Ignatian Associates

A “third order” for Ignatian Spirituality:


Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

I know nothing of this group. But, at least in the US, there are many communities of women who follow an Ignatian spirituality that offer Associate programs. For those looking for such a thing, they may appreciate relationship in such a situation of co-membership.

Consider the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary to begin with. Both have long and distinguished histories and well-developed spiritual traditions. Another option would be the Sisters of St. Joseph.

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I’ve wondered why the Jesuits never developed a third order like others.

I have too. Ignatian Associates is not widely available either. Makes it hard to join.

I know their constitutions forbid their founding a female counterpart.

Used to be, religious orders shunned the laity and women candidates both. I am guessing that that is one of the reasons why Vatican II placed such an emphasis on the laity.

I can’t exactly recall where I read it, probably Saint Ignatius auto-biography which he dictated in this latter years. I think they tried to found a female branch of the order while the saint was still living and due to all the difficulties raised somehow came to the conclusion that it probably was God’s will that the order have only a male branch.

I have been searching for information on the Ignatian Associates. Apart from the website you linked to in the OP, I haven’t found much information on them. I also haven’t seen anyone on CAF mention that they are members.

They must be a very small group.

There used to be something called the Jesuit Service Corps comparable to the Peace Corps. People usually right after college would take a year to serve in some ministry in another area. It may still be active.

There are currently only 4 communities of Ignatian Associates with about 120 members total. If you don’t happen to live in one of the four locations where there is such a community, then you don’t get to join unless you start your own chapter. It’s also a little weird how the website says each of the chapters is unique and runs itself.

There is another group called the Ignatian Volunteer Corps that says it is mostly for ages 50 and older and focuses on sending people out to volunteer in the community, like in poor areas, etc. This group has a lot more chapters.

Both of these organizations seem to focus really heavily on social justice ministries out in the community, which is great work, but I’m not seeing how it’s particularly “Ignatian”. There are a ton of orders and lay orders that already do similar things, go out and help the local poor etc.

Well, Jesuits have been traveling the globe as missionaries to the poor and vulnerable for much of their existence. I suppose the social justice focus makes sense in this regard. I was hoping for something more based on the spiritual side/ the exercises rather than a social justice oriented group.

Also, I am no where near their 4 groups.

Something to ponder. Thanks.

Historically the Jesuit commitment to the “vulnerable” was inseparable from evangelism, and apologetics. Imagine if the Spiritual exercises could be the framework for THIS kind of Associates program, which could be combined with direct service for the vulnerable, including the unborn.

Oh I think that would be wonderful! Alas, I don’t know enough about them to know IF this is the case, and I’m too far away to find out.

The Lay Dominicans keep popping into my heart and my head. Perhaps I need to consider that more closely. It will be at least a few years before I decide one way or another, so I have plenty of time to figure out what is what.

Here when you need us.

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Thank you. I will keep that in mind. There is also a very active chapter of Lay Dominicans at my parish. People have been dropping hints, and I’ve already been invited to sit in even though I’m years out from being able to formally join.

Goes back to the old adage – look locally first.

You are referring to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which is still very active and which provides for temporary volunteer opportunities. It is not a means of permanently connected with the SJs.

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