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The Center


The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City assists people as they explore and deepen their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. We base our ministry on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola who developed the Spiritual Exercises and founded the society of Jesus.

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The Center


The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City assists people as they explore and deepen their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. We base our ministry on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola who developed the Spiritual Exercises and founded the society of Jesus.

History of the Ignatian Spirituality Center 

 

 

In the late 1980s, Jesuits from Rockhurst University, St. Francis Xavier Parish and Rockhurst High School began providing opportunities for lay people to experience the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Over the next 10 years the numbers of people making the Spiritual Exercises increased each year. Interest grew rapidly! 

Alumni, whose lives had been radically changed, campaigned for an organized program to train prayer guides in the Ignatian tradition for the sole purpose of helping more lay people to make the Spiritual Exercises.

Fr. James Blumeyer, S.J.

Fr. James Blumeyer, S.J.

In August 2001, an Ignatian Spirituality Program was formally established in Kansas City with St. Francis Xavier Church serving as its base of operation. Fr. James Blumeyer, S.J. was appointed Assistant Pastor at the parish with the operation of the program as his primary responsibility.

The program grew into the Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City, serving the Kansas City Metropolitan area with short Ignatian prayer programs and providing training and strong support for Ignatian prayer guides to give the Spiritual Exercises.

Today we have over 40 trained Ignatian prayer guides, 35o Alumni of the Spiritual Exercises and over 1,000 people who have participated in our short programs.

 

MEET SOME OF OUR IGNATIAN PRAYER GUIDES

 

 
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RAY 
The Spiritual Exercises gave me the gift to know and love Jesus in a deeper, more intimate way. My interior life was strengthened and now, as a Prayer Guide, I’m able to be present with others and witness their discovery of who Jesus is for them.

EILEEN
The Spiritual Exercises have brought me to a new awareness of God's presence in my life. The Examen helps me to notice how Jesus is helping me on a daily basis. It's amazing to see how He works in my life and in the lives of those I guide in the Spiritual Exercises. 

JOSIE
Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises was life-giving and transformative. Now I guide others through the Sp.Ex’s. I love participating in their transformation process and, as I pray for them and with them, I continue to be transformed.

RICH
The Spiritual Exercises taught me, one small step at a time, to become more aware of God in the present moment. I’m deeply grateful for God’s grace that drew me to commit to a deeper prayer life and a closer relationship with Jesus. I'm in my third year of training to be a Prayer Guide. 

MARY ANNE
I experienced the Spiritual Exercises in 2003. It was and is, a great gift which offers peace and a deeper connection with Jesus Christ. I’ve guided the Spiritual Exercises since 2006. It’s always a humbling and sacred experience.

 
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Ignatius


"Lord, grant that I may see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly." — St. Ignatius, (Sp. Ex. #104) 

Ignatius


"Lord, grant that I may see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly." — St. Ignatius, (Sp. Ex. #104) 

WHO IS ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA?

 

 

Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, the thirteenth child of a noble family. Ignatius left Loyola to take up life at court at the age of 16. Gallant, brave and honorable he became a soldier at the age of twenty-six and engaged in minor skirmishes for the Crown. In 1521, the French attacked Pamploma where Ignatius was stationed with his small band of soldiers. They were outnumbered in battle but Ignatius refused to give up the city. A cannonball thundered through the walls of the fortress and shattered Ignatius’ leg. 

The re-setting of his leg was a failure. During convalescence at Loyola, Ignatius noticed a protrusion of bone and realized one leg was shorter than the other. Fearful that the deformity would put an end to his career as a Knight, Ignatius commanded doctors to break and reset his leg and saw off the protruding bone. For 6 months Ignatius was immobile. Wracked with pain, Ignatius had nothing to do but to be still and read. His caregiver could only find two books in the family castle, “The Life of Christ” and a book of stories about the saints. 

As Ignatius reflected on what he was reading and dreamed about his future, he noticed and paid attention to the interior reactions that he was experiencing. He realized that dreams of returning to his life as a Knight, although initially attractive, left him feeling inwardly dry and discontented. On the other hand when he imagined devoting his life to Christ like the saints had done, he experienced a deep sense of joy. This was the beginning of Ignatius journey into spiritual discernment and His adventure with God. 

When he recovered, Ignatius left his stately home with a dream of going to Jerusalem. He travelled extensively, gave away his worldly possessions and focused on caring for the sick and the poor. For a period of 10 months he stayed at Manresa, spending hours in solitary prayer and working with the terminally ill. It was during this period that Ignatius carefully discerned the interior movements within his soul: the feelings, thoughts, desires and attractions that led him toward intimacy with Christ and alternative movements: reactions, feelings, thoughts and distractions that drew him away from Christ and hindered his spiritual growth. At Manresa Ignatius had several experiences of Christ that marked his life and led him to see the world in a new way. He began to record his spiritual insights and have conversations with others about the spiritual life, always being careful to record what he learned and experienced. These notes later became the foundation for a manual on prayer, which he would name the Spiritual Exercises.

