Advent: Preparing our Hearts for Christmas - A retreat in the heart of the city!

In the busyness of the run-up to Christmas, the season of Advent can almost get lost. Why not take some time out from the preparations to reflect on the reason for the season; to prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord.

The Belfast Jesuit Centre is a prayerful oasis of peace and tranquillity in the heart of Belfast City Centre and we’ll be hosting a series of Advent Prayer Retreats on three Sundays in December, the 3rd, 10th and 17th. Come along to any or all of the days. Tickets for each date will be available on Eventbrite.

We’ll begin each retreat day with a tasty hot lunch at 1pm. This will be followed by a talk and time for personal prayer and reflection. The retreat days will conclude with the celebration of Mass at 6pm in St Patrick’s Church, next door to the Jesuit Centre.

Secure parking available.

Tickets are free but a suggested donation will be requested on the day to cover costs. (Please do not let your inability to pay prevent you from attending.)

Lent 2024 will see the return of our popular 6 week course, Channelling the Inner Fire: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality, based on Fr Brendan McManus’s book Channelling the Inner Fire. This is the third time this course has been run, such is its popularity.

The in-person course will commence on Thursday 23rd February and will be delivered here in the Jesuit Centre. It will be facilitated by Brendan McManus SJ (of the Jesuit team here in Belfast) and Josephine O’Neill (spiritual director and retreat facilitator). The remaining dates are as follows: All Tuesdays –  28th February, 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th March.

The course synthesizes Ignatian spirituality into 15 concrete points and focuses on the experiential over the theoretical. Over the 6-week course participants discover how God is communicating with them, in a dynamic relationship, that is alive and working in everyday life.

“It’s like a retreat: where you learn the Examen of Consciousness and other skills of prayer and quietness. Each session begins with a guided meditation leading from head-space to heart-space.”

Small group sharing helps people verbalise their experience in a safe listening space and groups help each other to grow and integrate the Ignatian techniques. Some report that it brings awareness of what Ignatius called the ‘inner movements’ especially in making better decisions.