Highlights from the 2015 Ignatian Pilgrimage
Carolyn McNamara Barry, Professor of Psychology
Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Associate Professor of Teacher Education
Diana Schaub, Professor of Political Science
2015 participants, gathered above the Jesuit Curia overlooking St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Courtesy of Carolyn Barry.
Sunrise walk at Montserrat, courtesy of Diana Schaub. "I tried to capture the conjunction of natural beauty and human devotion to the source of Creation."
Humble shoes of Ignatius, courtesy of Diana Schaub.
Landscape from Loyola's hometown, courtesy of Carolyn Barry.
Sculpture of St. Ignatius taken after his death, courtesy of Carolyn Barry.
Reflection on the Ignatian pilgrimage experience
By Carolyn McNamara Barry
As I reflect upon my 2015 Ignatian Pilgrimage, I knew it was a phenomenal faculty development opportunity; however, I am delighted by how transformative it was for me. The experience can be captured in three major benefits.
Attention: In the classic Ignatian spirituality, my fellow pilgrims and I carefully attended to the life of St. Ignatius and the history of the Jesuits in reading and discussing seminal volumes prior to our departure. While I have had numerous other Catholic or Jesuit professional development opportunities in my 14 years at Loyola to date, this succinct time period complete with rich dialogue with fellow pilgrims across institutions resulted in a substantially greater foundation of knowledge of the unique lives of this famous Jesuits and the world in which they lived. With this more solidified foundation, I was then able to reflect more deeply on my own life's journey to date.
Journey: The pilgrimage furthered my attention by seeing many of the significant places in the life of St. Ignatius, rereading his autobiography while on the trip, and making connections to moments of consolation and desolation in my own life. More importantly, the pilgrimage allowed me to have a break from my usual work and home responsibilities to engage in this macro discernment. The breathtaking vistas, rugged mountains of Northern Spain, inspiring works of art represented in countless monasteries to cathedrals to Ancient Roman ruins enhanced my ability to situate myself not only in my own lifespan but across human civilization.
Social Support: The interior work with which I was able to accomplish was furthered by my fellow pilgrims through our rich conversations over meals, while touring sites, riding on buses, or going for a morning hike. The sense of cura personalis that each pilgrim displayed toward others in the group was remarkable, and very much appreciated.
In sum, the pilgrimage has allowed me to gain greater clarity in my own moments of consolation and desolation to date, which in turn have re-energized me not only for the coming year, but in setting meaningful professional and personal goals for the many years to come. I am so very grateful to have been given this significant opportunity for incorporating Ignatian spirituality further into my own life both professionally and personally.