The Chaplain for Faculty, Staff is available to all faculty and staff members of Seattle University for pastoral needs. The role of the Chaplain is meant to serve persons of all faith traditions and backgrounds. There are times and situations in our lives that invite us into deeper spiritual and personal conversation in a context of confidentiality. For confidential, pastoral conversation you may contact Fr. Pat O'Leary, S.J by phone (206-296-5315) or e-mail to set an appointment. The University Chaplain is a longstanding member of the Seattle University community who has extensive experience in pastoral care through many years: in lay and Jesuit formation, in Ignatian retreats and spiritual direction, in parish ministry, and mission and ministry formation in various academic and community settings.
Spiritual Direction has a long history in the Christian tradition, and it also has a special place in the life and practice of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a specific pattern of prayer designed to deepen one’s Christian life, includes spiritual direction as an essential component for each retreatant moving through the exercises. The spiritual director must be someone grounded in their own life of prayer, and prepared to listen closely to the movement of the Spirit in another’s life. Spiritual direction is a form of confidential sharing of one’s experiences and insights and questions, while seeking the companionship, encouragement and challenge from the director. Spiritual direction has strong roots in the Catholic tradition, and is accessible to all Christians. It also can be practiced in a way that offers guidance and encouragement to those of other faith traditions, since the qualities of heartfelt, careful listening can be nourishing to persons of various backgrounds and spiritual traditions.
If you are interested in exploring spiritual direction, the Chaplain is an excellent resource. He has an extensive background in this area, and is also familiar with many women and men trained as spiritual directors and living in the Puget Sound area. He can make referrals for persons of all kinds who are interested in deepening their spiritual life. You may contact Fr. Pat O'Leary, S.J to learn more about spiritual direction.
The Ignatian Silent Retreats are offered a few times per year, providing participants with an opportunity for prayer, silence and renewal in the context of the Christian faith tradition. It is open to university faculty and staff members and spouses, as well as SU alumni and board members. The retreat draws upon the inspiration of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the pattern of prayer and meditations developed by the founder of the Jesuits. Seasoned spiritual directors lead retreatants through the weekend, which begins on Friday evening with dinner and ends Sunday at 3 p.m.
In 2012, the retreat is scheduled for the weekend of November 9th-11th. Watch for the notification of this retreat in the fall and of other retreat possibilities as the year proceeds. For information, contact Fr. Pat O'Leary, S.J or the Office of Jesuit Mission and Identity.
The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) retreat is designed to provide the complete Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius over the course of an eight-month period, while one continues with other work and life commitments. This makes the retreat much more accessible as an alternative to the other model for the Spiritual Exercises, given over the course of thirty days of silence. The Spiritual Exercises is a pattern of prayer and mediations developed by the founder of the Jesuits, intended to help persons grow in their Christian faith and to deepen their spiritual life.
Seattle University faculty and staff members can pursue the SEEL Retreat during the academic year through an off-campus program by the same name. The Office of Jesuit Mission and Identity and the University Chaplain collaborate in offering scholarships and supporting SU colleagues interested in this unique experience of spiritual growth. Applications for the retreat are made through spring into the summer. The retreat begins toward the end of September and continues until May. Information about the retreat and the application itself is processed through the SEEL Web site. If you are interested in pursuing the possibility of this retreat, contact Fr. Pat O'Leary, S.J. Some preparation through spiritual direction might ease uncertainties, aid discernment and prepare for the experience.
The Spiritual Exercises find their origin in the lived experience of Ignatius of Loyola recorded in his Autobiography. The autobiography comes alive in a very powerful way when one follows in the very footsteps of Ignatius, the Pilgrim. Together with the SEEL program Seattle University has sponsored Pilgrimages, to Spain (2004, 2006, 2010, 2012) and to Rome (2008.) Those who participated found in the experience a profound deepening of the graces of Ignatian spirituality as it has touched their lives in varied and marvelous ways through the years. These pilgrimage experiences have been offered every other year. Much depends on the ability to keep them within a range financially accessible. Contact Fr. Pat O'Leary, S.J or the Director of the SEEL program for further information about an Ignatian Pilgrimage.
The University Chaplain with colleagues in Mission and Ministry to prepare programs and presentations in response to specific needs in all schools, departments, and units of Seattle University. This collaboration provides the maximum flexibility for responding to requests, which could range from a brief presentation in a classroom setting to a full day program design to a weekend retreat. Presentations can be made on a wide range of topics including the Jesuit educational mission, the Catholic tradition, education for justice, hiring and promotion for mission, Ignatian Spirituality, the history of the Jesuits, educating the whole person, spiritual direction, and many other dimensions that pertain to Seattle University's vision and mission. All offices in the Mission and Ministry Division also can provide resources such as books, articles, videos and speakers, on a variety of subjects.
There are many resources available for spiritual growth in a variety of traditions including retreats, workshops, presentations, speakers, books, videos, websites, etc. The Chaplain for Faculty/Staff is available to assist in the search for spirituality resources, and welcomes inquiries. See a list of resources.