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January 12, 2022 — Growing up in an abusive household, Issac Sneed wasn’t allowed to have friends. He learned to fend for himself. As an adult, he kept people at arm’s length. For years, he struggled with substance abuse and, at times, lived on the streets. While staying in a homeless shelter, he began attending reflection circles with Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP)—a Jesuit ministry across the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

With ISP, Issac began his journey of recovery. “They validated me and affirmed me, in a way that I had never been validated and affirmed in my own family,” Issac says. Now, a decade later, he leads weekly reflection programs and retreats with ISP Boston.

Issac Sneed (left) and his fellow Boston retreat leader, Michael Cuevas (Courtesy of Meg Liebsch).

Ignatian Spirituality Project provides spiritual retreat and reflection programs at shelters and recovery centers in cities across the US, Canada and Ireland. Their programs accompany people struggling with substance abuse and homelessness. Learn more with this short video.

To hear more stories from ISP retreatants, listen to our AMDG podcast. On this episode, host MegAnne Liebsch talks to alumni leaders like Isaac, as well as volunteers and ISP staff about their cannonball moments, transformative friendships, and why St. Ignatius is so relatable.


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MegAnne Liebsch is the communications manager for the Office of Justice and Ecology of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. She holds an MA in Media and International Conflict from University College Dublin and is an alumna of La Salle University. She is based in Washington, DC.