RNS Press Release Service

Can a 16th century priest teach us anything about modern spiritual conversion?

New book about Saint Ignatius of Loyola shows how some lessons are timeless 

SAN FRANCISCO – Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who is popular for his “Spiritual Exercises,” also is known for his pilgrimage to Manresa, Spain.  The new book by Father Jose Luis Iriberri, S.J. and Chris Lowney, ON THE IGNATIAN WAY: A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, explains how this type of journey can be fruitful still today.

Saint Ignatius was a nobleman, and his background was one of swordsmanship, castles and the duties of medieval knighthood. One might wonder how his story can possibly be relevant to our 21st century problems. But while his specific day-to-day life might look very different from ours, the underlying issues he struggled with, that of self-doubt, disappointment over unfulfilled dreams and worry over one’s direction in life, are things that everyone has dealt with in one way or another.

ON THE IGNATIAN WAY is a guide to Ignatius’ experiences of conversion, healing and freedom. It includes several essays recounting the experiences of various pilgrims who have embarked on the nearly 435 miles of the Ignatian Way. It also offers guidance for planning a similar pilgrimage, showing how to use the Spiritual Exercises to aid in the journey. But anyone can use this book, even if they never leave their home. For, as Ignatius says, the primary goal of the pilgrim is to come into contact with his inner source of light and happiness: God the Creator.

“Pope Benedict XVI said the Christian faith is not a matter of following rules or merely giving assent to a set of ideas but rather entering into ‘an event,’” says Fr. Christopher Collins, S.J., assistant to the president for mission and identity at Saint Louis University. “This book gives a wonderful pathway into this event by an ancestor in faith who referred to himself first and foremost as ‘The Pilgrim.’”

For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Christ Lowney, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications.

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