Consolation and Desolation in Challenging Times

with Gemma Simmonds

During the lockdowns of the last two years we found ourselves stripped of many of the identifying markers by which we define our lives: normal patterns of work and relationships, both private and professional, patterns of interaction with wider society, patterns of travel for both work and leisure. On emerging, many of us have had to re-negotiate our sense of meaning and purpose, a work still in progress, and we are searching for tools to help us. The teaching of Ignatius of Loyola on consolation and desolation can be a useful means of navigating these new pathways and finding the hidden opportunities within them.

Gemma Simmonds

Gemma Simmonds cj is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus, founded by Mary Ward (1585-1609). She is a senior lecturer in pastoral theology based at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge where she is director of the Religious Life Institute. She lectured in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College, University of London from 2005 until its closure in 2018, specialising in Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian tradition. An international speaker and lecturer working in the fields of Christian spirituality and ecclesiology, she has been a missionary in Brazil and a chaplain in the Universities of Cambridge and London as well as a chaplaincy volunteer in Holloway Prison for 26 years. She is a regular broadcaster on religious matters on the BBC. Her book, The Way of Ignatius, was published by SPCK for Lent 2019 and was serialised as the Lenten retreat on Pray As You Go Her most recent book, Treasuring God’s Word is published by Pauline Books and Media.


Friday 3rd June 2022, 11:00am - 4:00pm


£40 for Members of the Community of Spiritual Directors; £45 for non-members


Online via Zoom


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