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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Actor did St Ignatius’ spiritual exercises to prepare for priest role

Actor Andrew Garfield underwent the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, as part of his preparation for playing a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence.

Garfield’s spiritual adviser for this Jesuit journey was Jesuit Fr James Martin, editor at large of America magazine, a Jesuit journal, the author of several books, and who has some measure of television fame for being the chaplain of the old Colbert Report.

“I studied with Fr Martin all things Jesuit and attempted to crack what it means to be a soldier for Christ. The basis of that was the exercises for me,” Garfield told Catholic News Service.

Garfield, whose ancestry is Jewish but who was raised in a nonreligious household, did the 30-day retreat, although not in the customary way. He spent the third week of the retreat at a retreat house in Wales. “It was a silent week, and intense,” he recalled. The actor, who has dual British-American citizenship, said he returned to the United States for the conclusion of the retreat near his Los Angeles home.

“Yeah, it was remarkable, really. I was so grateful for the sacred time,” he said.

Picture: Andrew Garfield stars as Fr Sebastian Rodrigues in a scene from the movie Silence. Garfield underwent the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, as part of his preparation for playing a Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese’s new film. (CNS photo/Paramount).