The Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) invites those recovering from homelessness and addiction to experience God’s unconditional love. We believe that spirituality has an important role to play on the journey of recovery. ISP exists to “light a path” forward: our hope is that through reflection on life experiences within a safe and welcoming environment, participants can begin to find the self-acceptance, hope and healing needed to reclaim their lives.
ISP programs are designed for men and women in substance use recovery who have a desire to deepen their spirituality and are open to sharing their story and listening to others. Though founded in the Jesuit tradition, we do not proselytize, and people of all (or no) faith traditions are welcome.
Guided by the wisdom of the Ignatian spirituality and interwoven with traditional 12-Step approaches, ISP retreat programs offer individuals recovering from homelessness and addiction a chance to take time away to reflect on and deepen their relationship with the God of their understanding, to gently name the places inside that need healing, and to bond with others on the journey.
Each year, we welcome over 2,000 overnight retreat participants and provide over 4,500 experiences of hope and healing throughout our network.
The Ignatian Spirituality Project offers three core programs:
- overnight retreats
- follow-up days of reflection
- and ongoing spiritual accompaniment.
The ISP overnight retreat is an opportunity for men and women in recovery to take some time away to enjoy, pray, reflect and relax in a warm, safe setting. It combines quiet time, small group sharing, large group sharing, one-on-one conversation, and other communal reflection activities. Each retreat is designed to host 12 men or women (retreats are single gender) and 4 volunteer facilitators, at least one of whom is an ISP alumni also on the path of recovery. By keeping our numbers small, the retreat is large enough to provide a sense of community and small enough to feel intimate.
Overnight retreats take place at local retreat houses across our 29-city network. Our volunteers in each city work closely with partner shelters and transitional housing organizations to refer appropriate candidates to the retreat. We provide transportation to and from partner organizations and all room, board and retreat costs are covered by the ISP program.
The retreat itself is an experience of listening,
SHARING ONE’S STORY in a safe setting
Follow-up days of reflection occur approximately 30 days after the initial overnight retreat. These gatherings provide an opportunity for the community formed on the overnight retreat to gather together again and continue to share fellowship.
Spiritual Accompaniment Programs
Spiritual accompaniment programs are growing across our Network. These small faith-sharing communities provide opportunities for ISP participants to experience personal and communal reflection on a more regular basis. Some ISP teams offer a once-a-month pizza evening to gather and engage in faith sharing, while other weekly gatherings occur at partner shelter or transitional housing agencies. While the type of programming varies, the underlying purpose remains to offer alumni members and others the chance to continue to nurture their relationship with God, deepen their connection to the wider ISP community, and be supported on their journey of recovery.
—Ernestine, ISP alumni