Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ, the Provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, has decided to close the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, effective August 2021. Fr. Hussey announced his decision on 29 May 2020 in a letter to the Province. You may read Fr. Hussey’s letter, accompanying FAQs, and Br. Derby’s letter of response here.
While we are sorrowful at the decision, we are focused on the remaining time of ministry here in Wernersville. As much as possible in this pandemic, the Jesuit Center will be offering retreats, days of prayer, and other programs for spiritual renewal, and hosting groups, through August 2021. You can see our 2020-2021 program calendar here.
In July 2016, Chris Derby, a Northeast Province Jesuit Brother, joined the Jesuit Center staff as a spiritual director. As a Jesuit novice, Chris made his first 30-day retreat here at Wernersville and has returned many times as a retreatant. He is a founding member of the Ignatian Schola, a musical ensemble comprising Jesuits and colleagues, rooted in Ignatian spiritualty, which performs extensively at Jesuit spirituality-related events on the East Coast.
Before being assigned to the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Chris primarily worked in middle and secondary education at Nativity Mission Center and Xavier High School in NYC and Canisius High School in Buffalo. He taught English, religion and art, directed plays and musicals, and assisted in campus ministry with retreats, reflection programs and service immersion trips. For five years, Chris served as Director of Vocations for the New York & Maryland Provinces of the Society of Jesus. Chris earned his B.A. in Religion at Kenyon College and holds Master’s degrees in English (Fordham) and Theological Studies (Boston College STM).
Christopher Derby, SJ, Executive Director
Spiritual Growth | Christopher Derby, SJ
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