The Ignite Internship is a year-long ministerial immersion experience. Members of the Ignite Internship live in community on the grounds of the Center for the year in our historic Rock House. Through their work as members of the Youth Ministry team, they help provide around 75 retreats for over 6,000 students. During the course of the program, interns are given the opportunity to discern committing to a second year. In addition to professional development, interns also receive spiritual formation in the Ignatian Tradition.

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During the internship program, participants live in the historic Rock House on the grounds of the Jesuit Spiritual Center. Built in the late 1800s, the house was bought by the Jesuits in 1927 and used to host retreat groups, including young men from Xavier College in Cincinnati. Since that time, it has also been home to Jesuit novices, priests, and lay ministers. The house was recently renovated in 2017 to prepare for the next generation of guests.

Each intern has their own private room, and use of the various common spaces on the first and third floors, which included a large dining room, living room, library, solarium, and kitchen. The third floor contains various study rooms, an office space, and a music rehearsal room.

In addition to housing, Interns receive a community food stipend to cover all meals, a personal monthly stipend, and health insurance.

All Christians are called to be a living witness to their faith. As part of the Ignite Internship, participants have an opportunity to develop and share their personal witness. Our ministry team works one-on-one with each intern, coaching them on the art of storytelling. Throughout the course of the year, interns have an opportunity to share their faith story with thousands of young men and women.

In addition to sharing in this formal setting, interns share their witness through their hospitality to all of our retreat guests. Our center provides retreats for over 12,000 men and women each year, all seeking a deeper encounter with Christ. Our team is committed to offering transformation experiences, rooted in the Gospel, as expressed through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, –  Matthew 28:19

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola provide a foundation for the retreat model used by the Youth Ministry team. Ignite Interns learn to facilitate a variety of interactive experiential learning exercises with groups of students ranging in size from 10 to 600. Activities include games, prayer services, icebreakers, trust exercises, presentations, and skits. Developing skills in small and large group facilitation is a key benefit of the program. Our goal is for each intern to leave the program equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful in a variety of ministry professions.

In addition to facilitating retreats, Interns learn the process of planning and designing each retreat, as well as well as receiving detailed evaluations and feedback.

Whether working as a Youth Minister, Campus Minister, Religious Educator, Service Coordinator, or other ministry profession, understanding Music Ministry and being able to incorporate it into your work is a valuable skill. Each intern learns to play an instrument, and receives regular lessons and instruction on how to grow their own musical ability. Music is utilized in a variety of settings, from high energy Praise & Worship events, to Adoration and Mass.

Beyond instruments and signing, interns also learn skills working with multi-media tools. From setting up a professional sound system to building powerful presentations, a variety of different opportunities are available to develop technical skills.

Throughout the course of the year, interns help facilitate approximately 75 retreats for over 6,000 students. Our ministry partners include more than 30 grade schools, high schools, and parishes across the mid-west. Interns have an opportunity to meet and work alongside ministers, religious educators, and clergy from across the country, as well as our local community. The team also travels to various professional development events and conferences each year. Past trips have included the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM), the National Catholic Educators Association Conference (NCEA), and the SEEK Conference (presented by FOCUS). These trips are included as part of the Internship program. Cincinnati is also home to a number of different young adult service and ministry programs, including NET Ministries, Vincentian Volunteers, FOCUS, Regnum Christi Missionary Corps, Mercy Volunteer Corps, VIA Missionaries, and more. Throughout the year there are many opportunities to gather together for prayer and fellowship.
Ignite Interns commit to living together in an intentional faith-based community, which provides opportunities not only for social engagement, but also faith formation and discernment. Each will make several personal and team retreats throughout the year, and have opportunities to receive spiritual direction. Interns decide together how to approach the contributions and challenges of community life, finding appropriate schedules for regular community meetings and gatherings for prayer.

Interns commit to living out the following 3 core principles:
  1. Solidarity (from Latin solidus = firm, strong)

A principle of Catholic social teaching that aims at strengthening community and promoting a “civilization of love” (Pope John Paul II). Solidarity deals with the “unity that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.” Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, superior general of the Jesuits from 1983 to 2008, stated that solidarity is learned through “contact” rather than through “concepts.”

  1. Spirituality (from Latin spiritus = of breathing, wind)

Spirituality refers to a set of attitudes and practices (spiritual exercises) that are designed to foster a greater consciousness of the spiritual dimension of persons. They are forms of piety in the Church, which in many cases developed out of the Spirit-filled way of life of the saints. Thus we speak about Benedictine, Franciscan, or Ignatian spirituality.

