What are the spiritual exercises?

The Spiritual Exercises are a compilation of meditations and reflections developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola to help one deepen one’s relationship with God. The Spiritual Exercises are structured in four distinct weeks, with a clear framework that carries the retreatant through a series of contemplative practices. These are not seven-day weeks, but separate, distinct stages on a spiritual journey.  Ignatius wrote that the purpose of the Exercises is to conquer one’s self and learn to regulate one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment. He wanted individuals to undertake these exercises with the assistance of an experienced spiritual director who would help them shape the retreat and understand what they were experiencing.

The Spiritual Exercises can be made individually with a Spiritual Director (often referred to as the 19th Annotation) or in a small group with a trained facilitator.

Small Group Options

Registration: Closed

In Person

Beginning September 19, 2023

Beginning September 20, 2023

Registration: Closed


Beginning September 14, 2023


Although originally written in the form of a 30-day silent retreat with an individual director, Ignatius realized that, even in his own time, many people could not absent themselves from their work and daily lives for such a long period.  He thus suggested alternate formats in which the Exercises could be made.

Our retreats “in daily life” allow you to experience the Exercises over the course of nine months, either individually directed by an Ignatian trained spiritual director (often referred to as making the Exercises in the form of the 19th Annotation), or in a group setting with trained small group facilitator. These retreats are a wonderful way to intentionally grow closer to God, strengthen your prayer life, and enrich your spirit.

Both the 19th Annotation and the small group version of the Exercises are an in-depth prayer experience which requires a significant commitment on the part of the retreatant. If you decide to make the retreat, you will need to commit to daily prayer practices, readings, and/or meditations.  individually In addition to daily prayer, you will commit to attend weekly meetings with your director in the case of the 19th Annotation, or biweekly meetings with your small group in the case of the group version.

Small Groups: Small groups meet twice monthly from September to May with an experienced facilitator to undertake the Exercises. We offer both in-person and Virtual groups.  Click here for current opportunities.

Individual Option (19th Annotation): sessions are individually arranged by the spiritual director and the person making the Exercises.  Click here to schedule a conversation about making the 19th Annotation of the Exercises.

Small Group Option: The Ignatian Spirituality Center does not charge for offering these opportunities.  We gratefully accept any donations so that we may continue to offer these retreats at no cost to the community.  You may donate on line here or mail a check to the Ignatian Spirituality Center, 1079 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105.

Individual Option (19th Annotation): amount is determined between the spiritual director and the retreatant.

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