By Mike Jordan Laskey
One of the best parts of my job as the communications director for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States is meeting and working with creative people who drink from the well of Ignatian spirituality.
Over the past five years, our team has connected with hundreds of Ignatian-rooted writers, podcasters, photographers, painters, graphic designers, filmmakers, actors and more — Jesuit and lay, from all over the world. We collaborate with these artists (I use “artists” broadly, as I try to avoid the soulless term “content creators” at all costs) when we make our AMDG podcast, prepare email series for Advent and Lent, create resources for Jesuits.org, and more.
There are two things we notice over and over when we connect with these artists: (1) they find Ignatian spirituality, with its emphasis on the imagination and careful attention to the world while seeking God in all things, to be powerful fuel for the creative life; and (2) they love meeting and developing mutually supportive friendships with fellow Ignatian creators on the way.
As we noticed these two truths, our communications team here at the Jesuit Conference decided to intentionally invest in bringing Ignatian artists together. We’ve offered online courses on spiritual nonfiction and the Catholic storytelling tradition. We’ve sponsored webinars on the Ignatian way to hone your voice and build your audience. And we’ve hosted two in-person “Ignatian creators summits” in Maryland the last two Augusts.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce a new project that will bring all of these efforts together: The Jesuit Media Lab (JML). We’ve started the JML to gather, form and unleash Ignatian creators:
Gather: Whether online or in person, we gather communities of creators to support one another. When you participate in any offering from the Jesuit Media Lab, you will meet like-minded and like-hearted creators who have been shaped (and continue to be shaped) by Ignatian spirituality. Building these relationships is an essential value for us.
Form: The creators we know are hungry to hone their craft and go deep into the spiritual life. Our courses and webinars feature expert instructors and facilitators on topics ranging from the Catholic storytelling tradition to pitching work for publication to graphic design for beginners. Our blog posts, articles and audio/video resources can help you grow your skills at your own pace.
Unleash: We publish work here on our flagship website, Jesuits.org, and in email newsletters, social media and other online platforms. (You can pitch us.)
Check out our new website jesuitmedialab.org and sign up for our email newsletter, where we’ll send out updates on new offerings twice a month. I hope you’ll join our thriving, growing community and that we all might build up the reign of God on Earth through our creative work.