Changed Heart: the Gift of Christian Virtues

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We live in a secular culture, and it lives in us. Many of us, including people of deep faith, wonder about the role of faith in everyday life. How does a disciple of Jesus Christ live faithful in today's culture? This course will explore dispositions of the heart, known as virtues, that you enact daily. What are the habits of your heart? How might you foster virtues that help you become what the Spirit hopes you will become.

Virtues shape the kind of people we are and they are the source of our actions.  Christian virtues, the qualities of Christ’s heart, embody a loving heart, not simply a model of imitation. In this course, we will respond to Jesus’ invitation:  What kind of person is Jesus inviting me to be at this moment in my life? What attitudes of heart do I wish to foster? To be invited to changed hearts by the Lord is powerful. The course will help us examine our response through awareness and prayer.

Participants will be asked to do independent reading, receive some input for consideration, and will have time for discussion during class time. This course meets 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. three consecutive Saturdays, September 16, 23, & 30 at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House. 

  • Putting in the Heart of Christ by Gerald M. Fagin, S.J. (purchase via Amazon here, or Barnes and Noble here, or Loyola Press here

$10 - Registration (non-refundable, balance due at 1st class)
+ $20 tuition
$30 total cost

Register here
Carol Atwell Ackels

Carol is the Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Institute. A spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition and Senior Ignatian Fellow of Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House, she serves as retreat director of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in various formats. She offers weekend retreats, the Exercises in Everyday Life, and one-to-one directed retreats at Jesuit retreat houses across the United States.  Carol regularly gives programs and days of reflection to parish and Church groups. She helped launch and continues to give workshops to shape persons, Jesuits and lay, who are moving into retreat ministry and Ignatian spiritual companioning. Appointed by the Jesuit Provincial, she served six years on the province Commission on Ministry--the group that discerns long-range planning for apostolic work of the Jesuits and their colleagues. Carol worked with Anthony Borrow, S.J. in developing the Toward Greater Freedom retreat for parents at Jesuit College Prep of Dallas, and co-authored with Joe Tetlow, S.J. the  twelve week ignatian retreat, Finding Christ in the World. Carol holds a J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law and is currently pursuing a Master of Art in Theology and Leadership at Gonzaga University. She and her husband reside in Dallas and are the parents of five adult children.

Sheila DeSantis

Sheila is an Ignatian spiritual and retreat director. She helps others make the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday life, as well as serving as companion for the Toward Greater Freedom retreat at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, and Finding Christ in the World retreat in various parishes and churches. She has continued serving the retreats for many years while also helping form and train new Companions. Sheila is also the Chair of the ISI Board of Directors. Sheila was in the first group to make both the Toward Greater Freedom retreat and the Finding Christ in the World Retreats. She participates in days of reflection and retreats at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House including both personal and couples retreats, and numerous ISI workshops.  Sheila made the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday life and completed the ISI Spiritual Companioning program in 2015.  Sheila is an architect, and enjoys traveling, viewing art, and painting.  She and her husband live in Dallas and have two adult children. 

Barb Mack

Barb holds a Bachelor of Science Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees. Barb teaches yoga, speech, and exercise classes to Parkinson’s patients and others with movement disorders, and tutors middle- and high school-age students in vocabulary and language arts.  Barb has served on the Greenhill School Board and numerous school committees. Her initial Ignatian experience was the Toward Greater Freedom retreat at Jesuit Dallas six years ago. Since that time she has served as a companion in TGF, and has participated in various retreats and workshops at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House. Barb made the 19th annotation of the Spiritual Exercises four years ago. She is now helping form other companions serving the TGF retreat at Jesuit Dallas. Barb is married to Dr. Michael Mack and they are the parents of five adult children.


Saturday, Sep.16, 2017
Saturday, Sep.23, 2017
Saturday, Sep.30, 2017