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s2smodern

As the options for gathering live were still closed, the Jesuits in Belarus were forced to cancel the retreat which was planned since last year to be held in June 2020.

Following the example of the Jesuits who found creative ways to reach out to God's people who remain closed in their homes, Fr Victor Zhuk SJ took the initiative to offer an online retreat, based on 9 pre-recorded video inputs for personal prayer, with the option to be accompanied by a spiritual guide - a member of the team of the Jesuits and non-Jesuit collaborators.

The response to this proposal was far greater than expected (initially thought for those who had to give up on the "live" retreat), with several hundred Russian-speaking participants from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (and perhaps other countries). Some stated that they had had the desire to take part in an Ignatian retreat, but never got an opportunity to do it because of the travel distances or other difficulties, while the online option was just right to have a deepened experience of prayer and to approach the treasures of Ignatian spirituality.

As the retreat is coming to an end, we are still gathering the feedback for the evaluation of this initiative, but it is already clear that God's Spirit has worked through this means! There is also a request to the Jesuits to continue offering regular spiritual inputs, so this opens a door to a new apostolic opportunity in the web. a.m.d.g.

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s2smodern