Ignatian Spirituality Project
The Ignatian Spirituality Project invites people recovering from homelessness and addiction to encounter God’s love, hope and healing through spiritual companionship that transforms lives.
The Ignatius Spirituality Project (ISP) began in 1998 when Fr. Bill Creed, SJ was invited to begin making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius available to the economically disadvantaged. Together with his friend Ed Shurna, Director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, they created a retreat that brought hope.
Our ISP ministry offers overnight retreats and days of recollection for men and women who are in transition from homelessness and addiction. During the retreats the participants focus on the Spiritual Exercises, a program with some 500 years of tradition that facilitates seeking union with God and achieving inner freedom. The wisdom of the Exercises, expressed in the contemporary language of the 12-Step recovery program, provides a unique backdrop for our retreats and a helpful starting point for our retreatants.
- We offer spiritual retreat programs, inspired by and rooted in Ignatian spirituality, which invite individuals into communities of hope and belonging.
- We are a network of volunteer teams building relationships with one another and creating welcoming spaces for all.
- We empower people who are in recovery from homelessness and addiction to become leaders on our teams and in our organization.
- We collaborate with other ministries and organizations in the communities where we serve to achieve and further our mission.
Project started in Chicago, IL
Locations offering spiritual retreats
Over 90% of participants tell us at the end of their retreat experience that: they feel part of a community; the retreat helped their recovery and/or spiritual journey; they believe change is possible!
The Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) invites those recovering from homelessness and addiction to experience God’s unconditional love. We believe that spirituality has an important role to play on the journey of recovery. ISP exists to “light a path” forward: our hope is that through reflection on life experiences within a safe and welcoming environment, participants can begin to find the self-acceptance, hope and healing needed to reclaim their lives.
ISP programs are designed for men and women in substance use recovery who have a desire to deepen their spirituality and are open to sharing their story and listening to others. Though founded in the Jesuit tradition, we do not proselytize, and people of all (or no) faith traditions are welcome.
Guided by the wisdom of the Ignatian spirituality and interwoven with traditional 12-Step approaches, ISP retreat programs offer individuals recovering from homelessness and addiction a chance to take time away to reflect on and deepen their relationship with the God of their understanding, to gently name the places inside that need healing, and to bond with others on the journey.
Each year, we welcome over 2,000 overnight retreat participants and provide over 4,500 experiences of hope and healing throughout our network.
The ISP overnight retreat is an opportunity for men and women in recovery to take some time away to enjoy, pray, reflect and relax in a warm, safe setting. It combines quiet time, small group sharing, large group sharing, one-on-one conversation, and other communal reflection activities. Each retreat is designed to host 12 men or women (retreats are single-gender) and 4 volunteer facilitators, at least one of whom is an ISP alumni also on the path of recovery. By keeping our numbers small, the retreat is large enough to provide a sense of community and small enough to feel intimate.
Overnight retreats take place at local retreat houses across our 29-city network. Our volunteers in each city work closely with partner shelters and transitional housing organizations to refer appropriate candidates to the retreat. We provide transportation to and from partner organizations and all room, board and retreat costs are covered by the ISP program.