University Mulls Future of Ctr. for Ignatian Spirituality
A transition period lies ahead for the Center for Ignatian Spirituality following the departure of Michael Boughton, SJ, who left the center June 29 to become assistant for formation with the Society of Jesus New England-New York-Maryland Province.
“I have loved working here, and would have been happy to stay longer, but this new job is important for the future of the Jesuits,” said Fr. Boughton, who will act as a liaison to the 60 men undergoing formation — the period between a Jesuit’s novitiate and ordination — in the province.
Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Jack Butler, SJ, said administrators plan to evaluate the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, and determine “what its next iteration might be.” He praised Fr. Boughton’s four years of service to the center and the Boston College community.
“Michael Boughton is a Jesuit’s Jesuit, and has been a remarkable presence in the Center for Ignatian Spirituality,” said Fr. Butler. “I consider his leaving a personal loss to me as well as a loss to BC. But the very qualities that served him so well here will make him an outstanding assistant for formation, and as a Jesuit I am very pleased he will be serving the Society in this way.”
Established in 1997 by the University and the Boston College Jesuit Community, the center’s mission is to develop programs that provide a basic understanding of Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality; help faculty and staff to integrate Ignatian values in their professional or personal lives; and encourage those wishing to lead this process in their areas of the University.
Fr. Boughton said he had enjoyed the contacts and connections at Boston College he had formed through retreats, conversations, workshops, support groups or other center activities, including a pilgrimage to historic Ignatian sites in Spain and meetings with students at the School of Theology and Ministry.
“There is an interest and a hunger among many people at BC for growing in their relationship with God,” said Fr. Boughton. “They want to think and talk about it, whether in a group or one-on-one setting, and the center has offered different opportunities to do so. It’s been rewarding to be with those people and hear how they have experienced spiritual growth.
“I am sure the center will continue to explore more avenues for the BC community to better understand the tenets of Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality, and incorporate them into their work or other aspects of their lives.”