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Ignatian spirituality is rooted in the conversion experience of Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). Reflection on his lived experience led Ignatius to realize that what God had done for him, God desired to do for others. He formulated his Spiritual Exercises as a guide for those who were to lead men and women in this process. Ignatian spirituality is Trinitarian: Ignatius experienced God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in community. It is Christocentric and incarnational, seeking and finding the risen Jesus in all persons and things. It is active and apostolic, never separating the love and service of God, from that of neighbour and creation.


The Mary Ward Centre offers a variety of Ignatian spirituality resources, from prayer groups to retreats to afternoons of quiet and contemplation. Check our events calendar for upcoming offerings.

An image of St Ignatius

Ignatian Young Adult Prayer Group

A biweekly gathering of young adults - students and young professionals aged 18 to 39 years - who wish to grow in their capacity for prayer and discerning the spirit of God in their lives. 

Collaboratively facilitated by the Loretto Sisters, Jesuits, Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, and Xavière Sisters.

First Spiritual Exercises

The First Spiritual Exercises follow a 4-week retreat program adapted by Michael Hansen, SJ. Following a particular theme, the retreat combines 25-40 minutes of personal prayer 4 times per week with a weekly gathering for spiritual conversation in small groups. No previous experience with Ignatian spirituality is required. 

Facilitator: Sr. Sarah Rudolph, ibvm

A women with her arms outstretched to the sun
Toronto skyline

Retreat on the Streets

Join us for an urban retreat experience. Encounter the presence of God through an Ignatian contemplation of the city of Toronto. The retreat involves a preparatory session, a period of 3 hours outside in contemplation, and gathering in small groups for spiritual conversation and sharing.

Facilitator: Sr. Sarah Rudolph, ibvm

Contemplative Afternoons

Leave the busyness of the day behind and join us for a quiet afternoon of contemplation. Come early for coffee/tea and conversation.

A tea cup with open pages of poems
Stones on a hot surface with flames rising

Air, Earth, Water and Fire

Air, Earth, Water and Fire are integrally woven into the revelatory power of Christianity.  As containers of sacred wisdom, the elements lead us into the heart of Christianity and at the same time unite us with our brothers and sisters across time and religious traditions. Contemplating the Elements is a powerful way of instilling the awe and wonder that Pope Francis insists is necessary to overcome our attitudes of masters and consumers and bring us into unity with all that exists.  Only in this way will we have the energy and vision to “honor and respect our common home and promote life in all its forms.”

Facilitator: Kathy Murtha

Medieval Mystic Women Workshop

The medieval women mystics drew upon their own experience as the predominant source for their theologizing and spiritual reflection.  They began with a profound experience of Divine Love that transformed them and convinced them of the intimate intermingling of the Divine and the Human.  Having been touched by Love they experienced themselves as beloved of God.  This experience of a loving intimate relationship with God led them out into the world in loving service.

Facilitator: Kathy Murtha

Church steeple overlooking city
Hands together on a beach

Let Mercy Flow: Embracing a Life of Abundance and Blessing

We are meant to live what Brené Brown calls a “whole hearted life”. Through input, media, poetry, guided reflections and meditative practices we will explore how steeping oneself in the flow of Mercy unleashes a life of abundance and blessing.

Facilitator: Kathy Murtha

Understanding the Contemplative Dimension of Christianity

The Contemplative Path is a source for personal and global transformation. In this Presentation Kathy Murtha will explore the commonalities shared by the Word’s Religions in setting forth a meditative path.  Once we gain a sense of our similarities, we will explore the unique features of Christianity and its gifts to contemplative living. 

Women looking out over mountain tops
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