“More than anything else, Samuel Group teaches young adults how to pray better, and in particular how to listen with greater attention and understanding to the voice of God in their hearts. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his meeting with seminarians and their formators during his pastoral visit to the United States, observed that if we desire an increase in priestly and religious vocations, we need to invest more in helping young people learn how to pray well.”
+ Joseph F. Naumann Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas
What Is The History of Samuel Group?
The program began in 1987, when Cardinal Martini of Milan led a group of 100 young men and women on a spiritual journey to discover their call in life. Cardinal Martini’s talks and spiritual direction were based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a master in the Discernment of Spirits. Cardinal Martini gave the Apostles of the Interior Life his blessing upon learning of their desire to share this program with young adults in the United States. He was very supportive of this endeavor and encouraged them to teach discernment as part of their apostolate. Samuel Group was then brought to the United States in 2001 and has since been offered on different university campuses.
The commitment to the program lasts one year and helps give direction to a student’s freedom and creativity so that he or she may discover his or her role in the Church and in the world.
The program has a three-fold goal for each candidate:
- to know oneself
- to know Jesus
- to know one’s role in the Church and in the world
The means by which to reach this goal are: prayer, spiritual direction, and interior discernment. They involve three main aspects.
Meditation involves daily reflection on the Word of God and spiritual writings.
Purification is the process of detachment from sin, wrongful inclinations, selfish affections, and illusions.
Scrutiny involves spiritual direction and self-reflection on the interior movements of the soul where Jesus speaks to us.