Document Type



Orientation programs at Jesuit universities often include a review of the life of Ignatius. What is missing from the official history of Ignatius are the stories of the women with whom he lived and worked who contributed financially, politically, and emotionally to Ignatius’ formation and that of the early Jesuits. What is also missing is a critical feminist analysis of the historical context out of which Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises and the Society of Jesus were born. In this article, I argue that women provided essential scaffolding to bolster Ignatius’ identity and vocation, and likewise to contribute to the early establishment and pastoral work of the Society, and that the Spiritual Exercises were a means through which this collaboration happened. I look at three moments in the life of the Society that illustrate the relationship between women and Jesuits that could be shared at Jesuit educational institutions as part of mission formation programs that seek to move Jesuit universities to a deeper engagement with social justice, diversity and inclusion.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.