Corpus Christi, Boscombe
Boscombe on the south coast is home to the vibrant Jesuit parish of Corpus Christi with a growing community of Ignatian evangelisers.
Known as Hearts on Fire, this initiative aims to bring Ignatian spirituality into our community and beyond - our motto being "Meeting God in Our Daily Lives". Our team includes both laity and Jesuits, all from different backgrounds and life experiences. So each of us holds a little piece of a bigger picture, as we learn to discern how better to serve our community and deepen our understanding of Ignatian spirituality. We have all experienced how beautifully creative, holistic and powerful it can be to have God in our lives in this way and to be honest, we just can't help but want to share this with others.
Hearts on Fire began to take shape in response to Jesuit parish development conferences in 2010 and 2014. What quickly followed was a week of accompanied prayer, a series of workshops “Nurturing the Seed” and finally an invitation for participants to form Christian Life Community (CLC) groups. Currently there are four groups plus one in Poole, some now approaching their fifth anniversary. These opportunities for people to come to know God in their daily lives have been really fruitful so we keep repeating them!
This time last year we held a week long Hearts on Fire parish mission. During the week we had a number of events including workshops, art, walks and opportunities for one to one sessions with spiritual guides. As one person observed “people were hungry for it.” What we found also is how much our community enjoyed being able share their faith and what it meant to them. This wasn’t only apparent in workshops, but also at the various social events that were held. Fun, food, hospitality and laughter go a long way in building community.
We followed up with a week of accompanied prayer in May this year. Some of the retreatants were returnees, and others embarked on this experience for the first time. Feedback was really positive with one person saying, "I can't believe you've hidden this from me all this time,” and another, “the week was fantastic and also challenging about something I needed to reflect on.”
Now we are planning a Hearts on Fire Weekend this autumn (29th Sept - 2nd Oct), in response to our community wanting to experience again the spirit of last year’s mission week. A parish open meeting established how much people had enjoyed exploring and learning about Ignatian spirituality. So watch this space as we firm up our plans, especially an international mass followed by a celebration of multi-cultural cuisine.
Another way in which Hearts on Fire is bringing Ignatian spirituality into the community is a course run by Fr Tony Horan SJ called “Adventuring into Prayer”. This again is in response to last year’s mission week and provides a place where people can explore their faith through themed input, reflection and sharing. Along the same lines Fr Tony runs a monthly day of prayer and reflection on Ignatian spirituality which takes place at St Joseph’s parish, Christchurch.
Ignatian Spirituality and an Ignatian way to live
For St Ignatius, the loving God is very active in our lives, seeking to heal us and bring us closer to Him and to one another. He encourages us to enter the Gospel scenes with the help of our imaginations and thus get to know Jesus personally whom we can trust and say anything to.
Pray with us
Listen to this palm sunday reflection, an Imaginative conversation on the road to Emmaus when the dicsiples hearts burned within them as they met a stranger on the road.
Siobhan Regan - parishioner, Corpus Christi
Siobhan Regan is a parishioner of Corpus Christi Jesuit parish in Boscombe, Dorset, who is a key member of the team delivering the parish "Hearts on Fire" mission.
Michelle Ellison, parishioner at Corpus Christi Boscombe, reflects on finding a deeper spirituality amidst a busy family life, as the parish prepared for its Hearts on Fire mission week in July 2015.