It is the middle of winter in early 2009, and I am walking along the snow covered paths of the Jesuit Spiritual Center wondering at how it was that I had been led back to this place. Light is seeping through thick clumps of wet branches, and the silence in …
For years, the Jesuit Spiritual Center’s Youth Ministry Team has offered young men and women the opportunity to grow their skills as ministers and deepen their relationship with God. This past year, we launched of our residential internship program. Members of the Ignite Internship live in community on the grounds of the Center for the year in our historic Rock House, as they work as members of the Youth Ministry team.
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
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.
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. As members of the Youth Ministry team, each intern learns to play an instrument, and receives regular lessons and instruction on how to grow their own musical ability.
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 priests from across the country, as well as our local community.
The team also travels to various professional development events and conferences each year, including the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM), the National Catholic Educators Association Conference (NCEA), and more. These trips are included as part of the Internship program.
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. Interns make several personal and team retreats throughout the year, and have opportunities to receive spiritual direction.
Interns commit to living out the following 3 core principles:
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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:
Director of Ministry
Associate Director of Youth Ministry
Associate Director of Youth Ministry
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!
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