formation and promises

Each IA community welcomes a new cohort of 4-15 members to formation every year or every other year depending on the community. Anyone comfortable with the Catholic faith and interested in learning more about the practice of Ignatian Spirituality is welcomed to apply to the Ignatian Associates. Married couples are encouraged to apply together. A two-year formation process, usually beginning in September, follows the format of the 19th Annotation Retreat in Daily Life as written by St. Ignatius in The Spiritual Exercises. Those in formation commit to daily prayer, bi-monthly one-on-one meetings with a spiritual director of their choosing, and meeting 2-3 times a month for faith sharing with others in their formation cohort. 2-4 Promised Ignatian Associates as well as a Jesuit companion act as formation guides with this cohort, sharing their own faith journeys and discerned callings to live an Ignatian life. Over the two years, the formation cohort will learn about various aspects of Ignatian Spirituality, the call to a lifestyle of simplicity, and the promotion of justice. They share liturgy and retreats as well as service opportunities with the local Promised community. Formation costs including all Spiritual Direction appointments, materials, gatherings and retreats, and child care vary by local Ignatian Associate community though each community strives to remove any barriers to those called to formation.

After the two-year formation, participants are invited to continue journeying with the IA Community by making one-year or three-year Promises to Simplicity of Life, Apostolic Availability, and Fidelity to the Gospels and our Associate and Jesuit Companions at the all-community Annual Gathering held around the last week of July. Most members renew these Promises again and again as a way of life and a community commitment for themselves and their families.

Membership in Ignatian Associates does not require any pre-determined financial commitment. Promised Members annually discern their individual capacity to support the mission and structure of the Community in time, talent, and treasure.

Read Molly and Gerard’s account of the formation process »

To speak with someone about becoming an Ignatian Associate or even interest in birthing a new Ignatian Associate community in your local area, please contact us.