Giving a First Spiritual Exercise to school students

Take Courage – A Field Hospital Spiritual Exercise
29 September 2020
First Spiritual Exercises for the most vulnerable
4 October 2020

Giving a First Spiritual Exercise to school students

A First Spiritual Exercise shared at the year 11 retreat of Xavier Catholic College Ballina, at Tambourine Mountain in 2019, led the Faber Centre and The Cardoner Project.  Watch as Australian Jesuit communities come together to explore the themes of caring for our common home, discernment, spirituality, leadership and life.  

David Eyles, Leader of School Evangelisation, Xavier Catholic College Ballina writes of the experience…

“When I first contacted Liz Kerr to ask about some assistance with my Senior Retreat I did not anticipate either the tremendous response from volunteers from Faber or the similarly tremendous response to their presence from our students and staff.  It was simply a wonderful and prayerful morning – and I’m sure it sowed seeds.
We had  attempted a similar experience using our own staff one year earlier.  In 2018 we followed a model for “FSE Tasters” that Michael Hansen SJ had workshopped with our staff.  There were some promising aspects to our 2018 efforts – but we found the adult/student ratio was far too large to encourage thoughtful spiritual conversations.  We also needed to keep the whole cohort (120 students and their group leaders) in one hall because we could not spare the staff to split three ways – and the crowded conditions were less conducive to prayer and hampered sharing within groups.
Bringing the team from Faber in 2019 alleviated all the practical challenges inherent with working with this number of students – and made this part of the retreat for more ‘productive.’  Much more than this, however, the Faber team brought considerable experience, wisdom and a powerful Christian witness to the retreat – as well as a valuable link to a wider Ignatian community that our Jesuit Companion School hopes to continue into the future…….”. . ..

David Eyles
Leader of School Evangelisation
Xavier Catholic College Ballina