Founded in 1998 in Chicago, IL by Fr. Bill Creed, SJ, and Ed Shurna (formerly Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless), the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) offers experiences of hope, healing, and belonging to men and women recovering from homelessness and addiction. By inviting our participants into a deeper encounter with the God of their understanding, ISP retreats and spiritual programs provide the encouragement and empowerment necessary to make real, transformative life changes. Today, ISP offers retreats, follow up and spiritual accompaniment programs across the United States, Canada, and Ireland
The first ISP Seattle men’s retreat was held in 2007. The program then went on hiatus until it was relaunched with a men’s retreat in October 2012. This came in response to an inquiry from a spiritual director at Doorways Ministries. The first women’s retreat was held the following year in May 2013.
Today, ISP Seattle holds two men’s and two women’s overnight retreats and follow up days of reflection, as well as regular monthly ongoing spiritual companionship sessions for women. The men and women’s teams have grown to include alumni that are taking the ministry in Seattle to the next level.
ISP Seattle during COVID-19
In fall of 2019 the ISP Seattle women’s team began offering “Pizza and Prayer”: a monthly follow-up gathering for ISP alumni. Volunteers and participants gathered at St James Cathedral kitchen to share pizza and faith and explore their spirituality through creativity.
When COVID hit, the team reached out to partner shelter Jubilee House to ask what they needed, and another kind of Pizza and Prayer was born. ISP organized an event for Jubilee House and provided pizzas, salads and chocolate chip cookies for 50 women, housed in 4 locations. Team members wrote personal notes that were given to each woman. Feedback from Jubilee House was overwhelmingly positive.
Another Pizza and Prayer was recently scheduled for another shelter for women and children. This time, children’s books and handmade bookmarks accompanied the pizza.
ISP Seattle remains committed to our community even during the pandemic, and looks forward to seeing how our ministry unfolds and grows in these unsettled times.