The Center for Ignatian Spirituality enhances the human and religious environment of Boston College by promoting conversation about the Jesuit mission and its relationship with culture and with other religious traditions.

Center for Ignatian Spirituality Programs

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Ignatian Colleagues Program

The Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) is a national program of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) designed to educate and form administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit Catholic tradition of higher education.

The goal of our program is to provide a solid intellectual foundation as well as opportunities for participants to personally experience and appropriate their significance so they may better articulate, adapt, and advance the Jesuit Catholic mission of their campuses.

Participation in the Ignatian Colleagues Program is an incredible opportunity not only to take a deep dive into learning and experiencing many aspects of our Jesuit Catholic identity, charism, tradition, and spirituality, it also provides the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with colleagues working in senior leadership roles throughout our 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

Alpha Sigma Nu logo

Alpha Sigma Nu, Boston College Chapter

Alpha Sigma Nu is the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education which recognizes those students who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty, and service. Founded in 1915, ΑΣΝ encourages its members to a lifetime pursuit of intellectual development, deepening Ignatian spirituality, service to others, and a commitment to the core principles of Jesuit education. Inductees demonstrate an intelligent appreciation of and commitment to the ideals—intellectual, social, moral, and religious—of Jesuit higher education. Selection to Alpha Sigma Nu is one of the highest honors that can be given on a Jesuit campus.

Who is eligible to join? Any student of a Jesuit college or university is eligible. At Boston College, third-year undergraduate students who are in the top 15 percent of their class academically and have a demonstrated record of service and loyalty to the Jesuit ideals of education are considered for membership. Only 4 percent of those candidates from each class may be inducted.

Alpha Sigma Nu application

Fr. Cyril Opeil

Cyril Opeil, S.J.

Boston College Chapter moderator

Fr. Cyril Opeil, S.J., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Physics at Boston College. His research interests include the synthesis and characterization of thermoelectric materials, as well as the thermal and physical properties of meteorites. Thermoelectric materials produce electricity from waste heat and are one form of alternative energy. Advances in the field of thermoelectric materials will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. The low-temperature study of meteorites funded by NASA seeks a greater understanding of how planets and asteroids form in the cold temperatures of outer space. This research is in collaboration with the Specula Vaticana run by the Jesuits in Rome and the University of Central Florida. This research is in preparation for the future manned mission to Mars being planned by NASA. Fr. Opeil, has no immediate plans at this moment to volunteer for this mission to Mars, unless his Provincial suggests he look into it. 

Fr. Opeil's email address is


President: SoYun Chang (MCA&S 2020)

Vice President: Laura Edinger (MCA&S 2020)

Secretary: Amanda Judah (MCA&S 2020)

Treasurer: Cate Casassa (MCA&S 2020)

The Last Lecture Series

Last lecture is a series sponsored by the Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Alpha Sigma Nu Honors Society. Select the links below to view video from past events.

2019: Robert Taggart

2018: Clare O'Connor

2017: Mark O'Connor


CIS Talks

Where BC faculty give passionate talks on topics that inspire them

Ignatius Loyola encouraged the first Jesuits to share their deepest desires and aspirations with other fellow Jesuits. For him that constant communication would unite, console, and edify them deeply (Constitutions VIII, 673).

With CIS Talks, the Center for Ignatian Spirituality wants to emulate this practice by inviting BC faculty to share with their peers those topics, desires, and passions that inspire and motivate them.

CIS Talks will take place at the BC Club, 100 Federal Street 36th Floor, in Boston. Dates for CIS Talks for the 2018-2019 academic year will be posted by the beginning of September. This event is by invitation only. Information about the specific topic of the talk and presenter is forthcoming.

Faculty interested in participating in one of our CIS Talks can send us an email expressing their interest at

Jesuit Fellow

The Center for Ignatian Spirituality is pleased to announce an in-residence “Jesuit Fellow” position available for any Jesuit around the world interested in spending four to nine months at Boston College during the academic year (September - May) collaborating with the work of The Center and other pastoral ministries. Jesuits who are interested must directly contact the director to explore conditions and availability. In your initial contact to the director, Tomeu Estelrich, please include your CV and a brief explanation of your intentions while at Boston College.

The candidate must have a proficient English level and a fervent desire to exercise his ministerial talents in our community. The Center will provide all the necessary means to succeed in such enterprise.

This program is a joint initiative of The Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Boston College’s Jesuit Community.

Photo of Alberto Ares Mateos, S.J.

Alberto Ares Mateos, S.J.

Rev. Alberto Ares, S.J., PhD is the Director of the Institute of Studies on Migration at Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid and deputy coordinator of the Jesuit Migration Service in Spain. A Jesuit since 1997, much of his time has been spent travelling and studying migration and migrants. His work has taken him all over the world from Madrid to Boston to India to Morocco and throughout Latin America and Europe. From his first days at Comillas, Father Ares reflected a strong commitment to a Jesuit Catholic higher education, focused on service, networking, creativity, community, and academic excellence.

