Have you completed the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and wish to deepen that experience?

The Magis Program

Greater Understanding, Love and Service

The Magis program offered by the Bridges Foundation provides diverse, experienced lecturers who share their insights and  wisdom for people who wish to continue their spiritual journey. Seven sessions (offered monthly beginning in September) are designed to deepen your experience of the Spiritual Exercises.

Participants have the opportunity to explore the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises and share their insights with others in a small group.  You may participate in the Magis Program every year if you  wish in order to take advantage of new perspectives from presenters that will be offered each year.

Here’s a video describing the Magis program:


The objectives of the program are four-fold:

1. Deepening the prayerful experiences of participants in the Ignatian Way.

2. Facilitating a sense of connection and community through a monthly gathering and small group sharing.

3. Enhancing the learning and understanding of the spiritual and psychological movements of the Spiritual Exercises.

4. Discerning, learning, and practicing to be prayer companions (for those called to be companions). Click here to read more about the program

Text: DRAW ME into YOUR FRIENDSHIP by D. Fleming, S.J.

Cost: Contribute whatever amount you can afford.  The cost to the Bridges Foundation per participant is approximately $350.00. One person’s contribution helps another and no one is turned away for financial reasons. We ask you to prayerfully consider what you can afford to pay. A payment schedule can be arranged. Everyone must pay the $35 non-refundable application fee, which is 10 percent of the total cost of the program and will be put toward your “Promise to Pay” amount.

Checks can be mailed to: Bridges Foundation, 331 N. New Ballas Box 410275, St. Louis, MO  63141-9998

To discuss your ability to pay and payment options, please email executive director Steve Givens: executive.director@bridgesfoundation.org

For a PDF version of the Magis brochure, click here: Magis Brochure – 2022-2023


Program Requirements: Completion of the Spiritual Exercises, including the 18th, 19th, or 20th Annotation

Dates and Topics

Saturday, September 17, 2022 
Speaker: Fr. Hung T. Pham, S.J. 
The Spiritual Exercises and the Signs of the Times 
Principle and Foundation 

Saturday, October 15, 2022 
Speaker: Fr. Mike Harter, S.J. 
Root Sin and Root Grace
Effects of Sin in the World and My Responses

Saturday, November 19, 2022 
Speaker: Fr. Mike Rozier, S.J. 
Contemplating the Nativity 
Incarnational Living 

Saturday, January 21, 2023 
Speaker: Ms. Virginia Herbers 
Consolation and Desolation 
Election and Two Standards 

Saturday, February 18, 2023 
Speaker: Ms. Pam Mason 
Discernment pf Spirits: First Week
Discernment of Spirits: Second Week 

Saturday, March 18, 2023
Speaker: Ms. Danielle Harrison 
Psychology of the Cross 
Graces of Lent 

Saturday, April 15, 2023
Speaker: Mr. Jeff Schulenberg
Learning to Love Like God Loves 

Descriptions of Small Groups:

* All small groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 15 (unless stated otherwise) 

1. Ignatian Discernment Learning to discern is an important part of the spiritual life. Prayerful discernment can lead to discovery of what God desires for each of us. This group will examine the discernment process as developed by St Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises. Participants will share their insights from reading the book as well as portions of Mark Thibodeaux’s sequel, Ignatian Discernment of Spirits. Open to all. Required Text: God’s Voice Within by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J. Optional purchase, Ignatian Discernment of Spirits by Mark E. Thibodeaux S.J. Facilitated by Tom and Dale Auffenberg. 

2. The Beatitudes and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises a focus on the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises, a life-long journey. The Second Week of the Exercises of St. Ignatius was configured with the purpose of focusing our prayer on the grace to know, love, and follow Jesus. Living the mysteries of the Beatitudes is foundational in this movement. The Beatitudes are a limitless resource of personal admonition and insight, leading to spiritual consolation, and pointing to the most concrete modes of being and living as a follower of Christ. Participant experiences will include lessons in the background of the genre, various translations and derivative listings, and personal application. Participants will deepen their understanding of how the exercises of the Second Week, particularly the Three Ignatian Exercises, form us in ways necessary for discerning and living the values of Christ. Open to all. Required Text: Kingdom of Happiness by Jeffrey Kirby, STL. Facilitated by Linda Leib and Dave Harpring. 

3. Interfacing the Spiritual Exercises with 12 Step Spirituality – By exploring certain similarities of the Spiritual Exercises and the 12 Step Approach participants will increase their self-knowledge and get in touch with attitudes, actions, and habits that deter or block their relationships with God. With this awareness they will be empowered to make more healthy choices. It will also help prayer companions understand experiences and orientations of retreatants who have been through 12 Step Programs and 12 Step Spirituality. Open to all. Required book: A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius by Jim Harbaugh, S.J. Facilitated by Rick Lageson, J.D. 

4. Racial Healing and the Spiritual Exercises – This study is an invitation to open participants to the lifelong work of racial healing in the context of the Spiritual Exercises. Come with an open heart and a willingness to pray for greater awareness, as well as imagine solutions that impact ourselves, individuals in our community, and the Church. We will be using excerpts from the book “The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice: A Month of Meditations with Ignatius of Loyola” by Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J. Material from the Ignatian Solidarity Network and guest speakers may be used. Time will be spent on reflection, journaling, prayer, and discussion. Open to all. Required text: The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice: A Month of Meditations by Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J. Facilitated by Kate Stroble.

5. Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises – The main focus of this group is an in-depth study of the psychological/spiritual dynamics and graces of the Exercises. Participants will review their own experience of the Exercises and gain increased self- awareness and understanding of how the movements in each Week of the Exercises take place in their personal spiritual journey, leading to a deeper relationship with God. Participation in this group is required for all those who wish to enter the Prayer Companion Training Program. These people are accepted before others. Open to all. Required text: Draw Me into Your Friendship by David Fleming, S.J. Facilitated by Hsin-hsin Huang, PhD. 

6. Online Magis: Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises (Online Only)- Same description as above, but group will meet online from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Central Time on: 10/27/22 12/1/22, 1/26/23, 2/23,23 3/23/23, 4/27/23, and 5/25/23. Online Brochure Download

7. Peer Supervision/Consultation – The purpose of this group is to assist prayer companions in their spiritual growth and enhance their skills as prayer companions. It focuses on the interior movements/counter movements of a prayer companion when interacting with a retreatant. Its main focus is on God’s presence for the retreatant and the prayer companion and the interior reactions to God’s presence, consolation, resistance, struggle, desires, repression, and denial. Consultation on questions of interest will also be addressed. Requirement of second year Prayer Companions. Open to Prayer Companions Only. Maximum 8 participants.

Required Text: The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian Path by Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon Au. Facilitated by Hsin-hsin Huang, PhD. 

8. Prayer Companion Training – Entry into group requires admission into the Prayer Companion Training Program and is preparation for leading others through the Spiritual Exercises. Specific requirements: a thorough knowledge and love of the Spiritual Exercises, full participation in the Magis program, evidence of a discerned call, obvious intention for helping individuals grow in their relationship with God using the Spiritual Exercises, and willingness to be a listener and to practice growing in these gifts with others in this group. Open to approved participants only.  Minimum of 4, maximum of 8 participants. Co-Facilitated by Marian Love and TBD.

The Magis Program will be offered at:
Webster Groves Christian Church
1320 W Lockwood Ave, St. Louis, MO 63122

If you have any questions, please contact: Magis Program Coordinator: Vicki Harpring at 314-609-9304, or vharpring@yahoo.com

Registration for the 2022-23 Magis Program is closed. Registration for the 2023-24 year will begin on or around May 1, 2023.