What Is the “19th Annotation?”

I recently completed participating in a very enriching experience of the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with a group of colleagues and friends here at Loyola Press. The Spiritual Exercises were originally designed for Jesuits to experience over a 30-day retreat. Realizing that most lay folks are unable to arrange for a 30-day retreat, St. Ignatius made an accommodation. In his notes or annotations to the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius included a note—his 19th annotation—about an alternative model for experiencing the Exercises. This model is designed to be experienced in the flow of daily life over a number of weeks that includes commitment to a period of personal prayer each day and a weekly one-on-one meeting with a spiritual director. Over the course of about eight months (usually about 30 weeks), we met as a group each week during our lunch period for input and sharing on the themes of the Exercises.

You can experience the 19th Annotation online through Creighton University or through the help of a book like The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien, SJ.

Is anyone out there offering such an opportunity in a parish setting as a small-group experience? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Finally, here’s a cute story related to this topic. The folks at Loyola Press were kind enough to present each of the participants of the 19th Annotation with a memento (see picture). Fr. Paul Campbell, SJ, our Publisher, explains that when he placed the order for these, he told the sales rep to make them the same as last year but to change the date. The sales rep then responded, “Should I change it to the 20th Annotation then as well?” There’s nothing like an inside joke for fans of Ignatian spirituality!


About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Joe Paprocki asked: Is anyone out there offering such an opportunity of a very enriching experience of the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola in a parish setting as a small-group experience? If so, I’d love to hear from you!
    I would like to know if anyone answered Joe and if so are there any parishes in chicagoland area offering?

    • Our parish, Most Holy Trinity in San Jose, Ca, is offering a church setting meeting and weekly virtual with my Spiritual Director of 19th Annotation Spiritual Exercises directed by Fr Andrew and Spiritual Director Margarita. God Bless them for doing this including my Spiritual Director, Cris for 9 months, I had grown tremendously in my spiritual life. I am active in our church Ministry which can be tough and sometimes I get discourage, then during lenten season I was so spiritually distress. When I pray during those times, it was so dry. Then I heard about this St Ignatius Spiritual exercises from Margarita and I signed up for it. From the time I met with my Spiritual Director, Cris and gave me the Week One exercises, I spend a lot of time reflecting and understanding the scriptures which I never did before. I became hungry and thirsty with the exercises she gave me that I find myself waking up very early praying and reflecting, then here comes the Examination of Conscience, I have a lot of “Aha” moments of the things I had done in the past that were displeasing to God. Taking this exercises is teaching me in a lot of ways and making me stronger to continue doing my Ministry in our church especially when I feel like giving up due to the influence of few negative people. I encourage people to take this as well.

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