The Exercises in a digital culture

Nikolaas Sintobin 400Nikolaas Sintobin SJ focused on the Internet Apostolate. He explained that this is not about transferring old ways to new media but about discovering new ways of making contact with the modern generation. When we speak of the spiritual life, people don’t know what we are talking about because they don’t understand our vocabulary or our language. Education is about enabling someone to become more human and Ignatian spirituality addresses deeper levels than the superficial, inviting people to explore an inner space.

As we know from Ignatian imaginative contemplation, the visual is a good channel for achieving this and Nikolaas described his method of using videos in groups – a method very Ignatian in its way of creating a safe space which allows individuals to share without fear of judgement. His criteria for choosing videos are:

  • secular,
  • short,
  • as few words as possible
  • open-ended stories so that people’s freedom of interpretation is respected

and he accompanied his talk with a variety of videos which amply illustrated his points.

In this, and in conversations throughout the week, his own quiet humour and passionate desire to connect with people in order to share the good news of God’s love shone through.

Nikolaas Sintobin SJ joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, after a short career as a lawyer. He trained as a Jesuit in Paris and Santiago (Chile) and specialized in Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy. He has been working in education. His focus today is Internet Apostolate.