On/File: A Continuing Record of Groups, People, Movements, and Events Impacting Contemporary Religion

1) Ignatian Yoga is the latest attempt to graft Christian meanings and messages onto yoga practices, this time taking its inspiration from Jesuit contemplation and meditation. The practice is drawing enthusiastic crowds to retreats and workshops drawing on the public appeal of both yoga and Ignatian spirituality. It began in 2014 at Fordham University in New York, with a Jesuit scholastic, Bobby Karle, a certified yoga instructor, offering sessions in yoga framed by Jesuit principles before the weeknight liturgies at the campus church. By 2017, Ignatian Yoga had become an established organization holding workshops across the U.S. The phenomenon is not actually a mixture of Ignatian meditation practices and yoga as much as a utilization of yoga to calm and center a person so he or she is able to receive more fully Christian Ignatian spirituality (which involves contemplating the imagery of Christ in the gospels). No syncretism is attempted between Catholic practices of the Eucharist, confession and the liturgy in general and Eastern spirituality and practices. But the asanas (yoga exercises) are often practiced in the church sanctuary, around the altar. (Source: America, February 18)   

2) The Napa Institute is a new organization among a plethora of Catholic NGOs seeking to energize and equip Catholic leaders to defend and advance orthodox Catholicism, drawing on substantial wealth and influence. It was founded by Timothy Busch, a wealthy businessman who promotes capitalism and conservative Catholicism through high-end events at his resort in California and other high-profile spots where professionals and church leaders are invited. Busch is the multi-million dollar benefactor of Catholic University of America’s School of Business (named after him) and a supporter of other charities. He said at a recent Napa Institute event at Catholic University that the evangelization of our country is being done by private foundations, Catholic NGOs, like Napa and Legatus (an organization for Catholic business professionals). He said that such nonprofits remained “tethered to the church through a bishop…But they have access to capital that the church doesn’t.” (Source: Sojourners, March)