wonderful, left me wanting more. Thank you”.