SANTUARIO DE LOYOLA – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
When the delegates of the 71st Congregation of Procurators meet this May, they’ll be gathering at the Santuario de Loyola, in Spain. The shrine is home to a state-of-the-art meeting space, spirituality center, youth hostel, an 18th Century basilica, museum, library, and the castle of the Loyola family. It’s a campus steeped in history, abound with opportunities for reflection and learning, and designed to make the site accessible to visitors of all kinds. However, to describe Loyola as a tourist spot, academic research center, convention center or church is to ignore its significance to Jesuits around the world - past, present and future. For the Jesuits, Loyola isn’t just the native place of the founder of the Society of Jesus, nor is it just part of Ignatius’ history - where he first experienced conversion as he convalesced from his near-fatal wound suffered at Pamplona - rather, Loyola is a place where we acknowledge the past to look to the future.
It’s no wonder then that the 71st Congregation of Procurators will gather Jesuits from all parts of the world at Loyola, giving them access to the graces of the Santuario as they discern and discuss the future of the Society of Jesus. But those graces are not limited to the delegates and those attending this international meeting with global ministry implications. Loyola is a place of pilgrimage, where all can look for, and possibly find, consolation, conversion, inspiration and the gift of tears.
Sunny D’Costa, a Jesuit scholastic from the Province of Calcutta who will be ordained to the priesthood in the coming year, recently completed a pilgrimage to Loyola. As Sunny spent time praying, contemplating, and discerning in the same places as did Ignatius hundreds of years ago, he captured a series of images that he believed are representing in an inspiring way his experience of this sacred space. In the following photo essay, we share those images with you, in hopes that they may likewise bring you grace and insight.