John F. Wickham, S.J., has been one of the creative forerunners of the directed retreat movement in North America. In the 1970's, while still lecturing in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Guelph, he joined the team of directors at Loyola House (which is part of what became known as the Guelph Centre of Spirituality) that conducted the thirty-day directed retreats. He contributed to the development of the directed retreat movement there during the next decade.
In the early eighties, he became the director of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre of Montreal where he carried on full-time retreat ministry -- giving workshops, preaching retreats, doing spiritual direction, forming future spiritual directors, facilitating team collaboration. He continued to research the knowledge base behind the Spiritual Exercises, to experiment and develop methods of forming prayer guides and of giving the directed retreat. Although he has recently passed on the director's mantle to his successor, he still works at the Ignatian Centre. Using his skills in literary analysis and his knowledge of cultural anthropology, he incorporates these aspects, along with contemporary theology and psychology, into his work with the Spiritual Exercises. He is constantly discovering ways of translating what Ignatius of Loyola meant in the context of his time and culture into the context of our time and culture. All these aspects influence the following very relevant books:
The Common Faith: A Contemporary Version Of The Basics of Christian Belief In A Communal Form by John Wickham, s.j. 2nd Edition, 1990: Ignatian Centre Publications Montreal, Canada. For excerpts of this book click here.