Last Friday night and Saturday morning I joined Fr. Phil Hurley, the Apostleship of Prayer's youth and young adult director, and three other Jesuits (aka the Jesuit Mission Band which included Michael Rossman and Joseph Simmons, both Jesuit scholastics or seminarians studying at Loyola in Chicago, and Fr. Brian Dunkle, a doctoral student at Notre Dame) for a "Hearts on Fire" event at the Sacred Heart Pastoral Center next to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. These events for young adults began last summer and we have been able to continue them during the school year at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York). Next summer Fr. Phil and the Jesuit Mission Band will go to five East Coast Cities before going to World Youth Day where they will team up with the Knights of Columbus, the Sisters of Life, and several other groups at a site called the "Love and Life Center." A recent issue of the Knights of Columbus magazine Columbia had an article about all this. The Jesuit Mission Band will be giving presentations there throughout World Youth Day.
The South Bend event was my first experience of the "Hearts on Fire" retreat which includes talks, prayer, music, and a coffee house setting for socializing on Friday night. I was very impressed with how the retreat combined, in such a short time, key elements of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and the offering and heart-centered spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer. Over 60 young adults came to the South Bend event and it was a blessing for me to be with them for part of their retreat.