Current Research

Sacred Story Institute exists to help all Catholics understand their unique sacred story within the Sacred Story of Christ as entrusted to the Church. We want to promote all means of utilizing St. Ignatius of Loyola’s dynamic Examination of Conscience toward this goal.

So we seek to help the Church find effective evangelization and prayer resources for all groups and individuals within the Church.


Collaborating with six parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle, SSI’s first year research project will build Ignatian Examen resources for Catholic parishioners in the English-speaking world. The project commences the first full week of Lent, 2012 and concludes in February 2013.

Nearly six hundred participants in six Seattle Catholic parishes will provide weekly feedback via SSI’s web interface. Women and men, from the ages of eighteen to ninety plus, are participating in the yearlong research study. Participants will also be invited to experience, like St. Ignatius, the making of a whole-life reconciliation as a foundational exercise prior to beginning the SSI Examen.

From the feedback system SSI has developed, we will be able to gain a tremendous knowledge of how people from many different backgrounds (age, gender, culture, etc.) respond to the prayer experience including:

  • Where challenges come in the yearlong process and to what they are associated
  • Graces and insights gained and to what these are connected
  • Advice they would give to others doing this in the future at each week of the yearlong process
  • How the prayer and Reconciliation disciplines are straightening people’s faith

The wisdom SSI gleans from the feedback system will be used to create a 40-week course that will provide all the support anyone might need to learn the prayer disciplines and discernment techniques for integral growth in peace and holiness. The first SSI Examen program will be available to the public soon.

SSI K-8 Conscience Formation

Grade school teachers from each of the six participating parishes in the Seattle Archdiocese will also participate in the yearlong Sacred Story Examen prayer project. Working together at each parish, and across parishes, the teachers will collaborate with trained catechists experienced in Ignatian spirituality. The goal is to develop conscience formation exercises that shape Ignatius’ Examen and discernment disciplines into curricular elements for K-8 students. The curricular elements, once shaped to harmonize with the best in our Catholic Tradition, will also be made available at no cost through the SSI website to all Catholic grade school teachers wishing to use them.

SSI is developing a structure to collect new ideas from the users of SSI’s K-8 conscience formation resources once they are available so that new curricular projects can be constantly added to the Sacred Story site. SSI’s K-8 Conscience Formation will become a powerful tool for teachers in Catholic schools to teach our youth how to listen to the God whose law of truth and love is in our hearts.

Results from our first research project with K-8 Catholic faculty will be uploaded to our website for testing and feedback from any K-8 faculty wishing to test them.