The retreat offered a day and a half of spiritual renewal for young adults by introducing them to the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The team of Jesuit seminarians and priests shared how people’s deepest desires lead them to the heart of Christ. They also provided practical ways to connect faith to their daily life.
“I felt like for so long I was taught that desires were bad; that they led to sin,” said Delfino Murillo, a young adult from Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Riverside. “The Hearts on Fire team, through the teachings of St. Ignatius, taught me that by reflecting on my desires, God is revealing his plans to me.”
J. Santiago Rodriguez, SJ, Edmund Lo, SJ, Father Eduardo Soto Parra, SJ, Jacob Boddicker, SJ and Adam Rosinski, SJ of the apostleship led the retreat.
“Many of the young adults commented how hungry they were for deeper spirituality…for spirituality that will help them have a personal and intimate encounter with Christ,” said Rodriguez, Hearts on Fire Young Adult Retreats Director.
Young adults and diocesan seminarians acted as facilitators as well. In a relaxed setting, participants were separated into groups for the weekend. There were several opportunities for faith sharing and reflection.
“It was a great blessing to have collaborated with the Apostleship of Prayer to bring in to our Diocese the Hearts on Fire Retreat for Young Adults,” said Maria Jose Garcia, Coordinator of the Pastoral Juvenil Young Adult Ministry Office. “These exercises invited us to encounter God in silence and reflection.”
For some participants this was an opportunity for them to truly participate in a retreat, and not split their focus on coordinating the event or chaperoning.
Friday night ended with a Eucharistic Adoration service, an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and a social hour.
In order to better accommodate the large group, the retreat moved from the Formation House to the parish hall at Christ the Redeemer Parish next door for the Saturday session.
The second part of the retreat included further discussion on the spiritual exercises and how to use them moving forward. Time was given for personal reflection before the closing of the retreat. The retreat ended with Mass and an opportunity for more fellowship.
“Their breakdown on love, and the different types of love, was illuminating,” Murillo said. “The retreat not only allowed me to grow closer to God; it taught me to invoke the Holy Spirit in order to receive the discernment to submit myself to God’s will.”