Charitable Initiatives

Charitable Initiatives of Ignatius House

Extend goodwill to others, assist those who cannot pay, and help maintain a welcoming environment for peaceful reflection at Ignatius House. These programs below and others assist those on the margins, those who may feel excluded, and help Ignatius House care for our common home — all in alignment with Catholic social teaching and the global apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus.

Men on an Ignatian Spirituality Project retreat at Ignatius House.

Ignatian Spirituality Project

Retreats for those rebuilding healthful lives after homelessness and addiction recovery



The journey beyond addiction recovery is constant. As the Atlanta affiliate of the international Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP), we welcome individuals from halfway houses for a series of programs to help regain confidence, focus, and hope. Those who attend become part of a network of thousands that spans 28 cities. They are reminded that even with their faults, they are still worthy, lovable, and belong. They stay connected to a community of support and recovery as they move on with their lives.



Generosity from donors provides each individual with private room and bath, toiletries, wholesome chef-prepared meals, transportation to and from halfway houses, and companionship from discussion leaders trained in both Ignatian discernment and the modern language of 12-step recovery.

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Fr. Niel Jarreau, SJ, Hardship Fund

Financial assistance for those in hardship to attend retreats



Fr. Niel Jarreau, SJ, believed in the power of spiritual retreats to help those who are hurting. He trusted deeply in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and its ability to draw us closer to a God who alone “can fill our emptiness.” During his 22-year tenure at Ignatius House, he assisted hundreds of men and women. His written reflections are still used by small faith groups today.



Gifts made to the fund in his memory help in anyone hardship to attend Ignatius House retreats. “We believe retreats are so necessary to our total wellbeing that cost should never separate anyone from God,” says Executive Director Maria Cressler. “It is why we strive to say yes to any request for financial assistance from anyone.” Gifts to the Jarreau Fund make that possible. Help someone encounter God’s love in a new way and recognize God’s presence amidst it all.

Antipasto tray prepared by Ignatius House chefs and Kitchen Cura interns.

Kitchen Cura

Vocational, culinary internship coupled with spiritual support for those transitioning from homelessness and addiction recovery into self sufficiency



Through our work with the Ignatian Spirituality Project, we’ve seen how individuals in halfway houses need marketable skills to truly regain self sufficiency. Designed to provide personalized culinary training in a safe and patient environment, interns under Kitchen Cura gain complete tutelage from Ignatius House executive chefs and restaurant partners to learn all aspects of leading a dining facility — from setting buffets to managing food inventory and preparing creative cuisine.



Funding underwrites a paid-internship at $12/hr, 24 hrs/week with transportation stipend for a 6-month program. Gifts also support instructional materials under the ServSafe program and provide a budget for an intern-prepared meal as a capstone project.


Tree & Trail Care

Maintaining natural forest and riverfront land in north Atlanta



Concern for the natural world is no longer “optional” but is an integral part of Church teaching, per the 2015 encyclical letter from Pope Francis, “Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.” We intend for Ignatius House to always be a welcoming place where anyone can peacefully encounter God in nature and discover new appreciation for His divine hand.

Ignatius House occupies 20 acres of land along the Chattahoochee River and is home to more than 40 varieties of trees. Miles of beautiful trail wind through the property, requiring seasonal care and careful environmental stewardship.



Funding is needed to help Ignatius House carefully maintain trails and trees, clear invasive species, and repair numerous decks and bridges as places for silent reflection.

Affiliated programs born here from generous spirit


Fortunate & Faithful Families

Hosted activities for Catholic parents and LGBT teens to foster mutual understanding through dialogue, hospitality, education, and loving support



“…the Church must welcome all of her sons and daughters—no matter what their sexual orientation or life situation might be—and that we have not always done so with a spirit of compassion and understanding.” – Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Oct. 16, 2014

Fortunate & Faithful Families was born from a retreat at Ignatius House for Catholic parents of LGBT children. Gatherings attracted so many and outgrew the capacity of Ignatius House. Today, the group meets at various locations throughout Atlanta. Ignatius House welcomes subsets of the parents and teens.



In collaboration with Fortunate & Faithful Families, Ignatius House seeks to expand programming that helps parents and teens manage the challenges of conflict and rejection — by peers, immediate or extended family members, or a faith-based community.

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Bee at Peace

Faith-sharing circles for women of color to inspire peace, rejuvenating stillness, and connection — incubated at Ignatius House and now an independent 501c3 organization. Learn more.



“In communities of color, we don’t talk about the help we need; it’s carried internally,” says Lauren Morton, creator of Bee at Peace. She adds that black women especially are told to “be strong, be brave… and what you’re not supposed to do.” It adds up to an unhealthy suppression of internal feelings, she says. Bee at Peace seeks to provide companionship and faith-filled care when women of color crave the permission to pause.



Those who share this passion are invited to directly support Bee at Peace. Gifts made will continue the development of local, faith-sharing circles called “honeycombs;” scholarships for spiritual direction certification, and financial aid for those who cannot afford to participate in Bee at Peace programming. The program also aims to develop a network of qualified resources to support emotional health and to attract diversity among the spiritual directors at Ignatius House.

Begin Your Silent Getaway

Let us help you choose the right retreat experience.

Staff can assist with choosing the right retreat, understanding what to expect, making payment arrangements or other questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming you.


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