Pierre Favre Program


The Pierre Favre program is a three-year training program to give the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The program is named after St. Pierre Favre, who was recently canonized by Pope Francis.

Often called the “Second Jesuit,” Pierre Favre was a close friend of St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, and the man whom Ignatius said could best direct people through the Spiritual Exercises.

In his own words:

“I can hardly find words to tell how fully I realize that my soul and my way of thinking have been changed by those very Spiritual Exercises, that my mind has been enlightened by new rays of grace from heaven and that I have been imbued with a certain strength, so much so that in the overflow of the divine blessings into even my body I am completely invigorated and seem to be changed into an entirely new man.”

“Saint Pierre Favre, S.J.

How The Program Works

The program provides an in-depth learning of the Spiritual Exercises that combines critical examination of the text of the Spiritual Exercises and other Ignatian writings, experiential reflection, and a practicum in giving the Spiritual Exercises. Participants will become highly familiar with the Exercises and will be able to competently give the Spiritual Exercises in its various forms by the time they graduate from the program.
Each year has its own focus and dynamic that contributes to the integrated vision of the training program.

Year One
The first year focuses on the life and legacy of St. Ignatius of Loyola, an introductory survey of Ignatian spirituality, and a careful analysis of the text and reading of commentaries on the Spiritual Exercises. The purpose of this year is to provide students with a solid foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, serve as a means of personal spiritual growth, and serve in preparation for directing the Spiritual Exercises.

Year Two
The second year focuses on integrating the learning of the first year with a deepening critical reflection of one’s experience of the Spiritual Exercises, with the aim of preparing the participants to effectively give the Spiritual Exercises in their third year. They will gain practical insights into directing the Spiritual Exercises, learn the structure and dynamics of the Exercises, spiritual accompaniment, discernment, and practical applications.

Year Three
The goal of the third year of the Pierre Favre Program is to equip and assist students in their giving the 19th Annotation Retreat of the Spiritual Exercises. Through seminars, reflection, and supervision, participants learn how to listen in a helpful way to the activity of God in the prayer of those whom they direct. Classes will combine theory and practical application to the practice of directing the 19th Annotation Retreat through presentations, group discussion, role plays, case studies, and journal exercises.


Classes are held at The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos two Sunday afternoons each month during the academic year, starting in mid-September and ending in mid-May. Classes are three hours long.  Class are normally from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Morning of Prayer and Class One September 10th from 10 am to 5 pm Includes Mass and lunch
Class Two September 24th
Class Three October 8th
Class Four October 22nd, followed by a social and dinner
Class Five November 5th
Class Six November 19th
Class Seven December 3rd
Morning of Prayer and Class Eight January 7th, 10am to 5pm includes Mass and lunch
Class Nine January 21st
Class Ten January 28th
Class Eleven February 18th, folled by a social and dinner
Class Twelve March 4th
Class Thirteen March 18th
Class Fourteen April 8th, followed by a social and dinner
Class Fifteen April 22nd
Class Sixteen May 6th, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm                                                                    Commencement Liturgy and Reception at 3pm

Participants are expected to have made the full Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, individually directed, either in the 30-day or 19th Annotation format. They should be in regular spiritual direction with a director trained in the Ignatian tradition.

Tuition is $1,600 per year.
This includes texts, instructions, handouts, and meals.

  • Limited scholarship assistance is available.
  • Installment payments are possible.

If you are interested in applying to the program for the coming fall, please contact Fr. Chi V. Ngo, S.J., by email at chivngo@jrclosaltos.org or by phone at (650) 917-4080. The deadline for the application to be submitted is August 15th.