Book launch of The Way of Ignatius

St Paul's Bookshop in High Street Kensington was packed last Monday, for the launch of Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ's new book: 'The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent', published by SPCK.

An audio adaptation of the text will be heard throughout Lent on the online prayer app and website Pray As You Go, a production by Jesuit Media Initiatives in which Sr Gemma is regularly involved. Born as a collaboration with Sacred Space, the 2019 Lent retreat will follow the book in its exploration of the story and prayer tradition of St Ignatius of Loyola. The perfect guide to spiritual life for all the year, this work is particularly indicated for this season of preparation, as it helps to pray with the Scripture in an imaginative way, with questions to aid further reflection and discussion. Pray As You Go will release one session per week, with the introduction available from tomorrow, 28th February.

Gemma Simmonds CJ

In her presentation, editor Rima Devereaux said the book has a unique emphasis on the practical lives of Ignatius Loyola and Mary Ward, writing from a woman's perspective, intertwined with their spiritual insights. "Prayer is for ordinary people not for experts" - is a recurrent theme through the book, she said.

Greeting colleagues, friends and family, Gemma Simmonds, who had just returned from her third 30-day retreat, said the evening felt like an episode of 'This is Your Life', adding that she has learnt everything from others. "When you work as a spiritual director you want to take your shoes off, because you are walking on holy ground. When you teach - you are on holy ground. We are all on on a pilgrim journey - not only the Catholic family."

Dr Simmonds is Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge. She has worked in teaching, university and prison chaplaincy and missionary work in Brazil. She is a spiritual director, retreat-giver, renowned international speaker and regular broadcaster on religious programmes.

'The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent' by Gemma Simmonds ISBN: 978 0 281 07531 7 is available from all good bookshops or bought online from SPCK.

Visit Pray As You Go

Original article on Independent Catholic News.