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immersion The Cardoner Project as leaders of immersions and retreats and other activities. Cvision that he considered the most important of his life. Rev David Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990)Their desire and enthusiasm is the main driver of the Projectand more than anything else promises its success. is the name of the river outside Manresaardoneron the banks of which Saint Ignatius had a mystical It seems to have been a kind of ‘enlightenment’ in which he saw everything illuminated– as God sees it. It was from this The December Vietnam Immersion experience that Ignatius’ life of prayer and service led to the 2011 founding of the Jesuits. In that sense, Saint Aloysius owed a debt of gratitude to God’s guidance to Saint Ignatius via this mystical vision. It is our hope The Cardoner Project may be a deep experience of companionship, prayer and service for the young Old Boys who engage with it, one that stays with them and orients their decisions for many years. The Cardoner Project is a new work of the Jesuits to provide ongoing spiritual formation for young Old Boys who wish to engage in it. Currently it involves, post-school immersions to Vietnam and Nepal, Service Year placements in Central Vietnam or Micronesia for six or twelve months, post-school retreats that gradually introduce the young men to the Spiritual Exercises, fundraising for overseas missions, and the Companions Programme. In the near future, local outreach to the poor and Michael Morgan (SAC 1973) with some children. Michael offered his socially excluded will form a core part of the Project’s expertise on the building site for a week. activities. All of these programmes involve a common focus with the Universal Church, as well as a love for the poor on the 6 December in Ho Chi Minh where theThe December Vietnam Immersion officially started on developing a strong sense of interiority and connection that expresses itself ‘more in deeds than in words’ as Saint immersionistas and leaders assembled. Over the next Ignatius always preferred. few days we navigated the traffic, the food and the locals. We did plenty of sightseeing, including visiting some very Rev David Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990) is the coordinator anti-American museums, hearing war stories and seeing of the Project for which Fr Peter Hosking SJ, as Rector of historical monuments, fascinating many of the modern the College and Chaplain to the Old Boys, has oversight. history boys. We then went to the airport thinking we An Advisory Committee has been established to help plan would be catching a pre-booked plane to the orphanage, for the sustainable future of the Project made up of Michael yet Vietnam isn’t so simple. Eventually after some persistent Morgan (SAC 1973), Jennie Hickey and Jenny Greaves, negotiations in Vietnamese by Bernie Greaves (SAC 2009), all of whom are current or past parents of the College, and we got spilt up into two groups on planes to Hue (the old most generous with their time and expertise. French capital of Vietnam) before getting on a 8 hour bus Central to the future planning of The Cardoner Project is trip to the orphanage. the ongoing involvement of young Old Boys to be formed The orphanage was the most moving experience on the Immersion with such intimate interactions with the orphans and the nuns. The Sisters’ unending commitment towards caring for the orphans demonstrated the power of faith, as they openly served God despite being highly oppressed by the Communist Government. Our time at the orphanage was spent mostly doing strenuous labour and hanging out with the kids. Despite their disabilities, the orphans acted like normal kids, they loved hanging out with us, trying to communicate with us despite the obvious language barrier (made even more difficult with the deaf and dumb orphans – yet we got there eventually), and playing games. Not only this, but they also taught us a lot of things, like basic Vietnamese language and culture. Another interesting observation was the way the orphans interacted with each other; the older ones took care of the younger ones, as if they were family, the girls hung out like sisters and the boys Rev David Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990) with children in the orphanage. played like brothers. St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 53


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