Ignatius 500 – A year to remember
Gerry Clarke SJ of the Belfast Jesuit Centre and Christine Halloran of Gardiner Street Parish report on the events that took place during the Ignatian Year. Their article below includes coverage of the closing Mass in Dublin that renewed the consecration of the Society of Jesus to the Heart of Jesus.
Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney celebrated a special Mass in Gardiner Street Parish, Dublin on 31 July 2022 to mark the end of the Ignatian Year known as Ignatius 500. He was joined by over 20 of his Jesuit companions from Ireland and abroad along with many lay people working in Jesuit ministries. Ignatius 500 was a year (20 May 2021 to 31 July 2022) that marked the 500th anniversary of the conversion of St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and provided opportunities for Ignatian formation.
In a letter penned on 29 June 2022, Father General Arturo Sosa SJ, asked that as part of this special Mass, his Jesuit brothers would renew the consecration of the Society to the Heart of Jesus as had first been initiated in 1872, at the behest of the then Father General, Pieter Jan Beckx.
After Fr Moloney’s homily, the congregation were invited to join the Jesuit fathers in closing their eyes, and connecting in an intentional and heartfelt way to God’s immanent presence. After a few moments silence, Fr Moloney quoted from Fr Sosa’s letter: “We renew today the consecration of the Society to the Heart of Jesus, we promise you all our fidelity and we ask for your grace to continue to serve you and to serve your Son with the same spirit and the same intensity as Ignatius and his companions”. He then led those present in reciting St Ignatius’ radical Suscipe prayer [see below].
Some of the activities associated with the year were:
- Ignatius 500 was launched at a Mass presided by Archbishop Dermot Farrell and Fr Leonard Moloney SJ.
- Gardiner Street Primary School produced a video “Letters from Manresa”.
- Book launches of the various publications [see books below].
- To mark the 400th anniversary of the canonisations of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier an Ignatius 500 pack was sent out to every community which included prayers, the (Manresa-Commissioned) Louis Mulcahy candle holder, an information booklet on the saints and a cover letter from the Provincial.
- Irish Jesuit Communications adapted the Province website (jesuit.ie) to include a section on Ignatius 500.
- Sacred Heart Novena at Gardiner Street Parish was adapted to the theme of Ignatius 500
- Formation Series with the Peter Kenney Group run by Brendan McManus SJ and Christine Halloran in collaboration with Joe Greenan.
- Two series on the Jesuit Constitutions using Brian O’Leary SJ’s book (Series 1 for British and Irish Jesuits; Series 2 for SJ, IBVM, FCJ and CJ Congregations (one final series to come with the Religious Sisters of Charity).
- Cannon Ball Videos were produced for the Province website.
- Ignatius: The Quest for More cartoon books were delivered to some schools (Scoil Iognáid, Gardiner Street, St Mary’s Belfast, Christ the Redeemer Belfast).
- Podcast series for vocations on the Province website by Niall Leahy SJ.
- Zoom talk to Gardiner Street Primary School Teachers.
Brian O’Leary SJ, Unlocking a Treasure: Our Jesuit Constitutions.
Patrick Corkery SJ, St Ignatius of Loyola: A Convert’s Story.
Brendan McManus SJ, Channelling the Inner Fire: Ignatian Spirituality in 15 Points.
Brendan McManus SJ & Jim Deeds, Discover God Daily: 7 Life-changing Moments from the Journey of St Ignatius.
Tobias Andrea SJ, Ignatius: The Quest for More (translated by John Moffatt SJ).
Suscipe prayer by St Ignatius of Loyola:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.