Ignatian Spirituality Project honors its co-founder, CCH’s Ed Shurna

All of us at CCH are pleased to report that the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) honored CCH Executive Director Edward Shurna at it’s Company of Grace event Sunday.

ISP celebrated Ed’s work as co-founder of a program that offers spiritual retreats to homeless people seeking recovery. Growing over its 15 years, ISP now staffs retreat teams in 12 cities, from San Francisco to Boston.

CCH's Joe Putnick, Michael Nameche, Wayne Richard, Ed Shurna & Jaquie Algee Michelle Saddler, photo
CCH’s Joe Putnick, Michael Nameche, Wayne Richard, Ed Shurna and Jaquie Algee

The ISP celebration was held Sunday, Nov. 10, on the campus of Loyola University-Chicago. A 10:30 a.m. liturgy at Madonna della Strada Chapel was followed by a reception at Coffey Hall’s McCormick Lounge. 

Senior Community Organizer Wayne Richard, who helped present the award, also serves as ISP Men’s Witness Coordinator. He has worked for the program for more than 10 years.

Ed has organized for 45 years in Chicago’s neighborhoods. His work includes 17 years with CCH, first as its director of community organizing and, since 2003, as executive director.

ISP writes that two men with a shared vision launched its program.

“Ed was attempting to create an experience to help build community, hope and transformation among those experiencing homelessness. At nearly the same time, Bill Creed, SJ, a renowned and experienced spiritual director, was invited by his provincial to begin making the Spiritual Exercises available to those who were marginalized.

“Eventually, in the confluence of these two great hopes, the Ignatian Spirituality Project was born.

“By listening to those who are homeless, Bill and Ed found that often their spiritual life was a source of hope amid deep discouragement. Thus, those original companions developed a retreat that drew upon the 500-year-old tradition of Ignatian Spirituality in the contemporary language of recovery. The retreat was designed for persons who were both homeless and in recovery to find meaning and purpose as they reclaimed their lives.”

Three years ago, CCH and ISP began to host a memorial service and candlelight vigil for the homeless community, held each December at Old St. Pat’s Church, 700 W. Adams – this year on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Bill Creed also serves as a member of the CCH College Scholarship Selection Committee.

– Anne Bowhay, Media