Initiatives

Charitable outreach, initiatives and affiliated programs

Extend goodwill to others, assist those who cannot pay, and help maintain a welcoming environment for peaceful reflection at Ignatius House. These programs below and others assist those on the margins, those who may feel excluded, and help Ignatius House care for our common home — all in alignment with Catholic social teaching and the global apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus.

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Bee at Peace

New, faith-sharing circles for women of color to inspire peace, rejuvenating stillness, and connection (Coming in 2020)

 

WHY

“In communities of color, we don’t talk about the help we need; it’s carried internally,” says Lauren Morton, creator of Bee at Peace. She adds that black women especially are told to “be strong, be brave… and what you’re not supposed to do.” It adds up to an unhealthy suppression of internal feelings, she says. Bee at Peace seeks to provide companionship and faith-filled care when women of color crave the permission to pause.

 

HOW

Underwriting will support the formation of interactive online materials for local, faith-sharing circles called “honeycombs;” scholarships for spiritual direction certification at a Jesuit university, and financial aid for those who cannot afford to attend bi-annual retreats. The program also aims to develop a network of qualified resources to support emotional health and to attract diversity among the spiritual directors at Ignatius House.

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Fortunate & Faithful Families

Hosted activities for Catholic parents and LGBT teens to foster mutual understanding through dialogue, hospitality, education, and loving support

 

WHY

“…the Church must welcome all of her sons and daughters—no matter what their sexual orientation or life situation might be—and that we have not always done so with a spirit of compassion and understanding.” – Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Oct. 16, 2014

Fortunate & Faithful Families is a group born from a retreat at Ignatius House for Catholic parents of gay children. It strives to spread love and understanding within the Catholic Church.

 

HOW

In collaboration with Fortunate & Faithful Families, Ignatius House seeks to expand programming that helps parents and teens manage the challenges of conflict and rejection — by peers, immediate or extended family members, or a faith-based community.

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Hispanic Outreach

Spanish-language retreats that bring spiritual fortification to day laborers building hopeful new futures

 

WHY

Spanish-speaking Catholics are among the fastest growing group in Georgia. Between 2010 – 2017, the number of Spanish speakers grew nearly 17% across Catholic churches statewide. The rate of increase was above 40% and as high as 188% in 12 centrally located counties near metro Atlanta. Those who turn to Ignatius House often are day laborers who seek the nourishing stillness of a prayerful, overnight retreat.

 

HOW

Help underwrite steeply discounted retreats led by Fr. O. Alejandro Báez, SJ, for those of little means — some of whom arrive with overnight belongings in trash bags rather than suitcases. Gifts also will support the creation of Spanish-language materials that are not simply translated, but acculturated for the semantic preferences of those from Mexico and central America.

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Ignatian Spirituality Project

Retreats for those rebuilding healthful lives after homelessness and addiction recovery

 

WHY

The journey beyond addiction recovery is constant. As the Atlanta affiliate of the international Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP), we welcome nearly 100 individuals each year from halfway houses for a series of programs to help them regain confidence, focus, and hope. Those who attend ISP retreats become part of a network of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of former retreatants that spans dozens of cities. They are reminded that even with their faults, they are still worthy, lovable, and belong. They stay connected to a community of support and recovery as they move on with their lives.

 

HOW

Our goal in 2019-20 is to serve more. Generosity from donors provides each individual with private room and bath, toiletries, wholesome chef-prepared meals, transportation to and from halfway houses, and companionship from discussion leaders trained in both Ignatian discernment and the modern language of 12-step recovery.

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Antipasto tray prepared by Ignatius House chefs and Kitchen Cura interns.

Kitchen Cura

Vocational, culinary internship coupled with spiritual support for those transitioning from homelessness and addiction recovery into self sufficiency

 

WHY

Through our work with the Ignatian Spirituality Project, we’ve seen how individuals in halfway houses need marketable skills to truly regain self sufficiency. Designed to provide personalized culinary training in a safe and patient environment, interns under Kitchen Cura gain complete tutelage from Ignatius House executive chefs and restaurant partners to learn all aspects of leading a dining facility — from setting buffets to managing food inventory and preparing creative cuisine.

 

HOW

Funding provides paid-internship wages of $12/hr, 24 hrs/week plus a transportation stipend for a 12-week program. Gifts also support instructional materials and testing under the ServSafe program, and provide a budget for an intern-prepared meal upon graduation.

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Tree & Trail Care

Maintaining natural forest and riverfront land in north Atlanta

 

WHY

Concern for the natural world is no longer “optional” but is an integral part of Church teaching, per the 2015 encyclical letter from Pope Francis, “Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.” We intend for Ignatius House to always be a welcoming place where anyone can peacefully encounter God in nature and discover new appreciation for His divine hand.

Ignatius House occupies 20 acres of land along the Chattahoochee River and is home to more than 40 varieties of trees. Miles of beautiful trail wind through the property, requiring seasonal care and careful environmental stewardship.

 

HOW

Funding is needed to help Ignatius House carefully maintain trails and trees, clear invasive species, and repair numerous decks and bridges as places for silent reflection.

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Live generously

Tuesday, December 3 is “Giving Tuesday” when individuals and organizations around the world come together for one common purpose: To celebrate generosity, live generously, and to give. As we reflect with grateful hearts, we are inspired to give back to God from our deep sense of gratitude. Compelled to action by our compassion, we unite on this giving day and proclaim “#iGiveCatholic”.

 

Advance giving is open (Nov. 17 – Dec. 2)!

Click “Give Today” under any program to pledge to #iGiveCatholic ahead of Giving Tuesday. Thank you! Your support makes a difference.

Begin Your Silent Getaway

Let us help you choose the right retreat experience.

Staff can assist with choosing the right retreat, understanding what to expect, making payment arrangements or other questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you.

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