  1. Stewardship (from Old English stīweard, stī = hall, weard = ward)

What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure.  Being a Christian steward means more – magis – living “for the greater glory of God (AMDG).” As Christian stewards, we live under the First Principal Foundation: we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact one of our team members:

Eric Nichols

Director of Youth Ministry

(513) 965-6988

Shannon Grosheim

Associate Director of Youth Ministry

(513) 248-6500

Share In Our Adventures!

Throughout the year, Ignite Interns share their experiences and reflections with our community on our blog and social media. We’d love for you to join them in this amazing journey!

Psalm 127 and Pride

Recently, I met with a new spiritual director. We talked about many parts of my life, and as my director asked about certain habits (my prayer, reading, hobbies, etc.), I started to find myself repeating almost exclusively a single answer: “…well I do *blank* but not quite as much as I’d...

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What Triathlons Taught Me about My Spiritual Life

My faith journey’s been pretty arduous. To sum it up briefly, I’ve faced frustrations and let downs. I’ve asked difficult questions about my identity and my relationship with God. I cannot help but remember the growing pains of the high school me who was struggling to find a reason to...

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A Prayer to St. Christopher

There’s no boredom quite like long-car-ride boredom. Nothing-to-do-at-home boredom is certainly valid, but you can at least take a walk, go to a restaurant, or hole yourself in a bathroom for a half hour. None of those are options in a car. Instead, you’re rechecking Twitter, and not just in...

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Hospitality of Presence

As I looked back at my first year here and planned for the upcoming retreats, I spent some time reflecting on my role as a youth minister. I explored what went well, what I needed to work on, and what I could do to be the best minister I could...

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Today’s Ignite Intern, returning for his second year with us, is JP de Legarreta: “I’m very excited to begin my second year in ministry here at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford, a place I am blessed to call home for another year! I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, raised in St. Louis, and currently call Chicago home base. I attended St. Louis University High school, a Jesuit college-prep institution, and then Seton Hall University in New Jersey, graduating in 2016 with a degree in Modern Languages, Philosophy, and Catholic Studies. I’ve been involved in youth ministry since high school. I have led Bible studies, taught at conferences, attended retreats, and gone on mission trips of all kinds. I love learning, cooking, music, and tinkering with puzzles. I am very excited for what this year holds in store for the youth ministry team and for my own spiritual growth and faith journey!” #amdg #jesuits #catholic #intentionalcommunity



And finally, transitioning into a new position as an Ignite Companion is Joe Neidhard: “I’m a 2016 graduate of Miami University in English Literature. While my studies weren’t in anything theological, through my work here, I’ve found that having studied the Humanities has been a boon in one-on-one situations. Heading into my third year with this program, even with the new title “Ignite Companion”, I find myself wondering how I’m going to make this year stand out from the first two. During the time I’ve spent here in Milford, I’ve felt such great personal growth both spiritually and professionally through our retreat work. This coming year, I’m looking forward to my expanded role getting opportunities to direct a few retreats and serve as Sacristan for the JSC campus, while also managing our social media and staff blog.”



Come join us at the 2nd annual Cincinnati Festival of Faiths



What better way to close out our first day in Columbus this week than with good friends and good food!



”Know that you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation. This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart” -St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ, feast day September 17 #feastday #jesuits #catholic



“I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, Our lord's living garden.” -St. Théreèse of Lisieux, giving us all a lesson in finding God in everything. Feast day October 1 #feastday #Catholic



“I beseech you, O Lord, that the fiery and sweet strength of your love may absorb my soul from all things that are under heaven, that I may die for love of your love as you did deign to die for love of my love.” -St. Francis of Assisi, religious, deacon, stigmata, #feastday October 4 #Saints #Franciscan #Catholic



The first @stxbombers #montserrat retreat of the school year has wound up. Blessings and many well wishes to this group of juniors as they tackle the road forward #Classof2021



Join us in celebrating the Golden Jubilee of our Executive Director Sr. Therese Gillman, OSF! This morning we had a celebration mass followed by social with family, religious community members, friends, members of our board, and staff. #GoldenJubilee #Franciscan #ReligiousLife



We had the opportunity today to help open the new school year with the @lexcathknights freshman class! We shared in games, prayer, and adoration #companions #adoration #catholicschools



Your first year at a new school is a time of discovery. We spent the past two days on retreat with the @bishopreadyhs #Classof2023 aiding in their growth and the discovery of their new alma mater #Invenio #CatholicSchools #Catholic



Blessings to this group of @stxbombers juniors as the tackle the rest of their year after a fruitful retreat with our youth ministry team #Montserrat #Classof2021