THE COMMUNITY

Co-pilgrims that share the experience of attending the Life’s Directions Retreat, journeying together in unique paths towards God and finding healing and hope through shared stories.

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THE RETREAT

Life’s Directions (LD) is a guided retreat for co-pilgrims discovering truth in brokenness, celebrating life experiences, and embracing The Giver and the gift of self.

An LD Spiritual Director discusses modules on identifying crossroads, looking lovingly at paths taken, discerning patterns that lead closer to or away from one’s center, redirecting energies to reach a life founded and rooted in God, and finding the right companions along the way.

LD alumni share stories, finding grace in the good and the bad. Participants join small groups where they too can share and listen to co-pilgrims, under the guidance of LD facilitators.

The hope is, that in understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and worldview, life’s challenges can be faced with faith, its blessings received with joy, and its lessons accepted with peace. Continuous self-reflection, discernment, and learning is what LD endeavors to impart, as well.

As a community journeying together in faith, we are made whole by the Spirit and inspired to passionately share ourselves with the least, the lost, and the last.

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THE ROOT & CORE

How We Started

Inspired by a group of young individuals asking questions and seeking answers as they were hiking down a mountain, Fr. Ted Gonzales SJ founded Life’s Directions. It is a recognized charism of the Center of Family Ministries (CEFAM), a socio-spiritual apostolate of the Society of Jesus Philippine Province.

Through the service of volunteers, the first LD Weekend Retreat for young and young-at-heart professionals was held in 1994. To this day, companions serve in loving kindness at LD retreats, journeying with those searching still.

Who We Are

We are a sanctuary. A safe haven for companions to journey and discern.

We are storytellers and story-keepers. A way to find healing and hope through shared stories.

We are companions in the spirit. A community for the lost, least, and last.

What We Value

Surrender. Let God.
“Surrender yourself to the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7-9

Simplicity. Let go.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

Service. Let good.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” Colossians 3:23

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THE SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR

Fr. Teodulo P. Gonzales of the Society of Jesus was ordained in 1987. He has since then been involved in family ministry for engaged and married couples through teaching, supervising, and counseling.

Holding an MA in Theology and an MS in Pastoral Counseling, he completed his PhD in Pastoral Counseling at the Loyola College in Maryland, USA. His retreat apostolate is mainly with young professionals through Life’s Directions: Living a Discerning Way of Life, On Fire: Integrating Sexuality and Spirituality, San Jose: Spirituality for Men, AGIMAT ni Apo: Integrating Power and Spirituality, and Tatak NextGen: Discerning Leadership in Times of Crisis, and recently, Servire: Tibok ng Paglilingkod.

Fr. Ted teaches at Loyola School of Theology (LST, Ateneo de Manila University Campus) and is connected with Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) as professor, supervisor, and counselor. He compiled Stories from a Weekend and Agimat ni Apo (ST. PAULS). He co-published, through BASA (Bayan Akayin sa Abot Tanaw) a children’s book titled “Si Kontra, si Bida, at si Big Boy Buwaya” by Christine Bersola-Babao, edited by Christine Bellen and illustrated by Martin Malabanan (KATHA Publishing). 

In 2014, he was assigned as a Juniorate Director for Jesuits in Formation and teaching at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Currently back in the Philippines, he is assigned at CEFAM-LST (Loyola School of Theology) and at the Arrupe International Residence, formation house for young Jesuits in Asia Pacific Region.

He is an avid fan of Disney movies and considers The Lion King as one of his favorites of all time.

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THE PILLARS & VOLUNTEERS

LD Retreat alumni who pay it forward by volunteering for the community

Weekend Experience

Organizes, promotes, raises funds for, and manages the execution of the LD Retreat

Structure

Guides, trains, and prepares moderators, sharers, and facilitators for service during the LD Retreat

Communications

Creates and reviews materials and manages all communication channels of the LD Community

Beyond the Weekend

Provides opportunities for LD co-pilgrims to grow in the different aspects of their Wheel of Life

Servant of All

Takes care of the LD Community and ensures all pillars are working smoothly together to put out successful LD retreats and activities

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BEYOND LD

The LD Community is involved in advocacies and activities that strengthen and build upon the LD experience.

Kasama

Kasama focuses on helping high school and college students in their life’s journeys. It was created to supplement the Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid’s (2KK) regular academic tutorial sessions for the children in the Payatas community.

LD and 2KK believe that broadening the minds of the youth will help them succeed in life and inspire them to share their God-given gifts to society. The vision is to help them keep faith in the beauty of life today and hope in a bright tomorrow.

Much like the LD Weekend experience, Kasama is a place for the youth to assess and direct their lives in a prayerful mood. There are points for reflection, sharing of experience by an LD alumnus, reflection and reading, and a small group sharing. The objective is to not only encourage the children to pray, reflect, and share their confusions and concerns, but also to guide them as to how they may apply the teachings in their lives.

M.Y. Kaibigan

M.Y. Kaibigan (Magis Deo Youth) is the fruit of the shared desires and ideas of parents and children of the Magis Deo community, with the guidance, support, and inspiration from Fr. Ted Gonzales SJ and Life’s Directions volunteers.

This two-day, live-in retreat hopes to help the youth discover themselves better – their strengths, challenges, and blessings. Participants learn more about prayer and reflection, simple spiritual exercises, and letter-writing that will guide them in daily life with their families, peers, and community. With a deeper understanding of the self, they also get to know and experience Jesus Christ as their companion and friend for life. And, they become a catalyst for change, who seek to serve and love others, just like Jesus.

The retreat uses a variety of activities to create a meaningful experience for participants such as storytelling, small and big group sharing, letter-writing, and indoor and outdoor activities and creative exercises.