St Ignatius Loyola
Jesuit parishes, schools and communities around the world will be celebrating the anniversary of their founder St Ignatius Loyola on Tuesday, 31 July.
In England, the southern Alumni Mass will be held at the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, London W1 - followed by a party in adjacent Mount Street Gardens. This occasion will also be an opportunity for the parish to bid farewell to its outgoing parish priest, Fr William Pearsall SJ, who will be leaving Mayfair next month for a sabbatical.
The Annual St Ignatius Mass for Jesuit alumni and the northern Jesuit parishes will take place at Stonyhurst on Tuesday evening. This will be an opportunity for past pupils of Jesuit schools and colleges to meet old friends and to celebrate the feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola. The Mass will be followed by refreshments.
This will be an opportunity to see the Grade 1 listed St Peter's Church which the Jesuits have recently restored. The church was constructed by the Jesuits for Stonyhurst and its parish in the early 1830s. One of the first Catholic churches to be built after Emancipation in 1829, it is an important example of church architecture in the Gothic Revival Perpendicular style. Masons have replaced large expanses of stone eroded by wind and rain. Stained-glass windows have been re-leaded and cleaned. Stencilling from the 1850s and 1950s, previously covered by whitewash, has been painstakingly re-painted, and the magnificent ceiling has been restored.
St Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus - along with six Companions - in 1540. They dedicated themselves to teaching, to preaching the word of God, to working with the poor and the sick in the slums of the cities of Europe, and to travelling to far-flung destinations, to preach Christ to people in lands new to European eyes.
For Ignatius, the loving God is very active in our lives, seeking to heal us and bring us closer. Through his Spiritual Exercises, he encourages us to enter the Gospel scenes with the help of our imaginations and thus get to know Jesus personally as a friend whom we can trust and say anything to. This enables us to bring him into our ordinary everyday lives today. Life and prayer become integrated, prayer making more sense of life and life entering into prayer.
For more information, see: http://www.farmstreet.org.uk/