Vera Coughlan, who was an active participant of the Galway Jesuit Centre of Spirituality and Culture, speaks to Pat Coyle on spirituality of the family as a way forward for the Church in Ireland. This is the third interview to mark the closure of the Jesuit centre which operated in Galway for thirteen years. Vera talks about her training in spiritual direction, her involvement in a variety of other courses and love for Saint Ignatius’s outlook on life.
Referring to her spiritual direction training which was facilitated by a lay person and Jesuit priest, Vera says that she and the other participants allowed each other to be touched by the “unchanging eternal loving God”. Centred on Ignatian spirituality, she says the two-year course gave her a love for Ignatius’s extravagant love of God in everyday life. She also enjoyed courses at the centre, including mysticism, dreams, Celtic spirituality and ‘Women at the Well’.
The Galway centre enabled Vera to share with others the experience of family and motherhood which she believes had transformational effects on her life. She says, “The feminine heart of God, I think, is given so abundantly in a family setting, and I would love to see that model of Church being highlighted and honoured.” She maintains that the Jesuit ministry showed a wonderful appreciation of our humanity as the place of the divine.
Click on the link above to listen to the interview.