John J. English, S.J.

In the last thirty years of the twentieth century
there was an unprecedented renewal in the practice of personal spiritual guidance.
John J. English, S.J. (1924-2004)
was one of the major pioneers of this movement in North America.
In the early summer of 1969, he began the personally directed Spiritual Exercises,
with a program that was called the "Institute on Practical Asceticism"
at Loyola House of the Guelph Centre Of Spirituality.

          Until the time of his death he conducted spirituality workshops and training sessions there and throughout Canada, the United States, Britain, Ireland, Spain, India and Japan. He served as director of Loyola House, Guelph Canada for eight years. In his last few years he lived in the Jesuit community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, from where he continued to foster the work of Ignatian spirituality with its various connections such as Christian Life Communities, communal forms of spirituality, on-going spiritual mentoring, personally directed retreats, spirituality and group processes, consensual and participatory forms of decision-making, etc.

          His original book, "Spiritual Freedom: from an experience of the Ignatian Exercises to the art of spiritual direction"(1973) has become a classic.  Spiritual Freedom 2nd Edition, is now revised and updated, in a completely new format and with several new chapters explaining how Ignatian thought applies to our present world. Using his own extensive experience as a spiritual guide, John English leads the reader through the meditations of the Spiritual Exercises.

A resource for both directors and directees
it is now published by:
Loyola University Press, Chicago, 1995.
 ISBN:0829408231 -- Binding: Paperback -- Pages: 311 -- Size: 6 x 9 

          About this book, Marie Schwan, CSJ wrote: "English is always true to the Exercises, always sensitive to the retreatant. I have no doubt that my copy of the second edition of Spiritual Freedom will soon be as dog-eared and worn as my copy of the first."

          At the time of John English's death, Michael Higgins of St. Jerome's University,Waterloo, wrote an article in the Toronto Star, concerning John English's passing, entitled, "Canadian Jesuit Embodied Bracing Power Of Joy" (click title). 

Click here for
Some Personal Reflections 
On The Development Of The
Personally Directed Retreat Movement 
And The 
Work Of J. J. English, S.J.
Through The Guelph Centre Of Spirituality

Click here for The Details Of John English's Death And Funeral


click image

click image

Return To Homepage