A new non-profit in the Portland area will offer men and women who are homeless and in recovery from addiction the opportunity to change their lives. Ignatian Spirituality Project retreats are a blend of the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the 12-Step Recovery Program. The retreats are free.  

The project originated in the Chicago Province of Jesuits in 1998 and has become a national network, expanding into 24 cities in the United States and Canada. Portland is the most recent.  

Local organizers are developing partnerships with providers of services to homeless people. Such agencies will refer appropriate candidates for the retreats. In addition, Oregon Jesuit ministries and other projects will spread the word and support the program through volunteering and prayer. With ongoing training and support from the national office, volunteers in each city make up the team that delivers the retreats and follow-up gatherings.

An introductory gathering is planned for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11 at St. Ignatius Church, 3400 SE 43rd Ave. in Portland. Volunteers, supporters or those who are just interested are welcome to attend. Representatives from the Chicago Ignatian Spirituality Project headquarters and local coordinators will speak.

The first retreat for women is set for April 12-13 at the Griffin Center; a retreat for men is scheduled for June 28-29. Those interested in learning more can contact Ignatian Spirituality Project via www.ispretreats.org or 312-226-9184 or the Portland coordinator, Maureen Hovenkotter, at (503) 908-0686, [email protected]