Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality Provides Virtual Support to Community

Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality Provides Virtual Support to Community

Image of the Dolan House

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality, located in Fairfield University's Dolan House.

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality is offering the greater community an array of programming — from one-on-one spiritual direction to virtual retreats — to help provide connection and guidance through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fairfield University’s Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality is offering the greater community an array of virtual spiritual programming designed to not only maintain interpersonal connection, but also foster a spiritual connection to help guide participants through these uncertain times brought on by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

One-on-one spiritual direction meetings are now taking place via Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype; these personalized meetings are available for anyone seeking a deeper connection with God. The Murphy Center's Assistant Director Martha Haley estimated that the meetings have amassed more than 200 participants since moving to virtual platforms. “Over 50 percent of which are from outside the campus community, and are either alumni or friends of the University,” she said. “I would estimate that we have had a 10 percent increase due to the pandemic.”

Additionally, in March the Center launched a weekly Ignatian Virtual Retreat that takes place on Zoom every Tuesday at 1 p.m. through May 12. Open to anyone in the University community, the Diocese of Bridgeport, the Knights of Malta, and beyond, these weekly one-hour presentations on Ignatian Spirituality have so far bridged the virtual divide and transcended geography. 

“Over 100 people ‘Zoom in' weekly,” said Haley. “We have folks Zooming from Italy to Florida to Washington State.”

With these two virtual experiences already underway, the Murphy Center has still more in the works. In response to outreach from Bridgeport Hospital, they have joined with neuropsychologist Charlotte Tomaino, PhD, author of Awakening the Brain: The Neuropsychology of Grace, to develop a training program for spiritual directors to accompany and support those working on the front lines of the pandemic.

With the first training session set to take place via Zoom on Saturday, April 18, the program will aim to address needs both within and beyond the University community. “Our outreach will be directed toward support for health care workers, their families, and students who return to campus struggling with spiritual issues as a result of traumatic stress,” Haley said.

For more information on any of the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality’s offerings, please contact Martha Haley at mhaley1@fairfield.edu.

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Last modified: 04-17-20 2:12 AM

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