In the Footsteps of St. Ignatius
Thirty SLU-Madrid students embarked on a pilgrimage to Spain's picturesque Basque Country for the Loyola Retreat. With trees that seem to stretch for miles, mountains that reach for the sky and breathtaking views, the retreat gave students a view of Spain, far from the commotion of Madrid.
During the three-day retreat, both visiting and permanent students of different faiths shared their thoughts and made new friends, all while learning about the rich history of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. With a healthy balance between spirituality and reflection, the retreat allowed for those who were Catholic and not Catholic alike to join an inviting community, and to escape and think.
Nick Edmundson, an American student who came to Madrid as a first-year student in 2015, has attended the retreat four times. He reflects:
This trip to the Basque Country is not a simple getaway from the business of the university and life in general. It aims to be a rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul. Friendships are made through this gathering of faith that will last for years, I can attest to that myself. After spending my fourth and final weekend retreat at Loyola with SLU-Madrid, I'm both thankful and glad to have had the opportunity to share in the joy of so many students over the past few semesters and I hope that the word continues to spread of what a wonderful experience this retreat has to offer.
The full text of Nick's testimony is available here.
A SLU-Madrid tradition, the Loyola Pilgrimage Retreat traces the life of St. Ignatius, visiting his birthplace, family home, the hospital where he worked and perhaps most notably, the spot where he converted to Catholicism and gave his life to God. SLU-Madrid's Campus Ministry and the Office of Student Life organize visits to Loyola every semester. The trips are 50% sponsored by SLU-Madrid to promote SLU's Jesuit mission across the entire University.