Christine A. Gerety, Ph.D., Director of Spiritual Care & Engagement | (310) 566-1531
During the 1530s, St. Ignatius Loyola began writing about the emotions that took hold of him — feelings of gratitude and anguish, consolation and sadness — while encountering the scriptures. Those meditations eventually became the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, first published in 1548.
The Spiritual Exercises is a compilation of meditations, prayers, and other contemplative practices. It is not like other classics in Western spirituality that are typically read from beginning to end. It is more like a handbook, especially for use by spiritual directors who accompany and guide people through this dynamic process of reflection.
Taken from Jesuit West Province; June 2021
The retreat is an opportunity to deepen one’s relationship with Christ using one of the most noted spiritual formation programs in the history of the Catholic Church. Trained spiritual directors accompany a retreatant in weekly meetings of 45-60 minutes as they reflect on the Scriptures and their own relationship with Christ. While some retreats can be done face to face, most are completed by zoom due to the location of the director and directee.
Persons interested in SEEL are encouraged to have had a prior regular daily practice of prayer and be open to continuing daily prayer of 30-60 minutes a day during the 9-month period of the retreat. During the retreat you have the option of meeting once a month with other retreatants whether in person or by zoom to share your experience.
Our 2022-2023 Retreat class is filled. We will begin taking applications in early Summer 2023 for our 2023-2024 program.
Applications are accepted on a first come first-serve basis with a requested fee of $600 per retreatant for those that are willing to be connected to a Spiritual Director.
Partial scholarships are available following discussion for any program offering the Spiritual Exercises, contact to inquire.
If interested, you are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as you discern a call to experience the retreat given the limited availability this year for guiding retreatants.
The SEEL retreat is an opportunity to deepen one's relationship with Christ using one of the most noted spiritual formation programs in the history of the Catholic Church. Spiritual Directors will accompany you in weekly meetings for 45-60 minutes, as you reflect on the scriptures and your own relationship with Christ.
While some of the retreats can be done face to face, many utilize zoom. A prior regular daily practice of prayer and being open to continuing daily prayer for 30-60 minutes a day outside of your retreat time is strongly encouraged.
There will also be optional opportunities to meet with other retreatants once a month for SEEL fellowship and to share your experience.
Our 2022-2023 Retreat class is filled. We will begin taking applications in Spring 2023 for our 2023-2024 program. If you would like to be added to the interest list for the 2023-2024, please email us at
Jim Arena has worked as a transformation leader and executive coach for Silicon Valley companies for most of his career and knows first-hand the excitement and difficulty of change in developing new breakthrough opportunities conceived by technology companies. He typically is working with executives where change comes fast and often unpredictable. Jim is intrigued by the wisdom that develops when you work closely with others whether it leads to success or fails. Jim has personally seen those experiences turn into a desire to surrender to Christ and help others on an even more significant life-fulfilling journey. He’s been trained in the Spiritual Exercises through the Center of Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento, California in 2018. He also completed the 3-year Institute for Leadership in Ministry, a lay-leadership program, for the Catholic Diocese of San Jose. He is married to Kathy with two young adult children who teach him how to be their best dad. He loves to bicycle nearly anywhere. You might find him on a road near you.
Dan Brutocao’s spiritual journey has been influenced by Ignatian spirituality for the past 10 years, through such experiences as SEEL/19th Annotation programs, FIRE, and the recent completion of the 30-day Retreat for the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. He lives with his wife, Dian, in their empty nest in Spokane, Washington, and is now retired from his medical practice. When not traveling to visit their five children, they are often continuing their education through pilgrimages and programs, such as walking the Camino de Santiago, and the Giving the Exercises program at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento. He also enjoys long distance running, fishing and golf.
"I currently minister as a spiritual director for SEEL Spokane, WA. I have a thriving 39-year marriage with five adult children and four grandchildren. In my early years I worked as an RN in the intensive care unit. I have served on parish council at St. Peter’s Spokane, WA as well as president of such, the Catholic Foundation of Eastern WA, Vocations Admissions Advisory Board- Bishop White Seminary Spokane, WA, Grant Distribution Committee Chairwoman for the diocese of Spokane. In my later years I returned to school at Gonzaga University and received a bachelor degree in Religious Studies followed by a Masters in Theology with an emphasis in pastoral ministry from the University of Portland. I became a spiritual director in 2014 and have continued directing the Spiritual Exercises in Spokane, in FIRE Holy Spirit Parish (an intensive Christian leadership formation program, 2016) and FIRE St. Monica Parish (a nine-month retreat in the Spiritual Exercises with concurrent communal discernment, 2020/21). I enjoy companioning with others who desire a deepening relationship with God."
