Journey with Ignatius app

The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies has released Journey with Ignatius, a free app that guides users through a 12-week virtual Ignatian pilgrimage to find God in all things.

App users virtually follow in the footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola from his years as a young page in Arevalo, Spain, to his final days as Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The app offers readings from Ignatius’ writings and insights from selected Jesuit sources, and opportunities to grow in Ignatian spirituality—all while joining a community of prayer.

Journey with Ignatius is available on iOS and Android and was developed by the IAJS, in collaboration with the Church in the 21st Century Center and the Roche Center for Catholic Education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

“The pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to be creative with how we promote the resources of the Institute,” said IAJS Director Casey Beaumier, S.J., who also serves as a vice president and University secretary at BC. “I’m delighted with the app and I am hopeful that we can help people continue to develop their interior lives through participation in this virtual pilgrimage.”

Journey with Ignatius includes weekly content based on 12 themes and locations, daily content for suggested prayer and spiritual reading, and virtual guestbooks and a prayer wall to contribute to the community of prayer and spiritual engagement.

Though the pilgrimage can be done individually, the IAJS staff suggest users participate with a small group of friends, parishioners, or school community members to have a more enriching experience.

After the Institute released a beta version of the app last fall, approximately 6,000 people from more than 50 countries used it to make a virtual pilgrimage. Connor Sullivan, who graduated from the Carroll School of Management in 2020, designed the initial build.

“We had some really positive feedback from early users of the app,” said IAJS Assistant Director A. Taiga Guterres, who noted that developers have since added upgrades and additional features to the app, such as audio examens from several BC faculty and staff and reflections from Jesuit high school and Cristo Rey students from around the world. Pilgrims also can collect virtual relics promoting all things Jesuit and track their steps during their journey with Ignatius.

In addition to Fr. Beaumier and Guterres, members of the Boston College community featured in the app are: Cristiano Casalini and Matthew Schweitzer (Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies); Karen Kiefer and Patrick Goncalves (Church in the 21st Century Center); Melodie Wyttenbach and Denise Morris (Roche Center for Catholic Education); Tomeu Estelrich (Center for Ignatian Spirituality); Sr. Barbara Quinn, RCSJ and Maura Colleary (School of Theology and Ministry), and Jessie Graf (Office of Residential Life).

Guterres added that there has been interest from the Jesuit Curia in Rome and the Spanish Province of the Society about possible future collaborations for the Ignatian Year.

The app follows on the heels of successful IAJS virtual retreats, including “Manresa: Spiritual Exercises for our Times” and the “12 Weeks in Manresa: Spiritual Exercises for our Times,” which together drew some 2,000 participants.

To learn more about the Journey with Ignatius app or to download it, visit the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies website.

University Communications | May 2021