The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City and Rockhurst High School have strengthened their connection by opening a mutual office, conference room and private consultation spaces on the Greenlease Memorial campus at 9301 State Line Road in Kansas City, MO. Construction of the facilities was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the AMDG Foundation established by the Carol and Bob Miller Family. A formal blessing of the spaces took place on May 21, 2019.
“The Society of Jesus has invited Jesuit works to consider their metropolitan work as an apostolic platform where together we work to deepen the rich fruits of the Spiritual Exercises. This collaboration with the Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City is a great example of such a vision and reflects one of the recently named Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus: Discernment and the Spiritual Exercises,” said David J. Laughlin, president of Rockhurst High School. “Rockhurst High School and the Spirituality Center share a deeply felt desire to help people to understand themselves, Christ, and the world around them. We are profoundly grateful to the Miller family for making it possible for us to create a holy environment where faith can grow for the mission of Jesus Christ.”
In the late 1980s, members of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) from Rockhurst University, St. Francis Xavier Parish, and Rockhurst High School began providing opportunities for lay people to experience the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Over the next 10 years the number of people making the Spiritual Exercises increased, so-much-so that in August of 2001 an “Ignatian Spirituality Program” was formally established by Rev. James G. Blumeyer, SJ. The program grew into the Ignatian Spirituality Center serving the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
“Faith formation has always been a core value of our family,” commented Sean R. Miller, chairman of the AMDG Foundation and the Miller Group. “When the opportunity was presented to help these two Jesuit apostolates of the Catholic Church to offer even more invitations for people to deepen their relationship with God, we of course wanted to be a part of it. Their good works are truly devoted to God’s greater honor and glory.”
Robert E. Miller graduated from Rockhurst High School in 1946. He founded the company that bears his name and the values he held dear: “God, family, and community come first!” The Miller Group’s motto is “Miller Cares.” It is one of the largest and most successful insurance brokers in Kansas City, as well as offering a number of other client-based services across a broad spectrum of business fields. Although Bob Miller passed away in 2010, his spirit still animates his family. The AMDG Foundation keeps his Christ-centered way of living alive with grants to organizations devoted to the Catholic faith across the Midwest.
“The Spiritual Exercises was life changing for me,” reflected James M. Caccamo, Ph.D., executive director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center. “Our Ignatian formation is a gift from God; however, it is not one we should keep… we must give it away every single day for the betterment of God’s Kingdom here on Earth. Spirituality can be so foundational to living life to its fullest for God and everyone and everything around us. These new spaces give us a special place to share those beliefs as a faith community.”