Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Campaign Of Ignatian Retreats

Fr. Francis de Paule Vallet
Francis de Paule Vallet's entrance into the Jesuits followed an Ignatian retreat. But he didn’t enter the Jesuits to follow a religious vocation as an untried young man. He entered tested by trial, converted by grace and pre-occupied with one great idea: to convert the world and turn it back to Christ by converting the adult man. The question and its resolution were clear: Convert the world by getting adult men to do the Exercises and do them well. He threw his whole soul into the novitiate and sought ardently after perfection. The testimony of his saintly Novice Master amply proves the purity and goodness of his soul. But more striking than this is that the serious Jesuit fathers permitted the young Vallet to organize a campaign of retreats during his novitiate. Though he couldn’t preach, he was the driving organizing impetus behind a campaign of retreats that within a couple years drew over 1800 men. Completing his novitiate in 1909, Fr. Vallet followed the classical Jesuit curriculum for eleven years. Two years after His priestly ordination in 1920, he was given his first assignment to preach retreats in Manresa. From this time on he would devote his energies to the realization of his divinely inspired plan: the conversion of the adult man through the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. To meet this objective, Fr. Vallet, with the permission and approval of his beloved superiors, left the Jesuits to found the Parish Cooperators of Christ the King. Parish Cooperators devoted themselves entirely to the preaching of the Ignatian Retreat. A retreat campaign began by a series of preparatory conferences given in various places in the target regions.These conferences were directed by the Father but were complemented by the testimony of one or more Parish Cooperators. There then followed intense publicity which included the foot-work of Parish Cooperators going door to door, speaking in public places, taverns and barbershops, etc. After this preparatory work came the campaign of retreats itself. One retreat was preached and then followed by two or three others. The retreats always increased in numbers because the alumni of one retreat became the ardent promoters for the next.

The following figures will give an idea of the effectiveness of the first 5 years 
of Fr. Vallet’s campaigns in Spain:

1923 In three campaigns of 19 retreats 1,293 retreatants
1924 In five campaigns of 27 retreats 1,400 retreatants for a total of 2,697
1925 In five campaigns of 35 retreats 2,620 retreatants for a total of 5,317
1926 " " " 3,223 retreatants for a total of 8,540
1927 " " " 4,103 retreatants for a total of 12,643
Link (here) to read the full story at The Society of St. Pius X 

Link (here) to a current Ignatian retreat campaign. 
"Hearts on Fire"


Maria said...

pre-occupied with one great idea: to convert the world and turn it back to Christ

Now it seems like they are hell bent on a mission to convince the world of the virtues of turning its back on Christ and the Church He founded...

Anonymous said...

Just think what 100 Jesuits could do?