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Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality

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The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality Welcomes You

Welcome! We are a Center on Ƶ University’s campus that offers spiritual direction to students, faculty and staff, the Diocese of Bridgeport, and community members of all faiths. In the Ignatian tradition, the Murphy Center’s spiritual directors help people explore the sacred aspect of being human, and finding God in all things.

News & Events

Join Us This Advent Season!

Beginning on Dec. 3 (the first Sunday of Advent) and running through Christmas Day, participants in the Advent Reflections Series can access daily five-minute online videos, each hosted by a spiritual director of the Murphy Center. Each host will offer a reflection on that day’s scripture reading and encourage viewers to enjoy a few moments of peace and prayer in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

Click on the calendar link below to view today’s video reflection. .

Recent News

From lecture series to retreats to special events, The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality offers a diverse selection of programming to meet a range of spiritual needs.

Programs We Offer

When looking for God, we often find ourselves.

The doors to the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality of Ƶ University open wide and invite anyone seeking deeper meaning and a closer relationship with God to explore the opportunities for spiritual engagement. No prior experience or background in spiritual direction needed.

All who feel invited are welcome!

Programs for All

Encountering the Living God | 10-Week Program

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Encountering the Living God | 10-Week Program

A 10-week program of prayer and reflection, under the personal guidance of one of the Murphy Center’s trained spiritual directors. This program is open to Ƶ students, faculty, staff and members of the larger community. Its method and content are inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius o f Loyola. Participants meet weekly with a spiritual director for ten consecutive weeks.

19th Annotation, Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) | Year-Long Program

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19th Annotation, Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) | Year-Long Program

A guided retreat accompanied by a Spiritual Director, the 19th Annotation, Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) program helps participants better discern God's presence in their everyday life. The SEEL retreat usually lasts at least a year, during which time the retreatant meets weekly with a director and follows the model of prayer outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola. The retreatant commits to daily prayer, while continuing his or her normal routine. This is known widely as “The Retreat in Daily Life” or “The 19th Annotation Retreat." Ideally, participants should be in spiritual direction before undertaking the SEEL in this form.

Life After the Exercises

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Life After the Exercises

Intended for those from the University and Prep community and beyond, who have completed the full Exercises of St. Ignatius and who seek to nourish and refresh the graces received during the Exercises. Includes an annual retreat, regular study sessions on themes of Ignatian Spirituality, and small groups for faith-sharing.

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Monthly Spiritual Direction

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Monthly Spiritual Direction

Is for anyone, of any faith, who is seeking a deeper connection with God. Participants meet monthly with a spiritual director who can assist them in developing the skills needed to recognize the presence of God in their life. A spiritual director is a companion who aids in listening for the movements of the Sacred. The spiritual director helps a person pay attention to God’s personal communication, respond, grow in intimacy with God, and live out the invitations that emerge from that relationship.

Walking Examen

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Walking Examen

Ƶ University's Walking Examen is the first of its kind on a Jesuit campus. Beginning on the plaza of Egan Chapel, this mile-long prayer and meditation trail was designed to cultivate prayerful discernment and an awareness of God’s presence around us.

The Examen is a contemplative prayer practice made popular by St. Ignatius of Loyola that invites us to see God in our everyday lives. There are five steps to the Walking Examen identified by five large rocks with a plaque. Each step signifies the five movements of the Examen prayer: Thanksgiving, Illumination, Examination, Contrition, and Hope.

Bookmarks with maps are available in the Library, Campus Ministry, Admission, and in the Murphy Center for anyone who would like to follow the route.

View Map

Programs for Ƶ University Students

“Finding God in All Things” | Semester-Long Course

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“Finding God in All Things” | Semester-Long Course

Following the model of the Encountering the Living God program, this for-credit course is intended for Ƶ University undergraduates, and is led by a team of Murphy Center spiritual directors. “Finding God in All Things” is offered to Ƶ University undergraduates every semester of the academic year, and introduces students to the spiritual legacy of St. Ignatius Loyola, as expressed in his writings and in the history and on-going mission of the Jesuits. As part of the class, students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Ten-Week Ignatian Experience.

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“Christian Spirituality” | Semester-Long Course

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“Christian Spirituality” | Semester-Long Course

This for-credit course is intended for Ƶ University undergraduates, and is led by a team of Murphy Center spiritual directors. “Christian Spirituality” introduces students to the fundamentals of spirituality through a variety of different traditions, and offers students the opportunity to participate in the Ten-Week Ignatian Experience.

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STAG Athlete Support

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STAG Athlete Support

MCIS offers retreats and spiritual support for all student athletes. Team retreats are coordinated through Athletics and individual one-on-one Spiritual Direction is available through MCIS.

Any student athlete who is interested in deepening his or her spiritual connection and personal growth is invited to explore opportunities at the Murphy Center in a meeting with one of the Center’s spiritual directors.

Spiritual directors are trained to accompany others on the journey to find meaning and purpose in everyday activities, paying attention to the sacred graces animating daily life. All are welcome. For more information or to arrange a meeting, please contact Marcy Haley at mhaley1@fairfield.edu.

