In a letter dated 29 May 2020, the Provincial of the former Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus announced his decision to close the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, effective August 2021. You may read the Provincial’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. The Jesuit Center will continue to offer retreats and other programs for spiritual renewal, and to host groups, through August 2021. You can see our 2021 program calendar here.
The Society of Jesus is a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers founded nearly 500 years ago by the soldier-turned-mystic, St. Ignatius Loyola. Most people call the members of the Society “Jesuits.”
The Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth shares its space with the Jesuit Community of the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues. Some of the resident Jesuits are retired, while others are active in the community as hospital and prison chaplains, parish ministry ministers, or staff members of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth.
Many of the now-retired Jesuits arrived at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues as fresh young men, full of fire, eager to conquer the world as Jesuits. They taught in colleges and prep schools, served as military chaplains in Vietnam, or were pastors in parishes. Many were missionaries in India, Philippines, and Chile or to the American Indians out west. Others dedicated their lives to the daily operation of Jesuit institutions or the Jesuit Curia itself. After leading full lives, they have returned to their first Jesuit home.
Many Jesuits of the Maryland province are buried in the Jesuit cemetery at the bottom of the hill, southeast of the Center. Among them lies Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ, whose writings and prayers have touched the lives of so many faithful people. You are always welcome to pray in this holy site.
The Jesuit Community has opened its doors and extended its invitation to be a place of spiritual sustenance for those who seek peace within: “Come away and rest awhile.”
You can learn more about the Jesuits and the Society of Jesus, by visiting www.jesuits.org.
Dedicated to the "greater glory of God"
and the good of all humanity.
What if I were a Jesuit
To a young man who wishes to
be a Jesuit, I would say:
Come if serving Christ is at the
very center of your life,
Come if you have broad and
sufficiently strong shoulders,
Come if you have an open spirit,
a reasonably open mind,
and a heart larger than the world.
Come if you know how to tell a joke
and can laugh with others
and...on occasions you can laugh at yourself.
— Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