Canisius Centre of Ignatian Spirituality

02 9488 4524
102 Mona Vale Rd Pymble, NSW 2073

About Us

Canisius CollegeCanisius College began in 1939 as a training college for Jesuits and as a Retreat House. Retreats at this time were group retreats and preached.

Prior to the Vatican II Council, a few Jesuits in Spain, France, Rome, Canada, UK & Germany were beginning to realise that the Spiritual Exercises were meant to be given one to one.
( Preached retreats had only begun after St Ignatius’ death because the Jesuits were not able to keep up with the demand for individual retreats.)

Gradually their research resulted in books by Gilles Cusson, sj, Alex Lefrank sj and John English sj, which spelt out the Spiritual Exercises as a process, a movement through the spiritual life, with the imaginative contemplation of scriptural experiences leading to love, gratitude, desire and action/decision.

Towards the end of the 1970’s, Canisius College set up an Institute to train people in retreat giving and spiritual direction. Fr John Drury sj was the first Director of this Institute.  

At about the same time in Melbourne, Campion Retreat House began with Fr Pat Tracey sj as Director. Later under the inspiration and guidance of Fr Frank Wallace sj and Fr Val Moran sj, Campion began the training of spiritual directors and retreat guides.  Finally the Jesuit Retreat Houses in 5 States of Australia, all became Centres of Ignatian Spirituality.
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