1979

At the invitation of Reme J. DeRoo, Bishop of Victoria, British Columbia, Jim and Joan Felling make an 8-day directed Ignatian retreat.

1981

Jim & Joan take additional training in Guelph and Jesuits are brought to Vancouver Island to train the prayer companions. Weekend retreats are started in parishes and the Spiritual Exercises (Annotation 19)

1988

Jim and Joan retire and move back to St. Louis. John English, SJ from Guelph, Ontario, Canada, comes to St. Louis and introduces them to Marie Schimelfening and Bob Johnston,

1989

Marie Schimelfening and Bob Johnston, SJ were planning to revive Bridges, but Marie was moving to New York to study at the United Nations. Jim and Joan Felling were asked to coordinate Bridges. Fathers

1990

Morning and evening session are held at the Cenacle on Spoede Road with 12 morning participants, 21 evening participants, and 16 Directors. An advisory Board is formed made up of Fathers Bob Doyle, SJ,

1991

Joseph Tetlow, SJ came to St. Louis University and joined the Advisory Board. An informal Prayer Companions Program is started to train lay directors of the Exercises. It is led by Joan Felling and

1992

A formal 2-year Prayer Companion Program begins which meets the 3rd Sunday of each month (September – May). The faculty consists of Rev. Joseph Tetlow, SJ, Sr. Marian Cowan, CSJ, and Mary

1993

A coordinator system is initiated to administer Bridges and the Missouri Province of Jesuits gives 6 scholarships to African Americans. The Cenacle Good Shepherd becomes a second site and is a more

1994

New coordinators assume duties for Bridges and Prayer Companions and Jim and Joan stay on for a year as backup while the transition takes place. Gail and Mike McDonough are Bridges

1995

A mentoring program was put into place this year by Sr. Marian Cowan, CSJ with the help fo Fr. Jim Blumeyer, SJ, Joan Felling and Mary Mondello. This was needed by

1996

The Mentoring Program was refined and felt to have increased the quality of our program. Those who were mentored during their first year of direction will continue to see their mentors

1997

Eight interns from Prayer Companions were being mentored weekly. We had 4 second-year interns meeting with their mentors monthly. It was decided that more support and training for directors was needed. The

1998

Dot Carnowske is working with Gail McDonough to take over as Overall Coordinator of Bridges and Prayer Companions. Coordinator was board leader. Lwanga and Cenacle close.

1999

Charlene Ricker takes over as Coordinator of the Bridges Program. Jean Smith becomes the Coordinator of Prayer Guides.

2000

Revised Mentoring Program.

2001

Bridges becomes non-profit which enables the pursuit of grants, a professional board and IRS status. Seattle Program (SEEL) is studied. Reformed Board, separate from operations. Foundation is established. Charlene becomes Director of Operations, a

2002

Hsin-hsin Huang, MSW, receives the Retreat in Daily Life and becomes active in Bridges by promoting a “post-Bridges I” experience that included anyone who has received the Exercises, called Journey’s End.

2003

Annual Meeting initiated. Formation of the Marketing Committee. Amy Fister directs and develops the first Bridges website.

2005

Formation of Bridges II program. This was designed to be a one year experience with prayer guides needing an additional year of training and formation. This involved shared presentation time followed by

2008

Bridges 1 site was opened in St. Peters, MO. Two mailings were begun—soliciting donations and informing the Ignatian community of Bridges programs. A list of resources was developed for Prayer Companions. Ambassador program refined. Testimonials

2010

Tom Simon writes “The Bridges Foundation of St. Louis—the Story”.  Work is completed on the Five Year Plan. Work begins to digitalize past recordings of Bridges talks. Cost of Bridges II is

2012

Bridges Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life is promoted in the White House newsletter, “Echoes”.  Bridges I becomes known as Bridges. Good Shepherd Spirituality Center at St. Nicholas Parish in O’Fallon,

2014

St. Joseph Parish in Manchester opens as a site for Bridges.  St. Francis Xavier College Church shares as a site. Fr. Joseph Tetlow, S.J. leads the Market Place Retreat

2015

Holy Spirit Parish is added as a Bridges site.

 

 Learn More About the History of the Bridges Foundation