At the age of thirty-three, Ignatius decided to train for the Priesthood. Unfortunately, he had no knowledge of Latin which was necessary for a vocation in the Church. So he returned to school and studied Latin with children for two years. He later went on to the University of Paris to study theology and philosophy. Throughout his years of study he continued to preach, teach and offer the Spiritual Exercises. He was arrested by the Spanish Inquisition on more than one occasion. Although they limited his public teaching, they found no heresy in the Spiritual Exercises and did not prohibit Ignatius from offering them.

Whilst studying in Paris, young men were drawn by Ignatius' experience of God and his vision to serve Christ in the world. Together they professed vows of chastity and poverty. They travelled, preached, gave the Spiritual Exercises and served in hospitals. 

Ignatius was ordained as a Priest in Venice in 1537. He still had a dream of traveling to the Holy Land but was now prohibited from going due to the war between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Ignatius and his band of men headed toward Rome. Along the way, Ignatius experienced another mystical vision in the town of La Sorta. This vision would inspire the mission that the band of men committed to: “to know, love and serve Jesus Christ," and it would inform their choice of name: “The Society of Jesus.” 

Their religious order was formally constituted by the Pope in 1540 and the Jesuits dispersed throughout the world to serve those in greatest need. Ignatius spent his latter years in Rome writing the constitutions of the Jesuit Order and refining the Spiritual Exercises. He died on July 31st, 1556. At his death the society had over a thousand men working throughout Europe, Japan and South America. The Spiritual Exercises continue to be foundational to the identity of "The Society of Jesus" and their mission and ministry of service in the world. Ignatius was canonized in 1622.

 

MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

DR. JIM CACCAMO, PH.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 
Dr. Caccamo made the Spiritual Exercises in 2002, and is a trained Ignatian prayer guide. Jim served in several executive positions within Education and Health and is Founder and President of Caccamo & Associates where he consulted with the Kansas Health Foundation for Children’s Health Initiatives. Jim continues to serve on the Co-ordinating Board for Early Childhood for the State of Missouri and is a community advisory to the Junior League of Kansas City.

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FR. VERN HEINSZ, S.J.
Fr. Vern Heinsz S.J. has worked in education and spirituality for most of his career. For the past 15 years, Fr. Heinsz has focused on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola by directing the Exercises, training lay directors, offering courses on Ignatian spirituality and giving Days of Prayer.

FR. STEVE YAVORSKY, S.J.
Is a gifted retreat facilitator, a committed spiritual director and an avid reader of Ignatian Spirituality. He currently serves as Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish In Kansas City. Previously he served in parishes, retreat houses, Spirituality Centers and missions, including six years in Rwanda. In 2004 he founded the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Denver Colorado and in 2017 he will celebrate 40 years as a priest and 53 years as a Jesuit. 

ROBERT BACIC 
Robert made the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life in 2006 and became an Ignatian prayer guide in 2010. A state approved mediator and trainer in Kansas, Robert is actively involved in interfaith work in Kansas City. He is director of Stewardship & Development for Church of the Holy Cross and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Johnson County Community College. Robert and his wife, Amy (an Alum of the Spiritual Exercises) have three boys and three girls.

TERESA HAMILTON 
Teresa made the Spiritual Exercises in 2002 and is a trained Ignatian prayer guide. Teresa is the owner of J & T Commercial Realty and is Founder and President of Giving the Basics, a charity providing human dignity products across the KC Metro area. Teresa and her husband Bob have been married for 33 years and  have 12 children. Together they founded Bob Hamilton Plumbing 31 years ago where Teresa continues to serve as Vice President.

MARK THOMPSON 
Mark is chairman at the Country Club Trust Company. Mark has an extensive background with the Jesuits as a graduate of Rockhurst High School, Georgetown University and Georgetown Law. He is a member of Visitation Church and completed the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life through the Ignatian Spirituality Center.

SUSAN FRIEDRICHSEN 
Susan made the Exercises in 2004-2005 and trained to become an Ignatian prayer guide. Currently Susan mentors new guides in giving the Spiritual Exercises and is the coordinator and co-teacher of our Prayer Companions program. Susan is a certified spiritual director and holds an MA in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University. 

RICH SCHERMERHORN 
Rich made the Spiritual Exercises in daily life in 2012 In addition to training to be an Ignatian Payer guide Rich serves on the Center’s Marketing Committee. A veteran of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force, Rich has served with Sprint in technical roles for 16 years. Rich and his wife Angela have a daughter and two sons.

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MONA SNIDER 
Mona made the Spiritual Exercises in daily life in 2005. Having received her certification in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats from Creighton University, Mona enjoys giving both group and individual spiritual direction in the Ignatian Tradition, mentoring our new guides and co-teaching our Peer Supervision Instruction program. Mona and her husband Bruce have three children.