This Ignatian Life


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Being Muslim in America

Saturday, May 4, 2019

9:00 am Social I 9:30 am - 12:00 pm Program

St. Joseph Parish Center, Seattle

Fathia Absie & Nazir Harb Michel, presenters

Register by Thursday, May 2, 2019


Missed the event?

Read presenter Nazir Harb Michel’s reflection here.

About this program

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Christchurch and with so many events in our country affecting the Muslim community, do you ever wonder what it’s like to be Muslim today? In this morning of reflection, presenters Fathia Absie (Co-founder, Eat with Muslims) and Nazir Harb Michel (Former research fellow with Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative) will share their thoughts and experiences of growing up Muslim in America, including powerful stories of facing Islamophobia. Join them and other people of faith interested in using an Ignatian lens to better understand the experience of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and to discern how to be in authentic kinship with the Muslim community.  


Free will offering (suggested donation: $20)

Spread the Word

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If you would like to help subsidize the cost of participation for another person, we welcome your donation. Thank you for helping us to make it possible for all persons to participate in this program!

About the presenters


Fathia Absie is a Somali American writer, filmmaker, and storyteller. She is also the co-founder of Eat With Muslims, a social movement connecting Muslims and non-Muslims over food and storytelling. Ms. Absie is a former Voice of America reporter and broadcaster who worked for many years as a social worker before deciding to pursue a life-long dream of storytelling.    

Fathia Absie’s first film is Broken Dreams, a documentary that explores the collective outcry against the recruitment of the Somali youth in Minnesota by religious fanatics. Her second film is a narrative called The Lobby, a story about friendship and cultural differences. In 2014, Absie published the graphic novel The Imperceptible Peacemaker, an allegory on vigilante justice. She also worked with Twin Cities PBS, where she hosted countless programs including the documentary Giving Thanks!  

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Nazir Harb Michel, PhD, is a graduate of Seattle University, where he majored in International Relations and led the Muslim Student Association. He went on to earn an MPA in International Relations from Princeton University and received his doctorate degree in Arab Studies and political interactional Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, where he also served as Muslim Life Program Coordinator. 

As a post-doctoral research fellow, Mr. Harb Michel worked on Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, a multi-year research project dedicated to educating the public about Islamophobia.  He guided research on the Bridge Initiative’s study, Danger & Dialogue: American Catholic Public Opinion and Portrayals of Islam published in September 2016. Harb Michel writes on political sociolinguistics in English and Arabic, Muslims in the West, and studies Islamophobia. He recently returned to Seattle to work in the tech industry.


Call (206) 329-4824 or email Andrea Fontana, ISC Program Coordinator. 

Sponsored by the Ignatian Spirituality Center.

Past programs


Dialogue Through Differences:

An Ignatian Approach to Dealing with Conflict

Saturday, February 2 , 2019

8:30 am Social, 9:00 am-12:30 pm Program

Peace and Spirituality Center, Bellevue

Matt Barmore, Presenter

About this program

In today’s climate of polarization and the increasing gulf between “us and them,” it’s more important than ever that we learn how to interact with people who have opinions different from our own. Join presenter Matt Barmore for a workshop on how an Ignatian approach to dialogue can help us effectively interact with people with whom we disagree. 

This interactive morning will include prayer, presentation, individual and group reflection, and practical exercises to help you apply and integrate Ignatian guidelines for dialogue.


Cost is $40, and includes light breakfast food, drinks, and snacks.

Partial work scholarships available.

Spread the Word

Click here for a flyer.


If you would like to help subsidize the cost of participation for another person, we welcome your donation. Thank you for helping us to make it possible for all persons to participate in this program!

About the presenter


Matt Barmore serves as the Executive Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center/Director of Ignatian Formation and Teacher at Seattle Preparatory School. Matt has worked in Jesuit high schools for 36 years and has been the Executive Director of the ISC for the past two. For Matt, trying to apply Ignatian Spirituality to everyday life poses some of life’s greatest challenges and, at the same time, presents some of life’s greatest rewards.

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Being with the Poor: A Catastrophe of Grace

A Morning of Reflection with Fr. Gary Smith, S.J.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

9:00 am Social | 9:30-11:30 am Program

St. Joseph Parish Center, Seattle

ABOUT this program

The upcoming midterm election season reminds us of the urgency to be people grounded in prayer so that we may respond to the needs of our world in a sustained impactful way. Though we may have a sincere desire to act, many of us still find it difficult to discern exactly what to do. How can we respond to the immense needs of those on society’s margins—e.g. those living in poverty or those who have sought refuge in our country? Join us for this morning of reflection with Fr. Gary Smith SJ (author of Radical Compassion and They Come Back Singing; and a Jesuit who has spent his ministerial life in service to people on the margins of society in North America and to refugees in Africa) to explore how the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius can motivate us to be in authentic relationship and solidarity with our neighbors in need.



No Cost. Free will offering (suggestion donation $20).


Spread the word

Click here for a flyer.


About the presenter

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Gary Smith, SJ, has been a member of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus since 1959, and has spent his ministerial life in service to people in poverty and on the margins of society.  His pastoral work in North America has included ministering with inmates in Toronto, working as a community organizer in Oakland, directing a drop-in center in Tacoma, and doing street ministry for eight years in the Old Town section of Portland, Oregon.  Fr. Smith kept a journal of his ministry experiences with the residents of Old Town, which was published as Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor. In 2000, he began to work with Sudanese refugees in Uganda as part of Jesuit Refugee Service, and continued to work with refugees in East and southern Africa and in Greece for six years. Again, Smith kept a journal and published his African experiences in They Come Back Singing: Finding God with the Refugees. He currently lives in Portland, continuing to minister to the incarcerated and people facing homelessness and addiction.