Pierre Favre Program

Pierre Favre Program

The Pierre Favre program is a three-year training program to train people to give the 19th Annotation Retreat of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The program is named after St. Pierre Favre who was a close friend and one of the small circle of men who founded the Society of Jesus. He was the man whom Ignatius said could best direct people through the Spiritual Exercises.

How the Program Works

The program provides the participant with an in-depth education in the Spiritual Exercises, combining critical examination of the text, familiarization with other Ignatian writings, and experiential reflection. During the third year of training, participants give the Spiritual Exercises to their first directees under supervision by their experienced instructors, and are fully qualified to give the 19th Annotation when they graduate from the program.

The summaries below describe each year of the training program:

Year One 
The first year focuses on the life and legacy of St. Ignatius of Loyola; on an introductory survey of Ignatian spirituality, and a careful analysis of the text and reading of commentaries on the Spiritual Exercises. Students receive a solid foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, and develop enhanced disciplines for their personal spiritual growth.

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

Year Three 
The third year of the program equips students in giving the 19th Annotation Retreat to their first directees. 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 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, beginning in mid-September and ending in mid-May. Classes are three hours long and are normally held from 2 pm to 5 pm.

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.”

St . Pierre Favre    Image result for St . Pierre Favre

Prerequisites for Application and Enrollment

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 and includes texts, instructions, handouts, and meals.  Limited scholarship assistance is available and are installment payments possible.

Those interested in applying to the Pierre Favre program for the fall 2020 term should contact Fr. Chi Ngo, S.J., by email at cngo@jrclosaltos.org or by phone at (650) 917-4080. The deadline for the application to be submitted is July 30, 2020.