Ten Jesuit tertians from around the world are starting the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius today in Portland, Ore. This four-week retreat is an important component of tertianship, a part of the Jesuit formation process.
Tertianship is usually made ten to fifteen years after the novitiate and at the end of a Jesuit’s professional training. St. Ignatius called it a “school of the heart” because it’s a time when the tertian deepens his own commitment to the Society of Jesus.
“The retreat of the Spiritual Exercises is perhaps the key moment of tertianship. After years of living his life as a Jesuit, the tertian once again engages in this month-long program of intense prayer and reflection and brings his lived experience as a Jesuit before our loving God,” explains Jesuit Father Dave Godleski, the delegate for formation and Jesuit life at the Jesuit Conference. The Jesuit Conference represents the nine U.S. provinces of the Society of Jesus, promoting common goals and overseeing international projects.
Because of the long retreat’s importance in the tertianship program, the Jesuit Conference is asking for prayers for the tertians and their directors:
- Jesuit Father Mark Bandsuch (Chicago-Detroit Province)
- Jesuit Father James Conway (British Province)
- Jesuit Father Emerito Salustiano de la Rama (Philippines Province)
- Jesuit Father Jean-Alfred Dorvil (French Canada Province)
- Jesuit Father Wieslaw Faron (South Poland Province)
- Jesuit Father Ian Gibbons (Missouri Province)
- Jesuit Father Edwin T. Gnanaprakasam (Madurai)
- Jesuit Father Michael Harter (Missouri Province) – assistant tertian director
- Jesuit Father Raymund Benedict Hizon (Philippines Province)
- Jesuit Father Charlie Moutenot (New York Province) – tertian director
- Jesuit Father Godwin Mulenga (Zambia-Milawi Province)
- Jesuit Father John Murphy (California Province) – retreat director
- Jesuit Father Ignatius Hadimulia Sasmita (Maryland Province)
After completing the Spiritual Exercises, the tertians will study Society documents, including the Jesuit Constitutions and decrees from recent General Congregations. After studies, they will do apostolic experiments, which often involve pastoral work with the poor. Once the tertianship period is completed, the Jesuit is called to pronounce his final vows in the Society.