Last evening on the feast day of St. Boniface, around 35 young adults from around the Chicagoland area gathered at St. Teresa of Avila parish in Lincoln Park to celebrate Mass. As a closing to the 2007-08 Charis Ministries activities, young adults who attended other Charis events throughout the year came together to re-connect and share in a closing event before the flurry of summertime activities begins. With a focus on the theme "What's in your heart?", Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ (the director of Charis Ministries) invited us to reflect on the past year’s Living Ignatian Speaker Series, reminded us of the movement through St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and encouraged us to focus on the spiritual heart that centers us.
A handful of years ago Charis Ministries first partnered with St. Teresa of Avila parish to co-host an evening vespers service for young adults. Eric Styles, SJ, who is currently a Jesuit scholastic at Loyola University, spearheaded the effort in hopes of offering young adults a different form of prayer by introducing a segment of the liturgy of hours. Over the past few years St. Teresa’s and Charis has continued to co-sponsor a variety of evenings of prayer including vespers, peace and justice speakers, and Masses for young people in their 20s and 30s. In 2007-08, as part of the Living Ignatian Speaker Series, young adults again had the opportunity to celebrate Mass together at St. Teresa’s. These evenings of worship provide an opportunity for young adults connected to Charis to celebrate the Eucharist, and share in informal conversation and fellowship in the Parish Center following the Mass.
Thanks to all who participated in the 2007-08 Living Ignatian Speaker Series, and we hope that you can join us on September 11, 2008 for our kickoff Mass for the next Living Ignatian programming year.
Enjoy the summer!