Invitation to a Lenten Retreat

Directed by the Jesuits at the Gregorian University

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to offer our friends an opportunity to deepen your Lenten prayer and draw closer to Jesus Christ through an online Lenten retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  The retreat will be led by Fr. James Grummer, SJ, director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center at the Pontifical Gregorian University and superior of the Jesuit community at the Gregorian.  Fr. Grummer has recruited a team of experts in Jesuit spirituality and prayer to provide participants with a rich and meaningful prayer experience.

Show Bios of Presenters

As you can see from the following bios, Fr. James Grummer, who is leading the retreat, has put together a team of outstanding Jesuits representing a broad range of experience, discipline, geography and age, and including much of the current leadership at the Gregorian. I know they will offer us a rich experience in Ignatian prayer that opens us to the workings of God’s grace and brings us closer to Christ.



Fr. Jim Grummer is the superior of the Gregorian University Jesuit community and director of the Centro di Spiritualità Ignaziana.  After teaching history at Creighton University and working as Socius and Provincial of the Wisconsin Province, he came to Rome in 2005 to serve Fathers Kolvenbach and Nicolás as US Assistant and General Counselor.


Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University since 2016, Fr. Nuno Gonçalves, was director of the Portuguese bishops’ national office of the Cultural Heritage of the Church and dean of the philosophy faculty of the Portuguese Catholic University before being named Provincial of Portugal in 2005.  In 2011 he came to Rome where he served as a professor, director of the department of cultural heritage of the Church, and dean of the faculty of history and the cultural heritage of the Church.



Dean of the faculty of theology since 2019, Fr. Philipp Renczes has been a member of the German Province of the Society of Jesus since 1983.  A Patristic scholar, he is currently completing a book on the place of St. Augustine’s doctrine of grace in 20th century theology.




After completing six years as dean of the faculty of philosophy, Fr. Louis Caruana enjoyed a semester sabbatical at Fordham University (not far from his birthplace!), before returning recently to Rome.  He is a Maltese member of the Euro-Mediterranean Province who was ordained in 1991.



Fr. Mark Lewis, academic vice-rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, has taught early modern history at Regis College, Toronto; Loyola University Chicago Rome Center; the Pontificio Istituto Regina Mundi, Rome; John Carroll University; Spring Hill College; Rockhurst University; and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.  He was director of the Jesuit Historical Institute, Rome from 1998 until 2002.  A native of Miami, Florida, from 2008 until 2014 he was Provincial Superior of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus.


A member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus since 1965, Fr. Tim Healy has been a member of the Gregorian’s Institute of Psychology for thirty years, which he has served as both a professor and director.  He is especially interested in the intersection of philosophy, theology, and psychology.



The current dean of the faculty of Social Sciences entered the West Africa Province of the Society of Jesus in 1993.  A native of Cameroon, Fr. Jacquineau Azétsop studied in the USA at the Weston School of Theology, Johns Hopkins University, and Boston College before teaching at Hekima College, Nairobi; N’djaména University School of Health Sciences in Chad; and the Catholic University of Mozambique.  He joined his faculty at the Gregorian in 2014.


The current director of the Gregorian’s Institute of Spirituality is Fr. Pavulraj Michael, a member of the Madurai Province since 1984.  With advanced degrees in chemistry, philosophy, and theology, he completed a degree at the University of Comillas in Madrid and served as the novice director of his province before completing his doctorate and joining the faculty of the Gregorian.  He specializes in areas such as the theology of consecrated life and Ignatian Leadership.


Fr. Gabriel Mmassi is a native of Tanzania who grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Among other disciplines, he is an expert in eschatology, ecumenism, ecclesiology, and African Christologies.  He studied at the Catholic University of America and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley before working with Jesuits in training as the rector of Hekima College, Nairobi, and prefect of studies at the Collegio Internazionale del Gesù, Rome.  He started teaching at the Gregorian in 2013.


Fr. Rolphy Pinto has been a Jesuit since 1992, when he joined the Gujarat Jesuit Province.   With a doctorate in spiritual theology and a special interest in Ignatian Spirituality, he has taught at the Gregorian since 2010.  He has coordinated the university’s Exercises in Daily Life program since 2019; he also served as interim university chaplain 2019-2020.



The most recent arrival at the Gregorian is Fr. Stefanus Hendrianto, a native Indonesian who entered the Oregon Province of the Jesuits in 2009.  After a number of delays, his plane finally landed on February 1 of this year.  He was ordained in 2019.  His debut course is entitled, “Jacque Maritain, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Benedict XVI on Human Rights.”




The current chaplain of the university is Fr. Stefano Del Bove, a native of Rome who entered the Jesuits in 1994.  After his ordination in 2004, Stefano studied at Fordham University, which awarded him a doctorate in 2008.   He worked for Loyola University Chicago and the State University of Trieste before joining the faculty of Social Science in 2019, where he has coordinated the program for the diploma in leadership and management.

The retreat will be structured as a guided retreat extended over the six full weeks of Lent.  It will begin with an online Mass from Rome on the First Sunday of Lent, February 21, and run through Holy Week.  There will be two talks per week with reflections based on themes from the Exercises and related Scripture, along with suggestions on how to pray over them.  The talks will be posted each Sunday and Wednesday and will be available for viewing whenever is convenient.  Participants will be asked to set aside a half hour to forty-five minutes each day for their personal prayer, with additional time for reflection and journaling.  For those who are interested, there will also be opportunities for faith-sharing in small groups online and possibly an individual conversation with a director.


The retreat is complementary and open to anyone who is interested.  However, we ask that you register below or by sending an email to Colleen Mudlaff (  For additional information, feel free to email or call Colleen Mudlaff (202-320-9788) or Michael McFarland, SJ (508-981-3513,

Retreat Schedule

Week Date Themes Presenter/Presider B-Gospel Link to view live stream or video
1 2/21 Mass & Introduction to Prayer Rev. Jim Grummer SJ Mark 1:9-15
2/24 Reflection False Images of God Rev. Jim Grummer SJ VIEW REFLECTION
2 2/28 Mass Rev. Nuno Gonçalves SJ/ Rev. Philipp Renczes SJ (homilist) Mark 9:2-9
3/3 Reflection Creation Rev. Louis Caruana SJ VIEW REFLECTION
3 3/7 Mass Rev. Mark Lewis SJ John 2:13-22
3/10 Reflection Sin Rev. Tim Healy SJ VIEW REFLECTION
4 3/14 Mass Rev. Jacquineau Azetsop SJ John 3:14-21
3/17 Reflection Call of the King Rev. Pavulraj Michael SJ VIEW REFLECTION
5 3/21 Mass Rev. Gabriel Mmassi SJ John 12:20-33
3/24 Reflection Two Standards Rev. Rolphy Pinto SJ VIEW REFLECTION
6 3/28 Mass Rev. Stefanus Hendrianto SJ Mark 14:1-15:47
3/31 Reflection Passion/Resurrection Rev Stefano Del Bove SJ VIEW REFLECTION