Father Ares holds a PhD in International Migration and Development Cooperation from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (summa cum laude). During that time, he also conducted research at Boston College and U.C.A. El Salvador. Father Ares earned a S.T.L. with a concentration in moral theology and social ethics (Alpha Sigma Nu) from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now S.T.M. at Boston College). He also holds degrees in Economics and Business Administration (University of Valladolid) and Ecclesiastical Studies (Comillas Pontifical University).

From 2013 to 2018 he was the Delegate of the Social Apostolate Sector for the Province of Spain of the Society of Jesus. The social apostolate in Spain includes 23 foundations, social centers and ONGs throughout more than 50 offices in 50 countries covering four continents. With more than 4,000 professionals and volunteers and annual budget of 36.5 M euros, the Social Apostolate annually accompanies more than 1,000,000 people in need.

Father Ares's main research and areas of expertise are in international migration, models of integration, migration and consumption, migration and religion, and migration and development. He teaches different courses, including classes on models of integration for two masters' programs: Master’s in International Migration and a Master's in International Cooperation. He also advises and supports doctoral candidates during the research and writing process for their dissertations. Father Ares currently serves as a co-advisor for two PhD dissertations: “Foreigners (immigrants) in Luanda (Angola): Integration process in the economic sector, construction, heath and informal economy” and “The integration of the Chinese community in Madrid”.

Inspired by the Ignatian way of reflecting on our realities, Father Ares has built bridges between academia and social work throughout his life. He was the Director of the “Centro Pueblos Unidos” with the Fundación S. Juan del Castillo (2013-2014), the Director of the Red Íncola Foundation (2008-2011), and a member of the board of Directors of EAPN Castilla y León (2010-2011).

He has also served on the boards of several different institutions including Alboan, Entreculturas, San Juan del Castillo, Hogar de San José, Atalaya Intercultural, Elosúa Rojo, Radio ECCA and San Francisco Javier between 2013 and 2018. He was also a member of the Academic Council of the Social Business Consultancy at the School of Economic and Business Sciences.

Father Ares currently serves as the director of the Chair of Natural Disaster and Environmental Migrations, and a member of the Council of the Chair of Refugees and Forced Migrants and of the Iberoamerican Observatory on Migration and International Cooperation. Since 2015, he has been part of the Consultative Committee of the academic journal Argirópolis of the Institute of Historical Studies of the Argentine Parliament. Since 2017, he has been a member of the academic field of the Criminological Observatory of the Criminal Immigration System (OCSPI) of the Criminology Institute of the University of Malaga, and a member of the Forum on Human Mobility and its Religious Dimension of the Episcopal Commission on Migration (Spanish Episcopal Conference) since 2014.

Rooted in the teachings of the Church and the Society of Jesus on service to the most vulnerable, Father Ares was the acting Director of the Migration Commission of the Spanish Episcopal Conference in 2018 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Network “Migrantes con Derechos,” a role he has held since 2015. Since 2018, he has been a member of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) on migration, representing the Conference of European Provincials of the Society of Jesus; and a member of the Migration Advisory Council of the Spanish Conference of Religious of Spain (CONFER) since 2014.

Father Ares was born in Veguellina de Órbigo, Spain. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1997 and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 2007. Father Ares will be the Jesuit Fellow at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality from July 15, 2019 to August 15, 2019.

Loyola, Spain

Compañía Pilgrimage

The Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Intersections offers to faculty and administrators of Boston College this pilgrimage seminar, Compañía, to explore the context in which they live out their vocation as educators—the developmental phases of adulthood, the spiritual life whether explicitly religious or not, family and personal relationships, career trajectories, the work/life balance—and what resources a Jesuit university might provide to help us integrate these dimensions of our lives.

The program will begin in the Spring semester with an overnight retreat at BC’s conference center in Dover, followed by three on-campus meetings. The Fall semester will have two on-campus meetings and ends with an overnight retreat.

The metaphor of pilgrimage will take a very concrete form midway through the seminar. In June, the group will travel to Spain and Rome for nine days to retrace some of the key steps in the unfolding life journey of Ignatius Loyola. Spending these days together—as pilgrims, not just tourists—gives deeper insights into who he was, time and leisure for reflecting on one’s experiences and life journeys, and plenty of opportunity to share reflections over vino and tapas.

Learn more about the pilgrimage seminar on the Intersections website

2019 calendar

Thursday, January 10 – Friday, January 11
Retreat at Babson College: One Snyder Drive in Wellesley
Fr. Jack Butler, S.J., Vice President University Mission and Ministry

Thursday, February 28, 6-7:30 PM
1st Seminar at 2101 Commonwealth Ave (Brighton Campus)
Fr. Greg Kalscheur, S.J., Dean of the Morrissey School of Arts and Sciences

Thursday, March 21, 6-7:30 PM 
2nd Seminar at 2101 Commonwealth Ave (Brighton Campus) 
Fr. Casey Beaumier, S.J., Vice President and University Secretary

Thursday, May 2, 6-7:30 PM
3rd Seminar at 2101 Commonwealth Ave (Brighton Campus)
Tomeu Estelrich, Director, CIS

Tuesday, June 18 - Friday, June 28
Pilgrimage to Spain and Rome


Photos from 2017 trip

Pilgrimage group
Bilbao city scape