Laboring in the Vineyard

Dear Friends, As the holiday season arrives, I hope it finds you healthy and happy. It’s been a year since we last reached out for your support, and we are delighted with the progress of our ministry. Reflecting on the year, we see Jesus at ease with the narratives unfolding.

As you know, we carry out our ministry on a limited budget. We have no paid staff members and we must carefully monitor operational cost. But despite limited funds, the demand for ISI’s ministry is increasing. Numbers tell part of the story: 40 persons completing the Spiritual Exercises, 100+ recipients of spiritual direction, 60 candidates and spouses in Diaconate Formation program, workshops attended by 75+ Jesuits and lay persons, more retreats in more parishes and churches, more days of reflection, more desire for formational opportunities, more, more, more.... and all of this on an annual budget of $80,000!

Of course, the numbers do not tell the full story. Behind every number is the story of people like Cyndy, who spends hours everyday companioning others on their spiritual journey. Or there is Neitheva, who while juggling a young family and teaching career, completed ISI’s Spiritual Companioning program and this fall offered the first ISI course in Spanish. Or Bob, who is committed to guiding others through the Spiritual Exercises, which means daily prayer, preparation, and weekly meetings over a period of ten months on top of his professional demands of work and treasuring time with his family.

Reflecting on the year calls us — over and over, again and again — to the realization that we cannot know the future, but we might be able to discern the present. Here and now ISI’s work is part of the human community continuing, supporting, reciprocal, vulnerable, in need of nurture and growth. We hope you know that the people of ISI would not be able to carry out Christ’s work without your generous support.

So, here we are again this year, asking for your help. Our ability to labor in God’s vineyard with God’s people is dependent upon your kindness and generosity. Will you help us with your financial support? Every donation is very important and sincerely appreciated.

As we come to the season of thanks and giving, always know we are deeply grateful for you.

Blessings and prayers always,
Carol Ackels
ISI Director