Faced with substantial numbers of young adults leaving the Catholic Church, Charis was founded by the then Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus in 2000 to reach out to these young men and women with the unique gift of Ignatian Spirituality.  St. Ignatius of Loyola challenges us to find God in all things.  Charis helps young adults see this grace or “charis” in the midst of transitions in careers and relationships, in their struggles and joys.

Today, with and through our partners, Charis offers retreat experiences in the Jesuit tradition for men and women in their 20s and 30s, helping them to develop deeper spiritual lives and stronger connections to faith communities.

What is Ignatian Spirituality?

Ignatian Spirituality invites us to encounter God in the practical, real experiences of our daily lives.  Based on the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the 15th century patron saint of retreats, it promotes an understanding of God as an active, loving, and constant presence in our lives. In community with others, we respond to God’s love and come to know him through the world around us.

Seeing “God in all things,” the Ignatian contemplative strives to become a “man or woman for others,” demonstrating faith through everyday acts of love.  More than just a way of thinking or belief, Ignatian Spirituality is a concrete way of life that fosters deeper prayer, offers a medium for discernment, and nurtures a commitment to social justice. It is a spirituality of the heart that recognizes the sacredness of lived experience.

Our Programming

Life is busy, hectic, frenetic.  It can be challenging for those in their 20s and 30s as they negotiate the many transitions, challenges and obstacles life presents.  We believe that taking time off and time away is a welcome and necessary break in their lives.  Charis retreat experiences provide the practical tools of Ignatian spirituality in a community of peers, helping them to see God’s presence and work in their lives.

Our retreat experiences help form connections and community that can sustain that exploration and deepening of faith for years to come.  Click here to learn more about our eight themed retreats.