Pat was introduced to the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life when she had to make a vocational decision. To assist her, a Carmelite nun offered to direct her in The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Since then I have been trained in the 3-year Pierre Favre Spiritual Exercises in Daily Living Program at Jesuit Retreat Center, Los Altos. Now I direct individuals, as well as groups depending on the situation, for example, The Institute for Leadership in Ministry of The Diocese of San Jose (ILM) and The Mercy Center Burlingame’s Spiritual Direction Program.
Sr. Maria has been a Sister of Mercy for 45 years and has been involved in high school ministry for 25 years. She has taught at Mercy High School, Bishop Manogue High School, Christian Brothers High School, and Cristo Rey High school. Sr. Maria also has 15 years of administrative experience in high school. S.r Maria is currently working for the Diocese of Sacramento as the Seminarian Formation Coordinator. She is trained as a Spiritual Director through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Baltimore and is trained as an Ignatian Spiritual Director through the Los Altos Jesuit Retreat Center. Sr. Maria serves on the Ignatian Spirituality Formation Team for the Spanish speaking Deacon Candidates for the Diocese of Sacramento. Sr. Maria has also worked in Latin America and has empowered women to form cooperatives in Chiapas, Mexico. Sr. Maria has also helped with immersion programs for many years in the summer taking students to Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.
Cynthia Cass, J.D., enjoyed 28 years of an active law practice before retiring to concentrate on a retreat ministry and immersing herself in the richness of Ignatian spirituality. Her law practice was concentrated on advising nonprofit organizations, including No. Valley Catholic Social Services. Cynthia has served on the Board of Trinity Co. Catholic Social Services and as a major donor officer for a large homeless mission in Redding, California. Cynthia has established soup kitchens in remote areas of Northern California, has been involved in parish religious education and is an Associate with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
Linda lives in San Jose, CA where she has served in various adult formation ministry roles for more than 20 years: Parish Director of Faith Formation, Diocesan Director of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry, Director of Advanced Lay Leader Program, Deacon Formation Board, and Council of Lay Ecclesial Ministers. Linda has served on the National Association of Lay Ministry Board, an organization providing vision, leadership, and advocacy for lay ministers. Currently, Linda leads workshops and retreats on prayer and spirituality. She is a member of Holy Spirit Parish and serves on the Pastoral Council. She is passionate about guiding others through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Linda holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Santa Clara University. Linda also completed 32 units of core and elective coursework in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries M.A. Program at Santa Clara University. She has a certificate of completion from the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (DSJ) as well as from the Pierre Favre Program, a three-year program which trains individuals to give the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Linda participated in the Ignatian Spirituality Leadership pilot program, FIRE, at her parish in San Jose.
After teaching first grade for twenty years, Tracy retired and began a new journey, focused on prayer and spirituality. Tracy graduated from the University of Portland with a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry in 2013. She has completed the SEEL Program and has been trained in “Giving the Spiritual Exercises” through the Center of Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento. As part of her spiritual journey, Tracy has been instructed in Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina as well as teaching religious education in Colorado and Oregon. She is a member of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish and has two adult children.
William Ferguson completed Giving The Exercises training through the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Sacramento in 2021. He grew up finding God in the natural beauty of San Diego's mountains, deserts and beaches, in the wildflowers and under the stars. He studied physics at the University of Southern California then joined the California Province of the Society of Jesus for twelve years. He was formed in Ignatian Spirituality as a Jesuit Scholastic, earning Masters degrees in Philosophy and Divinity. He learned to respect the teaching profession, trying his hand at Freshman religion, honors physics, and AP Chemistry at Brophy and then Bellarmine College Preparatories. Science and Religion have been convergent pathways on his spiritual journey. Teilhard de Chardin has been one of his luminaries, with "Finding God in all things" being one of his guiding spiritual principles. After leaving the Society of Jesus, he married Heeyang Hong and with her has been blessed with three children who are all too rapidly moving into and through their adolescence. He is a board certified member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and currently leads the spiritual care department at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.
