The Jesuit Collaborative, a ministry that helps the people of the Maryland, and USA Northeast Provinces grow closer to God through prayer, retreats and spiritual formation, is currently recruiting participants for next year's Contemplative Leaders in Action Program (CLA).
Founded in 2008, CLA is a two-year Ignatian leadership and faith formation program for young adults rooted in the Spiritual Exercises. Participants - who primarily consist of graduates from Jesuit schools and other Ignatian spirituality programs, and parishioners from Jesuit parishes - meet monthly in small groups during the first year of the program. The groups - with the help of guest speakers, presentations and community-building exercises - focus on discernment, Ignatian spirituality, Catholic social teaching, leadership models and spirituality in the workplace.
Participants come from a variety of careers and lead busy lives, but thanks to these tools, they quickly find practical ways to integrate their faith with their careers. “There are teachers, lawyers, doctors and social and civic workers taking part in the program, but we would say that they’re all involved in ministry,” said Mary Tracy, CLA director. “They all have a desire to grow closer to God and are faced with the challenge of finding ways to in corporate faith into their daily lives.”
In their second year, participants design projects that apply their enhanced skills and encourage them to discover their personal leadership style, oftentimes in collaboration with Jesuit institutions or their own professional or personal circles. “There really isn’t anything else like CLA,” said Mary Tracy. “When people hear about it, they’re interested, and we’re seeing so many ways the spiritual and professional lives of program alumni are just blossoming.”
CLA is currently offered in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.