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Book release and lecture focuses on Ignation spiritual exercises

Loyola press release - February 22, 2010

“Who has God called me to be?” That is the question the Rev. Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., ponders in his new book “Putting on the Heart of Christ: How the Spiritual Exercises Invite Us to a Virtuous Life.”

Fagin, along with Sister Noël Toomey, O.P., and the Rev. Mark Thibodeaux, S.J., will discuss his book on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., in the St. Charles Room of the Loyola University New Orleans Danna Student Center. Proceeds from sales of the book that night will benefit the Loyola Institute for Ministry Scholarship Fund. The discussion and reception following it are free and open to the public. Fagin will sign copies of his book during the reception.

Fagin, who is an associate professor of systematic theology and spirituality in LIM, teaches courses on spirituality, morality, ethics, church sacraments and ministry and Christian discernment and decision-making. His book explores and explains 15 virtues, including gratitude, reverence and compassion, the life of St. Ignatius Loyola and his “Spiritual Exercises,” all within the context of Scripture.

The “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius” are a process of prayer and discernment that leads people to openness and commitment to God’s call in their lives. Fagin is a passionate promoter of the exercises.

“By reflecting on Christian virtues, I discovered a new appreciation of the graces of the exercises and their role in a person’s ongoing spiritual formation,” Fagin said. “I hope to broaden the focus of the exercises from simply making decisions to the lifelong process of spiritual growth, from what I am called to do to who I am called to be.”

“I hope the book will give the reader a new perspective on the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ and a renewed awareness of the importance of virtues in their spiritual lives.”

Housed in the College of Social Sciences, LIM has operated a successful ministry education program that is both Catholic and ecumenical. It has pioneered distance education through its unique extension model in the United States and abroad since 1983.

For more information on the book signing, or to schedule an interview with Fagin, contact Catherine Koppel in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or ckoppel@loyno.edu.