Cristine Goodman volunteered at the Jesuit Retreat Center for many years and is a graduate of the Pierre Favre Program. She has been a Spiritual Director at the Catherine Center, a residential program for women recently released from prison, sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo. She has co-led directed retreats at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos. She has also been a spiritual director in the Pilot FIRE program at Holy Spirit Parish in San Jose and has worked in the spiritual development component of the Diocese of San Jose’s Institute for Leadership in Ministry. Cristine has also accompanied souls during 8-day silent retreats at the Jesuit Retreat Center, Los Altos and has directed several people in the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL) as well as general spiritual direction. She is married and the mother of four adult children. Before retiring, Cris served professionally as an attorney.
Ron is a retired Ernst & Young partner where he spent the majority of his professional career advising large high technology clients. Ron lives in San Jose and is a parishioner at Holy Spirit Parish where he has served the past three years as the chair of the Pastoral Council. Ron currently serves as a Board member and / or advisor to many non-profit organizations including the Drexel Schools Board of Trustees; The First Tee of Silicon Valley; the Hallagan / Huston Family Foundation; and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurism. Ron has completed the Spiritual Exercises (19th annotation) and is currently a director in training to deliver the Spiritual Exercises through St. Ignatius’ Center for Ignatian Spirituality.
Maurice aspires to live a life that is spiritually driven and believes in striving to discover the person that the Divine created each of us to be -- which is a personal journey of discovery, healing, and joy -- one that moves our experience of the Divine from the head down to the heart. His faith journey has been enriched by several mentors, where he has received spiritual direction himself for over 15 years. After completing the SEEL program in 2017, Maurice spent time as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain where he found affirmation for his desire to assist others with their own spiritual journeys. Professionally he works as a physician executive utilizing his clinical and business background to help shape the healthcare system around the country. He has been married for over 20 years and has young adult children.
Mary Hogarty holds a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Sacramento and a M.S. in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Mary holds a Certification in Spiritual Direction from Bread of Life, Sacramento and completed the Ignatian Spiritually Program through St. Ignatius parish in Sacramento. She worked as an Assistant Hospital Administrator for Kaiser Hospital, South Sacramento. She and her husband live in the El Dorado Hills, California. Mary strives to see God in all things and to do all things for the greater glory of God.
"My name is Heeyang Hong. I was born in Seoul, Korea and came to the US when I was 12 years old. After my undergraduate studies at UCSB, I worked as a translator in Korea and in the US for a few years. Then I studied theology at JST in Berkeley and got an M.Div in 2003. Since then I was married and now have three children who are 13, 11, and 9. We live in Sacramento and we are members of St. Ignatius Parish. I am currently working as a part time preschool teacher and volunteer as a catechist at our parish. The Spiritual Exercises are a very powerful experience that I would love to share with others. No doubt, it also helps me stay close to God in my everyday life."
Anne is a retired LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, who worked in several roles over her career at Trinity County Behavioral Health, as a Mental Health Case Manager, Clinician, County Alcohol and Drug Services Director, and finally as Agency Assistant Director. Anne also volunteered for 8 years as the Trinity County Northern Valley Catholic Social Services Advisory Board Chairperson. Anne is active in several ministries at St Patrick Parish, Weaverville, serving as the Pastoral Council Vice Chairperson, RCIA Coordinator, and Co-Director of Music. She is also serving as the Shasta Deanery Representative on the Bishop’s Diocesan Pastoral Council. Anne has been active in both Retreat and Music Ministry for 28 years. She is also as SNJMA, Associate for the Sisters of the Holy Names, Jesus and Mary. Anne has been companioning those making the Spiritual Exercises since 2017, when she completed the Pierre Favre Program at El Retiro Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, Ca. Anne has made both the 30-Day Silent Spiritual Exercises Retreat and the 30-Week Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. Anne lives in Northern California in Trinity County, has 2 adult children and 2 dogs, and enjoys hiking, and singing and playing guitar as a part of the music group, Trinity Peace.
