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Personal & Communal Retreats

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Xavier House provides retreats for individuals and communities according to Ignatian tradition.

I. Personal Retreats

Personal retreats given can be from 2 days up to 30 days. Spiritual direction may be offered upon request and subject to availability.

We have certain requirements for those who apply for 8 days or more:

1) Individual Guided Eight Day Retreat in Ignatian Tradition: During the 8-day retreats, retreatants will have up to four contemplative prayers each day, approximately one hour for each prayer. Spiritual direction will be provided. Applicants should have 3 or 5-day individual guided retreat experience before. Applicants who do not have such experiences are recommended to come for shorter retreats first.
Spiritual Direction in English can be provided in the following eight day retreats in 2020:
6-14 April, 2020
16-24 June 2020
2-10 August 2020
25 November – 3 December 2020
Fee for food and lodging: $2,800 (This fee does not include fees for spiritual direction, offering would be appreciated. For reference, the unit cost of spiritual direction for eight day retreat is HK$1600, for details please refer to
http://xavier.ignatian.net/html/eng/activities/q&a-retreat.html)
Application:

2) Thirty Day Spiritual Exercise: Written by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Spiritual Exercises is a long retreat to meditate on the Life of Jesus Christ through prayers, meditations and contemplations, in order to prepare and dispose the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, to seek and find the will of God in the disposition of our life for the salvation of our soul. [Sp. Ex. #1]
The Spiritual Exercises is different from ordinary individual directed retreat. On one hand, there are specific contents for prayer and contemplation; on the other hand, each exercitant's spiritual journey is unique. It will be very profitable for both the exercitant and the spiritual director to enter with openness and generosity to God, to explore and discover the grace in this interior journey. The exercitant shall have thorough understanding and personal experiences of Ignatian prayer and dynamics, therefore it is expected that the applicant shall have eight-day individual guided retreat in an Ignatian tradition within two years. The application process is a discernment process, where the applicant will be accompanied by a spiritual director to discern whether one is well disposed for the Spiritual Exercises. Applicants please contact the Director or the Formation Officer of Xavier House directly to initiate the discernment process. Please allow at least six months for the process.

Groups are welcomed to come for communal silent retreats. Please note that total silence shall be observed in Xavier House. Subject to availability, applicant groups may request for a member of our team of spiritual directors to provide input and guidance during the retreat period.

II. Theme Retreats and Workshops

An Ecological Conversion: ECO-Spirituality Workshop

Content In the book of Genesis, God created a harmonious garden of Eden for his creatures and Adam and Eve to live together peacefully. God also put Adam and Eve in charge to till and keep the garden. However, the result of the original sin is our wounded earth. Pope Francis calls this wounded mother as the poorest of the poor. Like Jesus of Nazareth, we are sons and daughters of the earth and descendants of the universe, we are called to undergo an ecological conversion to become ambassadors of the earth. We are as small as Hong Kong in the world; however, our ecological conversion can affect the rest of mankind gradually. This workshop is designed for all people of good will, religious or non-religious, all are welcomed. After all, we are all interconnected in the cosmic web of life.
Participant Anyone who are interested in ECO-spirituality, who loves the nature or who has a desire to take a first step to care for our wounded earth.
Facilitator Fr. Francis Xu
Born in Jilin Province, People’s Republic of China, Francis is a young Catholic priest. He finished his philosophy studies at Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, and fundamental theology at Jesuit St. Robert Bellarmine Theologate Fujen Catholic University, Taipei. He graduated with a Licientiate in Ecotheology from Jesuit Theologate of Berkeley at Santa Clara University California and MA in Film and Media Production from New York Film Academy Los Angeles Campus.
Medium of instruction English
Date 15 Mar -19 Mar, 2020
Time From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue

Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee $2,300
Application


Contemplation and the New Economy

Content

Pope Francis calls strongly for a new economy which is oriented towards the common good. However, he also makes it clear that such a new paradigm is not possible without a Contemplative spirit. Hence the course aims to introduce elements of Contemplative prayer which deepens the encounter with the Crucified and Risen Lord.  A regular contemplative practice will then not only lead to a profound transformation of oneself but also inspire a new model of economics and finance which is based on dignity of each person, solidarity, mutual help and justice.  The course will refer to key passages of the Bible and Christian Social Teaching. 

Participant Anyone interested in the topic and committed to the practice of contemplation
Facilitator Fr. Stephan Rothlin SJ
Date 8-10 May 2020
Time From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue

Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee $1,500
Application


Contemplation and Action: Discerning God’s Will in Good Times and in Bad (Eight Day Theme Retreat)

