The founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, Venerable Bruno Lanteri, strongly believed in guiding people through the Ignatian Prayer with retreat and spiritual direction. Today, we’re able to continue that tradition at the Lanteri Center through a parish retreat exploring this theme.

What Is Ignatian Prayer?

The Ignatian Prayer and Ignatian Spiritual Exercises are meant to shape and deepen a personal relationship with God. St. Ignatius Loyola, who developed the approach, encouraged all Catholics to work toward developing a personal relationship with God, believing that the deepest human desires seek to return God’s love.

Retreat Themes and Content

The Ignatian Prayer parish retreat is made up of the following themes and corresponding content. To dive deeper into each of these themes, visit our bookstore to explore a variety of books on Ignatian spirituality and prayer.

Ignatian Prayer Retreat


  • Why Pray? Union with God, direction, peace, petition, being with Friend, vs. “usefulness”, etc.
  • Importance of Practice
  • Leisure vs. Work
  • Silence
  • Solitude
  • Wonder and Awe
  • Contemplative Attitude towards Life


  • Jesus:  What do you desire?
  • Two extremes: many desires, lack of desires
  • Strong desires and detachment
  • Example of St. Ignatius: pre-conversion, post-conversion
  • God places desires in our heart
  • Courage to face desires
  • Desires not always fulfilled as we expect – Therese.
  • Prayer is desire: Augustine


  • A quest, questions, ask, seek, knock
  • Credo ut intellegam: I Believe that I might understand
  • Subject matter: Creation, Scriptures, Doctrines, Liturgy, Moral Truth, etc.
  • Purpose: to have a spiritual vision, conviction about faith, love Truth
  • Goal: get to the heart level in prayer
  • Method: a help, use insofar as leads to God, don’t be a slave to it
  • Ignatian Method: memory: call to mind; intellect: ponder; will: embrace
  • Colloquy: speak to Lord as friend
  • Review of prayer: notice positive/negative emotions, inspirations, insights, images, etc.


  • Gaze of faith:  Catechism definitions
  • Could be without images, quiet, or with images- Ignatian
  • God works thru imagination, everyone has
  • Modes of imagination: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement)
  • Ignatius’ own use of imagination, Holy Land, Incarnation
  • Bystander or participant
  • Application of the senses


  • What is discernment?
  • Difference between psychological and spiritual
  • Spiritual Consolation
  • What to do in consolation
  • Spiritual Desolation
  • What to do in desolation

If you would like to know more about the Ignatian Prayer parish retreat or begin the process of scheduling one for your parish, please contact us.

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