Though it has taken me a while, this week I am able to introduce a website for the Farnan Spirituality Center (FSC). You can visit it by clicking here, thanks to Lane Lucas, webmaster for Saint Charles Church and Borromeo Academy.
There is a brief back story. In my previous pastoral assignment at Saint Charles Borromeo in the Kansas City northland (2016-22), with the help of friends and family, we transformed a sizable, largely unused, rectory into a retreat house that made room for spiritual directors and companions to meet, for small group retreats to occur, and for spiritual engagement to blossom. It worked well and helped many faith-filled sojourners explore mystical paths or take a closer walk with the Lord. When I was transferred last summer to Rockhurst University, with pastoral duties at Saint James (39th and Troost) and Saint Therese (58th and Euclid) Parishes, none could provide housing. Through an incredibly blessed series of kind and generous actions, beginning with a major donor who had grown up at Saint Charles Parish, friends collaborated to fund a residence for me in south Kansas City that is now the site of my spirituality center.
From here I can do something that the Catholic Church often does well: assist searchers who want to grow closer to God through introspective self-awareness, prayerful understanding, and life-giving relationships. Many people have expressed to me that their most meaningful, purposeful, and impactful moments in life surface through spiritual encounters. It may occur in prayer, through an experience in nature, an insight gleaned through social outreach, or an unexpected brush with God’s majesty through sound, sight, or enlightened thought. Those mysterious glimpses beyond the physical realm become treasures that remind us of the Lord’s presence in our lives and they reorient us toward heaven’s magnetic pull. I hope that through this virtual website or a visit to the FSC, you will be inspired to step closer to our loving God.
On the website, you will find blog posts that proffer insight into significant topics of faith and religion, podcasts that focus on the power of forgiveness and others that promote faith-in-action through engagement with inner city ministries, as well as reflection pieces on music, art, poetry, books, and other works. This linkage could supplement your prayer as you contemplate faith from your home screen. But virtual participation cannot compare to the value of face-to-face interplay: spiritual direction, spiritual counsel, spiritual assessment, mini-retreats, book clubs, discussion groups, prayer gatherings, sacramental preparation, and other in-person encounters. If you enter your contact information, I will be glad to call or message you in writing to arrange a session or send links that you may find beneficial and/or animating.
Christian faith, and its connection to other religions and spiritual paths, is a powerful support when confronting the challenges of daily life, its routines, tragedies, invitations, and unexpected opportunities that are placed before us. Life is short and often confusing. Whether we search the web or search our soul, we can make a little more sense of our purpose and mission by seeking understanding together as children of God and disciples of love.