MADISON -- The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis will offer facilitator training Friday, July 29, to Saturday, July 30, for part one, and on July 31, for part three of the “Lord Teach Me To Pray” series. Training will be held at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center.
Part one training will begin on Friday at 7 p.m., and end on Saturday at 8 p.m. Part three training will be held Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. In order to attend part three, the participants must have completed part one and two of the facilitator training.
Growing in spirituality
The series focuses on prayer and was developed to meet the desire of Catholic women and men for an ongoing spiritual growth in their response to the call to holiness and a deeper commitment to Jesus as Lord. It was developed as an outreach program to bring the Holy Spirit into their surrounding communities through the facilitating of faith-sharing prayer communities enabling Catholic women and men the opportunity to grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Unlike Bible studies or other adult formation programs, this series is designed to help women and men learn how to pray. It is based upon the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who is the founder of the Society of Jesus. The spirituality of St. Ignatius and his spiritual exercises has been used for centuries to develop the spirituality of many great saints. The entire series is broken up into three consecutive parts that must be completed in sequential order.
This program is conducted in a group experience of approximately 12 participants with the assistance of trained facilitators. The group will meet in a private home once a week for two hours, for a total of 12 weeks. The facilitators guide the participants through the two-hour meetings.
Each meeting consists of an opening prayer, time for personal faith sharing, and presentations on Ignatian prayer and a particular Christian virtue. Participants are given Scripture passages to use every day for 15 minutes of personal prayer at home to build a sense of each virtue, while encouraging them to live an authentically Catholic life in the cultural situation they encounter daily.
Part one, “Praying Christian Virtues,” is a 12-week program that focuses on the need to develop good religious habits on the spiritual teachings handed down to us on the Christian virtues. It introduces the prayer of meditation and contemplation devised by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Participants will discover what St. Ignatius suggests to do for dryness in prayer and how to listen.
Part two, “My 19th Annotation,” provides participants with the experience of doing the full Ignatian Exercises written by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Participants are given Scripture readings to use daily for 30 to 45 minutes of private prayer at home. Weekly meetings are held where participants share their faith experiences in a quiet, respectful way with others.
St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote his spiritual exercises in a form for those who live and work in the world, but are unable to withdraw to a silent retreat. It is a 30-week experience, broken up into two, 15-week sessions with a four-week break in the middle.
Part three is called “Discernment & Gifts of the Spirit.” St. Seraphim Sarov, a Russian saint said, “The whole spiritual life is nothing but the attaining of the Holy Spirit.” As participants begin the third part of the series, there cannot be a more appropriate introduction. During these 14 weeks they will be learning about the identity and activity of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity through the writings of Fr. Andrew J. Apostoli, C.F.R., Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Archbishop Luis M. Martinez, and many others, and be introduced to St. Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment.
Fr. Marty Gleeson, O.P. serves as the spiritual advisor to the “Lord, Teach Me To Pray” Ignatian prayer series, and assists Carol Weiler, director of the series, in training facilitators for the series. Father Gleeson is part of the Southern Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres. He recently served as the provincial from June 2002 through May 2010. Weiler is based in New Orleans, La., and is a certified spiritual director.
How to sign up
There is no charge for the training, but participants must register in advance, and are asked to contribute $15 for meals and snacks. Those needing overnight accommodations can arrange housing at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Pastoral Center. Contact Marie Lins at the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 608-821-3160, or e-mail