Category : Refugee Crisis

Meet ‘Masters in Spirituality’ Student: Br. Lee Colombino

December 8, 2017

Meet Masters in Spirituality Student: Br. Lee ColombinoCan you tell us a bit about yourself?

By origin, I am a yooper donchaknow, eh?!  But, most of my life has now been spent outside the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  A few years after undergraduate studies, I entered the Society of Jesus and I have been a brother for nearly twenty years.  I have been greatly blessed in my life as a Jesuit.  I have been in community with some fantastic men and I have met so many amazing people from the wide range of experiences I have had over the years.  Despite my many resistances, it has been a fascinating journey in seeking to grow within God’s Love.

What were you involved in prior to studying at IPS?  How did you discern IPS to be a next step?

Two years ago I was teaching in the Visual Arts Department at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.  Then starting in September 2016, I worked with Jesuit Refugee Service in Kampala, Uganda, for four months.  In early January 2017, I went to Nairobi, Kenya for six months to participate in the East African Tertianship program (tertianship is the last stage of Jesuit formation).  It was a phenomenal experience, but one that I am still ‘unpacking’.  It was during this time in East Africa that I felt an expanding desire to grow in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, along with a desire to cultivate the skills in being able to give the Spiritual Exercises and to go into spiritual direction.

What are you currently studying at IPS?

Masters in Spirituality: Spiritual Direction concentration

What has your IPS journey been like so far?

In many ways, it has been the perfect continuation of my heart-based experiences in East Africa.  I feel very grateful for my instructors and classmates this semester.  I particularly enjoy our class conversations as they make the readings come to life.  Due to the nature of the readings and conversations, I’ve been doing quite a bit of ‘soul-work’, which has been helpful in ‘unpacking’ my experiences of the last year.  My experiences in IPS are providing me with substantially delicious ‘food’ for the journey. 

What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits?

Walking around in the city to simply take in the city life; the Chicago skyline and architecture (Architectural Foundation walking tours and river boat tours); Art Institute, Robie House, & other museums; I am looking forward to getting down to Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza after Thanksgiving, as well as getting glögg in Andersonville; finding new restaurants with friends; being by the lake; and walking through the Botanic Gardens.

If you could teach a class at IPS, what would it be called?

This is a fun question. Hmmm…something like: “The Contemplative Life and Art Appreciation / Art Making”

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

At this point, I would offer to my provincial my desires of working in a retreat house as well as my openness to possibly work abroad.

Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?

Meditational and repetitive mark-making that is like saying the rosary, but instead of speaking, I draw with pen and ink on paper, with the work developing as it does.

If you want to reach out to Br. Lee directly, you can email him at
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