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A Deeper Ignatian Way

Springboards might best be described as launching pads — words or sayings that challenge us to look further, to leave behind the shallow and superficial in our lives and go deeper. Ignatian spirituality has often been described as ‘obsessively reflective’; while author Christopher Gleeson is not sure about the accuracy of the term ‘obsessively’, he agrees that Ignatian spirituality is certainly reflective. He believes that all who share in the Ignatian mission to be reflective people and to grow in this quality during their life will enjoy these prayers and reflections for the beginning of class or meetings or simply at the start of your day. They are meant to be springboards for reflection and action, which inspire people to be bothered enough to make a difference for good in their world. The Reflections, Scripture, and Prayers in Springboards have been written and compiled with the idea that they can be read aloud by teachers and students; shared at home between parents and children; or enjoyed by the individual seeking to nurture their own spirituality. Reflection pages are included for those who wish to journal in their book. While this little book of reflections and prayers follows an Ignatian pathway, it begins with the wonderful words of a famous Dominican theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx: ‘People are the words with which God tells his story’. The tried and tested user-friendliness of Ignatian spirituality in these pages will assist readers to understand that God created us because He/She loves stories. Whether we are tellers or listeners, we are all caretakers of God’s story.

Christopher Gleeson S.J., was born in Melbourne and educated by the Presentation Sisters in Sandringham and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at Xavier College, whose ranks he joined in 1962. Ordained priest in 1975, he has spent much of his working life as a teacher and administrator in Jesuit schools, nearly twenty-one of which as Head of both Xavier College in Melbourne and St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, in Sydney. After a brief stint as Director of Jesuit Publications (now Jesuit Communications) in Melbourne, he was appointed the inaugural Director of both the Faber Centre of Ignatian Spirituality and the Archdiocesan Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre in Brisbane. During the years 2011-2018 he returned to Melbourne as the Provincial’s Delegate for Education and later his Ignatian Formation Delegate. Since 2019 he has been Superior of the Jesuit Community and Chaplain to the staff at Xavier College. A keen writer, he has written several books for parents and teachers over the years and has been Editor of the Madonna magazine since 2003.

* Chris Gleeson has been published with international publishers including Macmillan-Zondervan in religious, education and life learning categories and is a well known author and authority in these areas. * Written to be shared in schools for teachers, students, staff and parents, this book of prayers, scripture and reflection is also a useful resource for individuals interested in the Ignatian faith and includes blank pages for journaling. * Includes 8 pages of illustrations by students and their families who have read and benefitted from the prayers and reflections in this book and the Ignatian Way. * Social media coverage including the Xavier College Facebook account (7,000 followers). * The Catholic Weekly newspaper print and online in Australia, US, UK, Ireland and other parts of the world. * Online and live events currently being scheduled from late July onwards in association with schools and other organisations interested to know more about the Ignatian Way. * Media coverage including the ABC, SBS, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, the BBC and The Guardian.

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