Contact Marcy Haley

Programs for Faculty, Staff, and Community Members

“Aging With Grace” | Semester-Long Virtual Program

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“Aging With Grace” | Semester-Long Virtual Program

“Aging With Grace” meets every Wednesday, virtually via Zoom. Open to retirees of all faiths, the course uses prayer, assigned readings and personal reflection to guide participants through an exploration of the spiritual dynamics of growing older. All are welcome!

Rev. John Murray, S.J., will offer "Aging With Grace" each semester on Wednesdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Fall 2023 AWG participants are asked to purchase this semester's required book prior to the beginning of the course: The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty, by Martin Schleske.

To register by mail, please provide the following information:

  1. Full Name
  2. Mailing Address
  3. A $40.00 check payable to Ƶ University (Please write "AWG Fall 2023" in Memo line.)
  4. Mail to:
    Colleen Gilbertson
    Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality
    1073 North Benson Rd.
    Ƶ, CT 06824
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MCIS Women’s Initiative | During Advent and Lent

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MCIS Women’s Initiative | During Advent and Lent

The MCIS Women's Initiative seeks to assist women in their desire to find God in all things. Programs are designed to nurture personal spiritual growth in both a communal and individual atmosphere with biannual meetings consisting of a brief talk followed by self-reflection and small faith-sharing groups. The group is open to Ƶ faculty, staff and members of the larger community.

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Parish Ignatian Pilgrimage

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Parish Ignatian Pilgrimage

A multi-month program offered in parishes of the Diocese of Bridgeport, providing participants with an introduction to Ignatian Spirituality in both theory and practice. The program includes lectures, discussions in faith-sharing groups and opportunities for individually directed prayer experiences.

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Spiritual Director Formation Program | Two-Year Certificate Program

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Spiritual Director Formation Program | Two-Year Certificate Program

A two-year certificate program conducted at Ƶ University, intended for persons with a ministerial and theological background who wish to be trained as spiritual directors in the Ignatian tradition.

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A Closer Look at Spiritual Direction

“Spiritual Direction is the space to explore the everyday ordinariness for the presence of God and the workings of grace, precisely at those time when nothing seems to be happening.”

— Eugene Peterson

What can I expect from spiritual direction?

  • No judgment or agenda — just a welcoming presence who is there to help you discover the "life in your life."
  • Someone who will listen attentively and reflect back the presence of God you are experiencing and discovering.
  • Reverence and respect for the spiritual movements in your life, in the context of your religious background or belief system.
  • Confidentiality — everything you share in spiritual direction is held in confidence.
  • Encouragement and Hope to gently nudge you toward the wisdom and love God is already pouring into your life.
  • Freedom to discover your deepest desire and move toward freedom from all that distracts from that desire.
  • Meaningful Connection to yourself, God, and others, to respond to the movements of your heart and make choices in line with your truest self.
  • Support — noticing God's action in your life, and finding valuable inner peace during difficult times.

Four Journeys with Ignatius

Finding God in All Things

What Can We Do for You?

  • Who you are and where God is in your life
  • Thoughts, questions, desires you have about faith and spirituality
  • Discovering the nature of your deepest desire
  • Feeling spiritually disconnected, isolated, or lost
  • Making choices in line with your truest, most authentic self
  • Connecting your lived experience with your spiritual journey
  • Feel, appreciate, and notice what is stirring below the surface of your life
  • Find the connection you desire with God, yourself, and others
  • Disconnect from the digital world and feel rooted in the real world
  • Become free of all that distracts from your deepest desire
  • Respond to God’s love and the movements of your heart
  • Enhance your appreciation for your spiritual life
  • Reverence the sacred in your everyday experience
  • Develop a personal relationship with God and prayer
  • Individual and group spiritual direction
  • Drop-in hours for support and spiritual guidance
  • Retreats
  • Days and evenings of guided reflection
  • Faith sharing groups
  • Ten-week student encounters begin in September and January, at the start of each semester
  • For all other appointments or programs, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2373

Where to Find Us

Location

Dolan House is located in the northeast corner of campus.

Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Social Media
 

Resources

Staff & Advisory Board

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality is comprised of an array of individuals committed to supporting the faith-life of the students, faculty and staff of Ƶ University as well as individuals from the larger community outside of the University.

Mission Statement

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality of Ƶ University welcomes those seeking to deepen their relationship with God and to enrich their daily lives. We offer spiritual direction and programming, in the Ignatian tradition, to guide individuals and groups in their journey toward this encounter, as St. Ignatius did, by “finding God in all things.” As part of this outreach, we also train spiritual directors who can assist individuals and groups in the discernment of God’s direction in their lives. We are committed to supporting the faith-life of the students, faculty and staff of Ƶ University as well as individuals from the larger community outside of the university.

  • Establish a lasting infrastructure to serve as a repository and holder of the Jesuit values foundational to the culture of Ƶ University
  • Promote vibrant and attractive expressions of Ignatian spirituality at individual, group, and larger community levels, both on campus and in the Diocese of Bridgeport
  • Create a symbol that personifies the commitment of the University to these Ignatian values
  • Offer a space suitable for personal discernment, dedicated to the kinds of experimental and formative discussions about Jesuit and Catholic identity that animate Ƶ's institutional life

Support the Center

Support the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality and make a gift that helps us continue to provide spiritual direction to students, faculty and staff, the Diocese of Bridgeport, and community members of all faiths, both within the University and in the greater Ƶ area. 

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