Father General in North Wales: St Beuno’s Jesuit Spiritual Centre

Father Arturo Sosa, the Superior General, is currently spending a few days in the British Province. Following his initial visit to Liverpool, he proceeded to the St Beuno’s Jesuit Spiritual Centre located in Wales. During his homily, which was addressed not only to the staff and friends of this 175-year-old spiritual centre but also to the Jesuits of the northern part of the Province, he highlighted the connection between the first and fourth Apostolic Preferences. Presented below are some excerpts.

“It is surely part of the vocation of a house like this to advance not only the first Universal Apostolic Preference (UAPs) of the Society of Jesus, showing others the way to God, but also the fourth, working with others to care for creation ‘with Gospel depth’.

Today, in this “week of Easter Days”, I want to stress those words “Gospel depth”.As you know, the discernment of the UAPs took great care over the precise wording we used in the final formulation. Therefore, the reference to “Gospel depth” is no mere decoration, as if we wanted to make our ecological commitment a bit more pious! The point is that we care for creation precisely because we understand its place in the Gospel, as part of God’s good news for humankind. (...)


St Beuno's during Fr. General's homily.

Creation is a gift, of course. Creation mothers and nurtures us; that is easy to see. But Creation makes available to us something of God. We all sense that, don’t we? In the Gospel, Creation becomes the very locus of God’s presence to the world and to His people, in Jesus.

I want to underline that the work you undertake in this house serves the fourth Universal Apostolic Preference not just through your admirable efforts to ensure that you operate in an ecologically responsible manner. It serves this specific Apostolic Preference also because your core task is the healing of the human heart, the overcoming of its sinful desire to expel God from the world. It is an integral healing of Creation itself. Integral healing brings about integral conversion.In today’s world, this whole mission means conversion to a life of care, healing and reconciliation at every level. Your work, the life you share together, your own prayer all need to be marked by that conversion. It is your duty to manifest this conversion, this care, to all those who come to you.”

We asked Ruth Holgate, the Director of St Beuno’s, a woman who is a Jesuit Associate, to tell us more about the work and spirit of this Jesuit Centre.

“St Beuno’s has stood on the hills above the Vale of Clwyd in a beautiful area of North Wales for 175 years. With the views of sea a few miles away and the Snowdonia mountain range in the distance, it is a ideally suited for retreatants who wish to step away from busy, pressured and often complicated lives and take time to deepen their relationship with God, before returning to their home and work re-energised in their Christian life and service.


Ruth Holgate, the Director of St Beuno’s, thanking Fr. General.

The Spiritual Exercises are the core of our programme including the individually directed 30 day retreat and the Exercises in stages. The majority of retreats are shorter, Individually Guided Retreats from 2 days to 8 days and last year about 1500 of our 2000 visitors made such retreats. The permanent team consists of 4 Jesuits and 10 employed lay team directing the retreats and training courses. We are also joined by many guest directors - lay, clergy and religious - most of whom were trained as spiritual directors on our courses. As the first lay Director of St Beuno’s it is a source of great consolation to me that we are able to see a future for the ministry of the Exercises that will continue to benefit from the gifts of such a variety of committed spiritual directors.

St Beuno’s is particularly focussed on giving individually guided retreats to those in Church ministry and working for social justice; to clergy and seminarians and to younger adults who want to discern how best to navigate our complex world. One to one directed retreats based in the Spiritual Exercises give such people time to recall, renew and revitalise their response to the call of Christ. As well as retreatants from all over the UK, we also welcome many people from overseas.

Surrounded by the beauties of creation we want to develop more retreats that help people get in touch with the needs of the earth and the needs of the poor, retreats focussed on the ecological conversion so vital to our world today. These retreats are in their early stages, but Care for our Common Home also involves looking at ways to decrease our carbon footprint in all areas of the centre and our menus are now focussed on less meat and a more plant based diet.”

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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