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What are the Exercises?

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, developed the Spiritual Exercises so that people could retreat for 30 days of prayer and silence to grow in their relationship with God and learn to listen for the voice of the Spirit in their lives.


Eventually, he also adapted these Exercises for people who could not, for various reasons, go away for 30 days. This adaptation, called the 19th Annotation, is the basis of the SEEL retreat. It invites people to experience the Exercises with the guidance of a spiritual director over a period of nine months, while continuing to live their daily lives.

Image by Thays Orrico

About SEEL Portland

SEEL Portland is a ministry of Jesuits West which gives people the opportunity to experience the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius in their everyday lives over a period of nine months. The Spiritual Exercises are composed of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to help people deepen their relationship with God. The Exercises present a pathway to deeper prayer, good decisions guided by keen discernment, and an active life of service to others.

To learn more about SEEL, please email Jeanette at

About SEEL Portland

SEEL Portland would like to offer an Ignatian “virtue of the month” in honor of our patron and founder of the Society of Jesus.

December – the Virtue of Faith

"Here is how the three Divine persons gazed on the whole surface... of the world, full of people... they decide in their eternity that the Second Person should become a human being, in order to save the human race. And thus, when the fullness of time had come, they sent the angel Gabriel to Our Lady." (Spiritual Exercises 102)

As the infant Jesus, God becomes approachable!

As we contemplate the Annunciation and Incarnation, we are invited to ponder the mystery of the virtue of Faith. Faiht is "both an attitude of heart and an act of surrender and assent." (Gerald Fagin, S.J. -- Putting on the Heart of Christ) Mary is the model of Faith, of the generous and trusting "YES" without any hesitation about the faith journey's outcome. How are we called to say "YES" as we join Mary and, with Faith, to trust the call to be a part of God's plan of salvation in Jesus?

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