Companions in Ignatian Service and Spirituality has as its mission, to enrich the experience of committed volunteers involved in community service, through a program of prayer and Ignatian spiritual reflection.
Our program engages women and men, retired and semi-retired Catholics with a desire to explore a deepening spirituality, in volunteer activity that impacts those most marginalized in our communities. These participants, our Companions, are invited to integrate their personal journey of faith with their own commitment to provide service to the poor through local nonprofit, community organizations. Ours is a program that aims to transform both the giver and the receiver. We strive to create an integration in which our Companions meet the needs of those on the margins while maintaining a contemplative prayer practice that roots this work in the values of social justice.
Now in our fifth year, Ignatian Companions has created a powerful program based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Our curriculum encourages Companions to consider a particular and personal sense of vocation, a vocation that expands and embraces the poor, particularly as one enters the encore seasons of life. This call to vocation, we believe, is an opportunity to live within one’s deepest desire in the context of a fragile, human world with profound needs and shortcomings. Our spiritual resources reflect this journey and provide guidance in prayer and group conversation.
Founded in Santa Clara County in 2008, Ignatian Companions expanded to Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo Counties in 2010. In the fall of 2013 we will expand once again and begin our program in the City of San Francisco. Due to our initial success, the West Coast Province of the Society of Jesus has recognized Ignatian Companions as an endorsed work of the Province. As such, we have been able to strategically partner with a variety of incredible Jesuit organizations, including the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education and the Jesuit communities of both Santa Clara University and Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. Generous resources such as meeting facilities, liturgical space, spiritual direction and faith facilitation have been shared with us through these vital collaborations. We are also grateful for our ongoing relationships with local and regional community-based and faith-based organizations that support our common mission.
All of our locations run the Companions program from September through Juner, with beginning and ending one-day retreats, facilitated monthly gatherings, including Liturgy and lunch, monthly spiritual direction, and a weekly commitment to serving the materially poor, the voiceless, and the powerless.
As a recent Companion noted, “Companions has deepened, strengthened, and made me more conscious of the connectedness of daily life, especially through my service, spirituality and prayer.”