Alongside the main presentations was a range of workshops. The main speakers each offered workshops which built on their presentations.
Other contributors considered the wisdom that secular disciplines can offer to the practice of the Exercises. Roger Dawson SJ from St Beuno’s discussed an object relations theory approach from psychology in the context of spiritual direction; Andrew Bunch linked insights from the Enneagram with Week 4 of the Exercises; Stephen Hoyland considered how to make good use of the Two Standards Exercise in a world far-removed from the chivalric ideals of Ignatius’s time.
Edel McClean led a practical workshop on group facilitation using the highly relevant example of the future of SEN. The results became part of the business meeting and will in turn guide the committee in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, in a room full of art and craft materials, Deirdre McConnell encouraged participants to ‘tend the creative spark within’ and explore the exercises by mark-making and art. The point of using art in prayer is not to produce great art but to engage with prayer, and participants who thought they were ‘no good at art’ were surprised and inspired by the results which Deirdre gently encouraged.