God in All Things…Even SaxaNet (CIR Series No. 03)

This blog post is part of a series of reflective pieces written by various Chaplains-in-Residence. The Chaplains-in-Residence play a special role in the lives of students on campus – particularly in their adjustment to college residential life. In this series, the Chaplains-in-Residence share how their own lives have been transformed since moving to the Hilltop.

As Chaplains and Jesuits-in-Residence, we strive to create space for community and connection with and among our students. Whether through one-on-one conversations or our weekly emails and open houses, we seek to help our students live with depth and reflection. The cardinal rule of our ministry is to “meet them where they are.” Wherever they are and whatever their background, my experience tells me their laptops and phones are there too.

With this principle in mind this past year, I opted to meet my residents over SaxaNet, that is, on the screens of their laptops and phones. About three weeks into the fall semester, I invited my residents to opt into receiving a weekly Examen reflection via email. Most of the reflections I shared came from the book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen: Fresh Ways to Pray from Your Day by Jesuit Father Mark E. Thibodeaux. This excellent resource offers 34 unique versions of the Examen on a variety of subjects ranging from relationships to pending decisions to times of transition to gratitude. Each of these follow the traditional five-step routine of the Examen given by St. Ignatius to review the day wherever you are:

  • Give thanksgiving.
  • Ask for the Spirit.
  • Review and recognize failures.
  • Ask for forgiveness and healing.
  • Pray about the next day.

Each Friday morning, it was a privilege to pray for these 15 students – plus the mom of one of them! – as they prayed through their days with the Examen. Amidst the busyness of our days, it is my constant hope and prayer that we all learn to pay more attention to God, to be more aware of our blessings, and to share the grace that has brought all of us here together.

Written by Heather KinneyChaplain-in-Residence

Mission and Ministry