Content The silent retreat proposed by St. Ignatius is a privileged time for a deeper reflection on one’s life and for sometimes dramatic encounters with God in silence. At the same time, such a retreat is a time for decision-making about how to follow God after the time of retreat. This is why a retreat passes through different phases. It always begins with a process of quietening down and opening ourselves to experience the unconditional love of God. We wait to receive this grace, because anything else that follows must be based on it. What follows can include repentance for sins and decisions on how to better follow Jesus. Within this context, the Rules for Discernment of Spirits of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius play an important role. St. Ignatius suggests that the director of the retreatant introduced different rules at different times, according to experience of each retreatant. Some of the rules involve basic conversion of life, recognizing how we are tempted, and how to make major decisions. Other rules treat more subtle topics: how to choose between different, positive, ways of living our vocation; how even people who are mature in prayer suffer temptation. Such temptation can be associated over-tiredness, flatness in prayer, and experiences of suffering and failure. The talks will include reference to various saints as a way to illustrate the different steps of the Spiritual Exercises.
Participant Participants who have joined prayer workshop or have previous experience of individual guided retreat for three days or above in Ignatian style.
Facilitator Fr. Gerard Whelan, SJ
Born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland, Gerry studied theology at Hekima College, the Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, and was ordained priest in June 1992. His superiors designated him to return to Nairobi as a lecturer in theology and to prepare for this he pursued graduate studies first in Boston and then in Toronto. In 1996 he was awarded a PhD in systematic theology for a dissertation: “The Development of Bernard Lonergan’s Notion of the Dialectic of History: A Study of his Writings 1938-1953.” This topic expressed his abiding interest in how the right kind of theological method can express both a loyalty to Christian tradition and an attentiveness to questions of social justice and the evangelization of culture. In the period 1996-1999 Gerry returned to Nairobi as a lecturer in Hekima College. In 2000-2006 he also took on responsibility as parish priest in the Jesuit parish near to the theology college. In 2007 he was assigned to teach theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, where teaches mostly diocesan seminarians and priests from all over the world. In 2013 he published a book: Redeeming History: Social Concern in Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran (Rome, G&B Press, 2013). He is currently working on a variety of publications about Pope Francis.
Medium of instruction
English, may choose English or Cantonese for spiritual direction
Date
19 Jul – 27 Jul, 2020
Time
From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue
Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee
$5,200
Application



To Shine Light on those in Darkness (Eight Day Theme Retreat)

Content Many of us are familiar with God's presence when it inspires us with joy, or hope, or touches us with what we normally understand as "love". But we struggle in times of darkness and dryness in our prayer. It seems we are easily distracted, and easily deceived. We look for ways to re-kindle the "fire" of God's love within us, and try to find practices for persevering when the path seems narrow and difficult. Our retreat will focus our prayer on the God who touches us, strengthens us, and nourishes us, even when we strain to discern His presence and "light". We will also look to some of the great saints who similarly struggled in their spiritual journey, and whose experience has much to teach us about genuine discernment.
Participant Participants who have joined prayer workshop or have previous experience of individual guided retreat for three days or above in Ignatian style.
Facilitator Fr. Peter McIsaac, SJ
Fr Peter McIsaac SJ was born in Canada, but has lived and worked in Jamaica for many years. Fr McIsaac entered the Society of Jesus in 1989. After completing his Licentiate in Theology in 1998, he was ordained a priest. He has been involved in social ministries, education, and pastoral work. From 2006-2012, Fr McIsaac was Regional Superior of the Society of Jesus. He has directed the deaconate programme for the Archdiocese of Jamaica and has taught systematic theology at the St Michael's Theological College. He has many years of experience directing the Spiritual Exercises, and giving retreats and workshops across the Caribbean, US, Canada, Africa and Asia.
Medium of instruction
English, may choose English or Cantonese for spiritual direction
Date
4 Oct -12 Oct 2020
Time
From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue
Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee
$5,200
Application


Silence: Learning the Language of God in our Prayer (Theme Retreat for Beginners)

Content A short retreat that will help the retreatant with some of the fundamentals of contemplation, with a focus on the beauty and the importance of silence for "hearing the Word" that is spoken to us in the depths of our hearts. In the embrace of that silence, we discover a solitude where we can enter God's presence without fear or resistance, and open our hearts to our "neighbour" with compassion. In silence and solitude, then, we become aware of our God -- who contemplates us with a silent gaze of love. The retreat will also be an opportunity to explore some methods that help us become more silent within.
Participant Beginners on Ignatian journey, who have little or no previous retreat experience
Facilitator Fr. Peter McIsaac, SJ
Fr Peter McIsaac SJ was born in Canada, but has lived and worked in Jamaica for many years. Fr McIsaac entered the Society of Jesus in 1989. After completing his Licentiate in Theology in 1998, he was ordained a priest. He has been involved in social ministries, education, and pastoral work. From 2006-2012, Fr McIsaac was Regional Superior of the Society of Jesus. He has directed the deaconate programme for the Archdiocese of Jamaica and has taught systematic theology at the St Michael's Theological College. He has many years of experience directing the Spiritual Exercises, and giving retreats and workshops across the Caribbean, US, Canada, Africa and Asia.
Medium of instruction
English, may choose English or Cantonese for spiritual direction
Date
23 Oct – 26 Oct, 2020
Time
From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue
Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee
$2,000
Application


Contemplation and the "Word of Reconciliation"

Content

Contemplation offers a way to inner silence and a way to God. Whoever practises Contemplation regularly is often blessed with a profound experience of peace and harmony. In a broken world of conflicts the Contemplative journey enables to overcome conflicts and to share the Gospel as a message of Reconciliation. The course refers to key passages in the Bible and Christian Social Teaching. It will allow the participant to better analyze his or her experiences.

Participant Anyone interested in the topic and committed to the practice of contemplation
Facilitator Fr. Stephan Rothlin SJ
Date 13-15 Nov 2020
Time From dinner on first day till lunch (included) on last day
Venue

Xavier House, Cheung Chau
Fee $1,500
Application



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