When arriving at JISA Sevenhill in the heart of the Clare Valley in South Australia, retreatants are warmly welcomed by Megan Wurfel. As JISA Sevenhill’s office manager, Megan ensures that everything runs smoothly for people who come to make the full Spiritual Exercises, silent retreats or just to take some quiet time away to rest and reflect.
Megan began at JISA Sevenhill nearly two years ago, having worked at the adjacent Sevenhill Cellars for seven years. “I began working at Sevenhill when my youngest child started school” says Megan, mother of three.
“I was handling wine orders and administration at Sevenhill Cellars,” Megan remembers “and I always loved dealing with the churches and the Jesuits. So, when the opportunity came up to work in the retreat side of Sevenhill, I took it!”
“I like seeing and learning about a completely different side of the Jesuits’ ministry here,” says Megan. “It is such a beautiful location and I love working alongside Rob Morris SJ, the JISA Sevenhill Director”
“I am very interested in the spirituality that people come here for – about Ignatius, his story, and how it all began. I find it encouraging that many people from other church denominations find Ignatian spirituality helpful and are open to it.”
“I have learned how the retreats are run, what‘s involved and about spiritual direction” reflects Megan. “I manage pretty much everything here. The only thing I don’t do is spiritual direction, but sometimes it feels like I do! People are very open when they come in and I hope I am a welcoming presence for them.”
Megan lives in township of Sevenhill with her husband and three school and university aged children. They enjoy being of service to Sevenhill. In fact, recently the community came together to create a labyrinth for JISA Sevenhill.
“Rob mentioned he would like one at Sevenhill” says Megan. “We came across some old feedback forms where quite a few retreatants mentioned they liked the old labyrinth which was located where the current Jesuit community house is now.”
“So, one Sunday, with the Jesuit Community, the wider community, and a kind donation of slate rocks from a local plumber, we created a labyrinth in the gardens near the Old College,” says Megan. “Now we have a five circle Labyrinth for retreatants to enjoy.”