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Ignatian Spirituality Project, Walking each other Home

Maureen Baldwin, CND

There is a popular saying we hear today that “on the journey of life we are all just walking each other home.” One of the great privileges in my life is walking with women and men on the margins of society with the Ignatian Spirituality Project: A ministry with people who have experienced some form of homelessness in their lives, whether that is living rough on the streets, being lost in addiction, having no significant connections with family and community or having lost a sense of self and place in the world. As an ISP community, we come together to support and encourage each other as we face the ups and downs of everyday life. The beauty of this ministry is that we are all on the journey home together as we have all, in some way or another, experienced a sense of homelessness in our lives. In ISP, we seek to “find God in all things” which begins with finding God, the sacred within our own lives. None of us are the sum of our greatest achievements or our most difficult disappointments; we are so much more; we are all children of God, unique and loved. The spirituality project focuses on empowering people to embrace that reality and to begin to move toward a more integrated and hope-filled future. There is nothing more beautiful than witnessing people celebrate and share the giftedness of who they are and who they are becoming when surrounded by community who tell them they are accepted, loved, valued and that they belong.

During this time of pandemic, we have been unable to gather face-to-face, but we continue to journey together via zoom, email and telephone. The on-going connections are so important as for many of these woman and men isolation has been a very painful part of their stories and can be a trigger. So we come together monthly to reflect, share, laugh and celebrate wonderful events in their lives. Recently, one of our young women was delighted to share with us that she had landed a job and that the job included benefits. She was so happy and wanted to thank God and all of us for being a part of her new story. Her plan moving forward is to return to university and study psychology and social work. She will also be joining our ISP facilitation team to pay it forward to help others also trying to grow in life.

As a CND I am thrilled that we, in Visitation Province, are participating and partnering in the promotion and growth of this wonderful ministry in Canada. I can’t help but think of the many people that Marguerite “walked home” in Ville Marie, and how delighted she would be to know that today we continue to live the visitation charism as we journey with the most marginalized of our society. Please hold these wonderful women and men in your prayers as they continue to embrace and respond to the fullness of life.

 

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