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September 2014

Posted September 01, 2014 in Press Releases

Dear Friend of Jesuit Retreat House,

I write this first letter to our Jesuit Retreat House community and friends with deep gratitude for having the opportunity to serve as the new Executive Director beginning July 1. My personal journey of prayer and discernment leading to this inspiring new turn in my life has been blessed with a profound sense of feeling my life in God’s hands, and the belief that this role is truly the best use of my gifts in this phase of my life. I am everinspired by the First Principle and Foundation of Ignatius, and the core image of “Finding God in all things.” I want to do all that I can to serve people individually and communally in ways that bring the gift of Ignatian spirituality more deeply into their lives.

My 8-day silent directed retreat in June was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I discovered a depth of presence with God unlike any time in my life. The Spiritual Exercises brought forth an experience of God’s love and the life of Christ in a deeply moving and inspiring way. I have come away so wanting to find the right words and images that could inspire others to understand and make the time for such a life-giving gift. In pondering the words of Christ in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” I am struck by the need for each of us to take the first step, to come, to make time, to say Yes! A retreat can be a wonderful way for these words to be fulfilled. – whether it be for a weekend, a few days, 8 days. Even from an economic standpoint, it is one of the best values in the world – as well as a life-changing experience.

I am honored to build on the legacy and love of Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC for the mission and ministry of JRH. We each found much joy in the transition as well as a commitment to sustain an ongoing relationship. Sr. Mary Ann will continue to do the retreats, programs and spiritual direction she loves to do at JRH.

During my four-month transition process and my first month as Executive Director, I have listened to many people sharing the history and stories of JRH. I am very impressed by what I have seen and heard about the powerful ways in which God's grace and blessings are present in the lives of people we serve through the retreats and programs that are core strengths of JRH.

In this newsletter you will see the beginning of a new collaboration with Heart to Heart Communications based in Akron, being developed with Fr. Norm Douglas, Larry Vuillemin and Tony Vento. Since 1990, over 30,000 persons have attended their programs in corporate and community settings, with a focus on the connection between the individual’s inner development and the vitality of every workplace.

I also hope to build new opportunities for collaborating with our JRH friends and the wider community in creating retreats, programs and conversations that can make a life-giving difference in people’s lives, centered in “Finding God in all things.” Please feel free to contact me with your ideas and possibilities.

God be with you,

Richard S. Krivanka, Executive Director

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