Last Thursday, members of the JRS community reunited once again at a socially-distanced picnic in Wapping, East London to celebrate the feast day of St Ignatius.
Members of the JRS community met together for a relaxed, outdoor picnic lunch in Wapping Rose Gardens, a 5 minute walk from the Hurtado Jesuit Centre where the JRS Day Centre would usually take place. A selection of delicious food and drink was provided and shared in the summer sun, as many friends and colleagues reunited in person for the first time since the Coronavirus outbreak. COVID-safe procedures such as frequent use of hand gel and social distancing were followed, allowing JRS volunteers and staff to catch-up with one another safely. Many were pleased to be outdoors as the weather was perfect for the occasion with temperatures reaching nearly 30°C.
Since lockdown measures were introduced, JRS staff have shifted to mainly working from home, holding regular team-meetings online on Zoom. The opportunity to see one another face-to-face brought joy to many.
“It was such a treat to meet up with everyone in person again. One of the things I miss most about going in to JRS every day is the lively, friendly atmosphere where you can chat with friends, volunteers and staff over a cup of tea. I also hugely miss our shared daily lunch which was always open to all visitors in our centre; this picnic re-created that sense of joy and welcome and made a nice change from working indoors at home!” said Jo, JRS’s Communications Editorial Assistant.
July 31st is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus – the religious order whose charism guides the work of JRS around the world. Each year JRS UK gathers to mark the occasion. Gratitude is one of the key pillars of Ignatian spirituality and this year, we marked this joyful feast day by giving thanks to our colleagues and refugee friends, and for the shared food which we have not been able to enjoy together since lockdown.
JRS offices all around the world celebrate the feast day of St Ignatius with a day of prayerful reflection and celebration, remembering those people, situations and events for which they are most grateful.