The Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing,
yet it was not consumed…. the place on which you are standing is holy ground. - Exodus 3: 2,5
Together we have faced one of the most difficult years of our lifetime. Before the trying events of 2020, the Ignatian Spirituality Institute was flourishing with programs, classes, and retreats. Women and men came with the desire to nurture prayer, experience the Spiritual Exercises, and deepen their understanding of Ignatian spirituality. Then, the pandemic arrived at our doorstep.
Like other ministries, ISI was required to cancel our programs, our classes, and our retreats. But our team persevered in ISI’s commitment to serve others. We knew we needed to help make the ambiguity of pandemic more manageable, more formational, less fearful, and less intimidating. Together we prayed and sought creative avenues to keep answering the Lord’s invitation to love His people.
During these days of lock-down, ISI has remarkably been able to expand our ministry. Retreat meetings and formation programs have moved online, and our spiritual directors keep contact with seekers via Zoom or by phone. We've launched new digital initiatives that continue to draw hundreds of persons from all across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Belize. What we hand on is a fire—our own living experience of faith-filled prayer offered to God who is working in and through us. People continue to come seeking the warmth of connection and community. They, and we, are grateful ISI has a fire ready to provide what is needed.
Much is unclear about a post-pandemic world, but it is clear that ISI will not move backwards. The expanded reach of our digital ministry is here to stay, and our in-person programs will return. The extent of what we are able to do, however, depends entirely on the financial support we receive. The use of new technologies requires expertise, training, and capacities that place new demand on ISI’s limited resources. And because we are helping more people, we need more people to help.
Thank you for your generous consideration. May you and yours always stand on holy ground and feel the warmth of God’s love.
Carol Atwell Ackels
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit - Luke 12:35