Young Ignatian Pilgrims Prepare for WYD Experience at Home

As around two million young Catholics make arrangements to travel to Brazil next month for Magis and World Youth Day (WYD), several dozen in the UK are been offered the opportunity to take part in an Ignatian experience closer to home.

MAGIS: The Ignatian Preparation for WYD@Home for young adults aged 18-30 will begin on Monday 22 July 2013, with three days of experiences, times of service and reflection rooted in the Ignatian tradition. At the end of this initial period at Broadstairs in Kent, the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, will celebrate a missioning Mass for them on Friday 26 July before they travel to Aylesford Priory where they will join other young Catholics from across the country for WYD@Home.

The Magis initiative is a pastoral experience of Ignatian programmes and events in the days leading up to World Youth Day for pilgrims from Jesuit institutions. It was started in 1997 before the WYD held in Paris, although it was not officially known as Magis until 2005, in Cologne, Germany. Since then it has been celebrated prior to WYDs in Sydney and in Madrid.

Organized by the Society of Jesus and other institutions inspired by St Ignatius Loyola, Magis gets its name from the Jesuit phrase meaning 'the more'. The roots of the phrase come from Ignatius himself, the founder of the Jesuits, who encouraged those who follow Christ to examine their ability to do more for him and, in turn, for others. It is an expression of an aspiration and inspiration of Ignatius and is a tenet of Ignatian Spirituality.

Up to two dozen young Catholics with links to Ignatian institutions are expected to take part in Magis at Broadstairs on the Kent coast, between 22 and 26 July, before joining the main WYD@Home gathering at Aylesford Priory.

Christine Hobden, who has been helping to plan the event, is enthusiastic about getting more young adults involved. "I encountered Ignatian Spirituality through the Magis 2011 experience and it changed my life," she says. "I want to share that opportunity with others!"

Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ, the coordinator of the Young Adult Ministry of the Jesuits in Britain describes Magis as a gift to share with others. "Over the years - and three papacies - young Catholics have come to appreciate the richness of the Magis process. Having originally experienced Ignatian Spirituality through their schools, colleges, parishes or other encounters with Jesuits, they have appreciated the way it has helped them to focus on their own relationship with God and how they can give 'more' in their lives to other people."

For those young Catholics who are unable - for whatever reason - to travel to Brazil for this year's World Youth Day - which will be attended by Pope Francis (a Latin American and a Jesuit), WYD@Home at Aylesford will provide the chance for them to gather, serve, reflect and celebrate being a younger member of a very universal Church. There will be live link-ups with Rio and the event will follow the rhythm of World Youth Day in Brazil, with Stations of the Cross, times of catechesis and an all-night vigil.

Accommodation will be simple and the cost (excluding travel) is £125. For further information contact Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ at


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