John is a graduate of St Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, Ca. and Santa Clara University. He is married and a father of two adult children. For 33 years John has been involved in Recovery work, finding deep freedom and grace in 12-Step Spirituality. He completed an Ignatian Spirituality Leadership pilot program, FIRE, at his home parish of Holy Spirit, San Jose, Ca. in the Spring of 2016. John completed the 19th Annotation Retreat of the Spiritual Exercises at El Retiro in Los Altos. In the spring of 2017 John was trained in “Giving the Spiritual Exercises” through the Center of Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento. He finds Christ in his work with the homeless of San Jose and has been on four immersion trips working with the poor of Nicaragua. John has been a member of the San Francisco retreat team of the Ignatian Spirituality Project (Retreats for Homeless Men in Recovery) since 2013.
Sr. Susan McCarthy has been a Sister of Mercy for 50 years. She received her BA from Dominican College, San Rafael; her teaching credential from CSUS; and her MA in Education Administration from the University of San Francisco. She has served in a variety of leadership positions within the Sisters of Mercy as well as the Diocese of Sacramento for over forty years. She has been a spiritual guide to many and has led days of prayer and reflection for retreat groups. Presently she is a spiritual director through Mercy Center Auburn as well as the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Sacramento.
Teresa McCarthy was confirmed at St. Christopher Parish in 1993 and served as an RCIA sponsor for 5 years. She has actively participated in women’s faith sharing groups at St. Christopher and Holy Spirit Parishes ever since. For 32 years she has been involved in Recovery work, finding a deep freedom and grace in 12-Step Spirituality. She completed an Ignatian Spirituality Leadership program, FIRE, at her home parish of Holy Spirit, San Jose, in the Spring of 2016. She completed the 19th Annotation version of the Spiritual Exercises at El Retiro in Los Altos, California in the Spring of 2017. She has been trained in “Giving the Spiritual Exercises” through the Center of Ignatian Spirituality in Sacramento. Teresa co-led an “Experiencing God through Art “retreat with the Verbum Dei Sisters in the Fall of 2017. She finds Christ in her work with the homeless of San Jose and has been on five immersion trips working with the poor of Nicaragua. She is married and a mother of two adult children.
A “cradle Catholic” and freelance writer, Loretta Pehanich blogs monthly at IgnatianSpirituality.com and is the author of Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. She is a founder of Women in Conversation, a large-group spirituality ministry for women at St. Francis Parish. A spiritual director since 2013, Loretta completed a three-year internship in spiritual direction at the Bread of Life Center in Sacramento. Recently she completed the two-year course in giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius through the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Sacramento. With more than 20-years experience in ministry, including retreats, workshops and small group leadership, Loretta worked in public relations/communications/fundraising for the Diocese of San Jose, Bellarmine College Prep, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo, Christ the King Retreat Center and other nonprofits. She holds a bachelors’ degree from USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. She and her husband have four adult children and 10 grandchildren.
Shari has conducted workshops at Mercy Center Auburn focusing on spirituality and recovery. She has over 25 years of experience working in faith-based ministries including Mercy Housing CA and St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco. Shari completed the two-year Ignatian Spiritual Directors Program at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Sacramento in May, 2019. She has a Masters in Theological Studies with a focus on Christian Social Ethics and Healthcare Ethics from Santa Clara University-Jesuit School of Theology. She is a volunteer coordinator on the St. Francis Parish Faith Formation Team and she is a lecturer at the University of San Francisco. Since 2012, Shari has served as the Executive Director of Society for the Blind, a Sacramento-based non-profit providing education and low vision eye healthcare for people living with low vision and blindness.
Dino has always been interested in religion, prayer and spirituality. As chair of the Adult Religious Education Committee since 1994, his main focus at St. Ignatius Parish in Sacramento is learning and promoting Ignatian Spirituality. During his journey he realized that there was something missing in his life. Going through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, with the help of his spiritual director, he discovered that what was missing from his life is a deep personal relationship with God through prayer. Because the Spiritual Exercises were a life-changing experience for him, he deeply wants to help others who are interested in developing a closer relationship with God. Believing that God works through each person’s life story, Dino looks forward to accompanying others on their journey toward a closer relationship with God. Dino is a retired attorney, husband, father and grandfather.