IJC Voice

March 2024

Volume 14, Issue 03

Dear Miriam,

February 20, 2024: After a walk in a Guelph woods, my friend discovers a deer tick on her dog. Before 1989, Ontarians never worried about these southern, sometimes dangerous, unpleasantries. Recently we only concerned ourselves during the summer months. Now even winter isn’t free from possible parasitic attachments. Doesn’t the world feel increasingly strange and unstable?

In my casual conversations, my reading and my spiritual direction, I hear growing lamentation over the insecurity, doubt, fear and grief swirling around us. Things aren’t as we’ve known them. While there is excitement in change, when it comes too fast, too forced, too frequent, we feel more anxious than excited. A third of Canadians aged 18-39 currently experience moderate to severe anxiety on a regular basis.

Greg with Pam Costanzo,

Farm Outreach & Administration

Many people claim to feel a visceral release upon entering IJC. Simply arriving brings them peace. As the world seems more unhinged, places like this grant our feet some solid ground. The importance of retreat, silence, reflection, prayer, discernment, community engagement, connection with nature, thoughtfulness about food, and ecological education is ever more obvious. Monasteries, it’s said, carried Europe’s art and learning through the upheavals of the so-called Dark Ages. Retreat centers may play that role today, with a flexibility, inclusivity and creativity unique to our times.

By reverently walking, gardening, praying, attending, volunteering, purchasing and donating at IJC, you contribute to one of the communities of spiritual and ecological wellbeing that grounds this strange, unstable world. As Lent leads to Easter, let us find and foster new life wherever change feels fatal.


Greg Kennedy

Executive Director


Loyola House - Retreats & Ignatian Training

Looking to go on retreat? Check these out:

One-Day Retreats -

  • NEW! The Sounds of the Desert One-Day Retreat - March 15
  • NEW! Journeying through Grief - April 11
  • NEW! The Everyday God: Finding God in our Sacred Stories - April 19
  • NEW! Courage, Compassion, Climate Change: Early Earth Day Event - April 21
  • Food Retreat: Fresh Again! - May 15

Multi-Day Retreats -

  • Directed Prayer Long Weekend - March 7-10
  • Knowing the Heart of Jesus - March 15-17
  • NEW! Unplug to Reconnect - April 16-18
  • Birds Weekend Retreat - May 17-19

Workshop for Spiritual Directors -

  • NEW! Invited In: Spiritual Direction with the 2SLGBTQ+ Community: A Morning Workshop - March 20

Apply for a retreat today!

Taking a sabbatical in 2024? Consider taking The Full Spiritual Exercises Experience in the Fall of 2024.

Find out more here and apply!

The longest journey

that a person can take

is from the head to the heart.

~ John Govan, SJ

Ignatius Farm

Registration is open for 2024!

Now’s the time to sign up for Ignatius Farm CSA! Register online here.


Mark your calendar for the evening of April 18 to kick off the 2024 growing season. Find out all the details in the Food & Farm Events Page

Stay up to date with what’s happening at the Farm by subscribing to the Farm E-News here.

It's that time of year...seed planting for this year's crop! Here's a pic of Jennica with the first of 2024's seedlings.


Taste of Diversity Returns!

We are very excited to announce the return of our beloved dinners for 2024.

Tickets are limited so book early to save your seats.

April 9 - Mass 5pm, Dinner 6pm

November 13 - Service 5pm, Dinner 6pm

$100 per dinner, $180 for April and November

Tickets: register online here!

or call 519-824-1250 ext 241

Cedar Circle Sunday Afternoons

March 17, 2:30-4pm

Loyola House


This month join in the Migrant Worker Exercise, an experiential activity designed to educate participants on the exploitation suffered by farm laborers here in Canada.

Find out more here on our website, ignatiusguelph.ca under events.

Book Launch of Circles and the Cross

March 13, 7pm Loyola House

Poet, professor, author and organic farmer, Loren Wilkinson launches his sweeping exploration of consciousness, the cosmos, faith and what together they have to teach our current ecological challenges.

No need to register, just come. Donations welcome.

For more information see here or contact: gkennedy@ignatiusguelph.ca

Alana Levandoski Concert: Cianalas/Tãsknota

May 13, 7pm Loyola House

‘Cianalas’ means homesick or longing in Scottish Gaelic. ‘Tãsknota’ means homesick in Kashubian. Cianalas/Tãsknota, sings to the ache we feel in our hearts for home, because we now inhabit a time for addressing the disregarded aspects of our own histories.

For more information & tickets ($20 ea) follow this link.

Loyola House Stories & Memories - Celebrating 60 years in 2024

Picture: Loyola House under construction, January 30, 1964

Courtesy of the Archive of Jesuits in Canada (D-507-A.4.2)

From Chuck Wilson -

I was on retreat at Loyola for a long weekend during University in the late 1980s. There was an open invitation to attend Mass at the farm house as an alternative to Sunday morning chapel. I decided to go. The farmhouse was then being used as a halfway house for men emerging from recovery and prison. Mass took place at the kitchen table. Eucharist was a simple, home baked loaf of bread passed around the table. Each person would tear off a small piece and pass the loaf to the next person. The bread came to me. I then turned to pass it to the man seated next to me, whom previously I had not really noticed. With my head down I mumbled the blessing, "The body of Christ, broken for you". The man's bare arms, extended to receive the bread, were decimated from years of injections. I instinctively looked up and our eyes met. Both of our eyes filled with tears, and the man simply whispered "Thank you, thank you, thank you..." It was, without question, the most memorable and meaningful eucharist I have ever been part of, or ever will. 

From Krystyna Higgins -

In the summer of 1997, facing some midlife challenges and persuaded by a dear priest friend, I reluctantly came to Loyola House for my first 8-day silent retreat. To say I was apprehensive was an understatement. I thought a spiritual director was some kind of personal-trainer-for-the-soul. Would there be a “test” at the end, I wondered? What if something happened? What if nothing happened!

That week turned out to be life-changing. Under the gentle guidance of gifted director Karen Doyle, I experienced the immediacy of God’s presence to a degree I could never have imagined. That first retreat was by no means my last.

Nowadays Loyola House has become my second home, as I am privileged to be able to facilitate liturgical music for Sundays and other occasions. This treasured place has been “holy ground” for so many over the past 60 years. Deo gratias!

Please send your own Loyola House stories and memories to tpacker@ignatiusguelph.ca.


Loyola House Chapel

by gregor Y kennedy

when the light just right

mid to late morning

licks the honey

off these yellow matchboxed windows

and speaks a sweetened peace

upon the speckled navy

ocean floor…

it’s enough to stop

to watch what our ancestors,

awed, wouldn’t name aloud.

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