It's funny that the school year isn't but a few days old and I'm already making plans for the way I'll spend next summer. One of the great aspects of the Society of Jesus is that there is really an unlimited array of choices for spending one's summer. If you follow this link: Summer Opportunities you'll get a sense of what I'm talking about. Indeed, this list is certainly not exhaustive and the horizon of opportunity extends to the far reaches of the individual imagination.
One of the lessons I learned during my time at Loyola Medical Center is the importance of being a companion to other's during their times of need. Since I won't have enough German to go abroad this summer (Next year!) I began looking into various spiritual direction programs throughout the country. While I have little aspiration to spend my apostolic life in a retreat house (it'd be too quiet) I would truly love to be engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction throughout my Jesuit life.
In short, after looking at a variety of programs, I have settled on one not listed on the internet or one that even exists in any sort of formal way. Based on the ultimate approval of my formation director, I have asked Walt Farrell, SJ to guide me as a spiritual director. So next summer, if all goes according to plan, I will return to Detroit and hopefully direct several people on retreats. Learning from Walt is akin to learning from the teacher of Master Yoda from Star Wars. I don't know who taught Yoda, but he had to be pretty good...and Walt is better than "pretty good."
So that's "Ryan Update" number one. The second update is that I will not be playing the Mid-American Oireachtas this year. Due to a number of reasons, it is just not possible for me to play this year. It's sad - in the past 18 years or so, I think I've missed only one or two regional championships. Ah well, that's life. In its stead, I think I"ll go down to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Or I'll go stand outside the windows of the Today Show and wave like an idiot. Or I'll do both.
So there you have it. I'm off to pray for a bit (another plug for Pray As You Go and then I have two classes today: Aristotle and Theological Anthropology.