International Outreach of John Veltri, SJ
The international influence of John Veltri at Guelph and Pickering is of interest to many. Father Veltri along with John English SJ had the insight in the 1970s that Ignatian retreats should be directed rather than preached. It was important for retreatants to discover in prayer their own interior life which would inspire their lives. Catholics and Protestants responded in numbers to make directed retreats at the Loyola in Guelph or in their own parishes.
Physically limited Father Veltri met retreatants at a retreat house but his influence was international in that he moved people who had come to Canada from the United States, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Retreatants from around the world travelled to Guelph to make retreats which were adjusted to their needs, make an internship or workshop, and return home with Veltri’s 3-volume Orientations for future parish retreats. Veltri also put his writings online to make them available to the public.
Directed retreats at Loyola in Guelph and later Manresa in Pickering generated thousands of seekers who looked for spiritual direction. The extent of John Veltri’s spiritual outreach around the world was very real, is difficult to document, and needs further exploration by researchers.