ASIA/KYRGYZSTAN - Prayer and mission: Ignatian spiritual exercises on the banks of Lake Issyk-kul

Thursday, 23 January 2020 prayer   jesuits   christianity   faith   mission  

Bishkek (Agenzia Fides) – To live a week of spirituality, according to the charism of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and propose this experience of immersion and closeness to God as a form of evangelization, in a nation where the seed of the Gospel has become a small bud: in this spirit the Jesuit fathers present in Kyrgyzstan has organized a week of spiritual exercises in complete silence, according to the method of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. As reported to Agenzia Fides, the initiative, open to all, will take place from 16 to 22 March 2020 at the "Issyk Center", the home for disabled and destitute Kyrgyz children, located on the banks of Lake Issyk-kul and managed by the religious of the Society of Jesus. The invitation is addressed to young people, adults, people who are curious or interested in learning about the Christian faith. A note sent to Agenzia Fides by the organizers explains: "It is not the first time that these spiritual exercises take place in a picturesque place on the banks of Lake Issyk-Kul, just 100 meters from the beach and a few kilometers from the Tien Shan mountains". Contact with uncontaminated nature represents a way to reach a dimension of reflection and deepening, in search of God. The theme of this year will be "God, guide me on the eternal way. Freedom, Thanksgiving and Mercy". The Jesuit of Novosibirsk (Siberia), Fr. Janez Sever will guide the week of spirituality.
The spiritual exercise program includes an introduction to Ignatian prayer and meditation on the Holy Scriptures, moments of individual and assembly prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist, Adoration and the opportunity to speak with a spiritual assistant.
"It will certainly be days of wellness for the body and the spirit, in such a beautiful landscape. On the other hand, the fact that a way of prayer developed about five centuries ago is still required, testifies its effectiveness", concludes the note of the Jesuits.
Kyrgyzstan is a small country with a population of almost 6 million inhabitants that enjoys religious freedom. About 90% of the population is Muslim. Orthodox Christians represent almost 10% of the total, and other Christian denominations are a small minority. Local Catholics can count on the spiritual assistance of seven priests, one religious and five Franciscan nuns. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 23/1/2020)