Dear Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center,
Warm greetings! My name is Grace Salceanu and I am the new director of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center and Children’s Faith Formation at Saint Agnes. I’m delighted to be a part of this dynamic faith community.
As I begin the new year at the ISLC, I feel I am surrounded by the many people who created a way for me to this role. Just last November, I moved back to the United States after co-directing Casa Bayanihan, the University of San Francisco’s alternative study abroad program in Manila, Philippines for over six years. It was a beautiful program, rooted in the four pillars of accompaniment of vulnerable communities, rigorous academics at Ateneo de Manila University, simple living in community and spirituality. We had vibrant neighbors and community partners who shared their tenacity and resilience in the face of grinding poverty and harsh injustice as well as a buoyancy and warmth that came from their goodness and a profound faith. In many ways, they became like the living Gospel for me. Before leaving Manila, our friends blessed me and sent me forth with their guidance and love. I lean on their memories and their strong witness, holding them close to my heart as I begin again.
Orienting myself to the reality here in San Francisco, I see I am surrounded by you, a community that is eager to engage in the life and struggle of this city and its people. This is consoling to me, and, as in the Philippines, I feel drawn to follow this example of commitment, to know the issues and relationships that animate this place and to love them fully, as they are.
The Gospel this Sunday reminds us that we bring each other to the Lord, that the Kingdom of God is not built alone. Companions guide us to that deep Source who asks us, “What are you looking for?” I look forward to walking with you, a community that thirsts to know the One who wants to know us, who is Peace and who challenges us to a radical kinship and justice.
Thank you for welcoming me. I look forward to sharing the way together.
You make our work possible.
Ignatian Spiritual Life Center
A Ministry of St. Agnes Parish
1611 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
A ministry of St. Agnes Parish in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center has a three council structure that discerns the programming we need to live an Ignatian life of devotion and service. Our areas of focus are Church Justice, Global Justice and Spiritual Life. Each council offers programming aimed at mobilizing the larger community to love the world the way God intends. Programming includes adult education and faith formation, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, spiritual direction, opportunities for prayer and retreat, and an ongoing commitment to dialogue and service in our Church and world.