Bishop Sullivan Center feeds spiritual hunger with 'Filet of Soul' book
By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY - One essay in particular might be worth the $10 cost of Filet of Soul, a compilation of spiritual reflections from the S.O.M.E. newsletter published by the Bishop Sullivan Center.
Kevin Kelly/Key photo
Tom Turner, executive director of the Bishop Sullivan Center, holds up a copy of Filet of Soul, a compilation of spiritual reflections from the agency's newsletter, S.O.M.E. (So Others May Eat).
Titled "Why Do Good People Suffer?" the brief reflection was penned by retired Bishop John J. Sullivan, namesake of the northeast Kansas City service agency, shortly after Parkinson's disease cut short his tenure as Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Stating that success and good health are not signs of God's blessing, nor are poverty and illness signs of God's displeasure, Bishop Sullivan wrote: "Didn't God the Father bless his Son? Yet he suffered poverty and even death on a cross."
The 153-page volume contains 78 essays by people from all walks of life that have been published in the newsletter which is received by Bishop Sullivan Center benefactors.
"We tell them that if you help us feed people with material food, we'll help feed you with spiritual food," said Tom Turner, executive director of the Bishop Sullivan Center.
S.0.M.E., an acronym for "So Others May Eat," is published five times a year. Each eight-page edition contains seven reflections written by Church professionals and non-professionals alike in easy-to-read language.
In Filet of Soul, Turner and the Bishop Sullivan Center staff have chosen the reflections that cover a spectrum of religious thought.
Turner compared the book to the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
"The interesting thing that has happened is that a lot of people have something to say," Turner said. "I do very little editing. I've edited the obvious grammatical errors, but never the content. Sometimes a reflection that doesn't particularly strike me is the one we get several phone calls on from people who just loved it."
Among the contributors in the book are Jackson County Prosecutor Claire McCaskill, WDAF-TV news anchor Harris Faulkner, attorney and pro-life activist Mario Mandina, and former Bishop Sullivan Center client Curtis Urness, who wrote of the death of his two-month-old son, Joseph, from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1987.
"Recovering from this devastation and the ensuing anger with God was not easy," Urness wrote. "Yet instead of losing my faith, my faith became stronger. I gained a more profound respect for the value of life, both temporal and eternal. Instead of blaming God, I saw more and more the need to rely on the Lord's guidance and protection."
Turner said that a benefactor who wished to remain anonymous underwrote the publication costs of Filet of Soul. Every penny of the $10 sale price, he said, will benefit programs at the Bishop Sullivan Center.
Copies of the book may be purchased at the Bishop Sullivan Center, 6435 Truman Rd., Kansas City, Mo., 64126-2635. Those who wish to purchase by mail must include a $2 shipping and handling charge.