08 Aug What does grant writing have in common with St. Ignatius?
Many years ago, I was a Jesuit novice, for the Midwest Province in the United States. One of the stories shared me and my fellow novices was about St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and the lengths he would go to in trying to bring a person to the Christian faith.
In this story, he particularly hoped to reach out to a “notorious sinner” who lived where Ignatius happened to be at that point in his life. Ignatius heard that he always traveled to town via a bridge over a small river. As it was then wintertime, that was how the saint felt he could “reach” this person: BY STANDING IN THE RIVER’S ICY WATER, WAITING FOR THE MAN TO CROSS THE BRIDGE. I think it was hoped that the fire of the Holy Spirit would melt the sinner’s cold heart, and perhaps warm Ignatius’ cold legs!
What is my point? Well, in some respects grant research and writing is like Ignatius’ icy water: it is not comfortable. Also, given your busy schedules, you have to go out of your way to get there and do the work. And finally, even with the best of intentions, there is no promise that you will get the attention of the foundation you’re applying to!
Still, what lengths will you go to in “reaching” those you serve? Remember, a successful grant is often the difference between teaching a few people or a few hundred people. Between medicine for a family or medicine for a village, between feeding hundreds or feeding thousands.
So think of Ignatius and step into the uncomfortable waters of grant-writing, remembering how deeply important it is to find resources to greater assist those you serve!