Mission & History

Telling the ‘Deep Story’…

Father Bernard Lee, S.M., called it “The Beating of Great Wings” – the deep story that informs the prominent dates or accomplishments in an organization’s history. Lee’s particular focus is helping religious communities develop effective ways to reinvigorate their charisms – but businesses and secular organizations often face a similar challenge:

  • How do you keep the deep story alive, particularly for team members who weren’t there at the beginning? 
  • How do you capture a lift today – from the great wings that first animated your success decades (or perhaps even centuries) ago?

Click on the buttons below – to see how a good writer demonstrates affection and respect for the deep stories that really matter to an organization’s future.

Alive magazine – Marianist Province of the United States

Published three times a year, Alive magazine tells stories of how vowed Marianist brothers, priests and lay Marianists make a difference in the world. It’s always a delight to interview them and help spread the Good News.

  • Summer 2021: “Following Mary’s Lead” and “Return to the Source”
  • Spring 2021: “At Mary’s Service” 
  • Fall/Winter 2020: “Urban Harvest: Reaping the Rewards” and “In the Spirit”
  • Summer 2020: “A Winning Game Plan” and “Community as Crucible and Catalyst”
  • Spring 2020: “Grace in One Place”
  • Summer 2019: “Ode to Joy” and “Living Chaminade’s Dream”
  • Spring 2019: “In The Spirit of the Game”
  • Fall / Winter 2018: “Father Quentin’s Light Bulb Moment” and “Brick-By-Brick”
  • Summer 2018: “Living the Consecrated Life”

La Salle Retreat Center, Glencoe, MO

Each year, well over 1,500 people make weekend retreats at this venerable facility in suburban St. Louis – but few know the rich history of its first hundred years of service. To mark La Salle’s 125th anniversary in 2011, John teamed with his wife Gerri – then a staff member at the retreat house – to research and write an account that pays tribute to the center’s Lasallian (Christian Brother) spirituality.

“On This Holy Ground: A Brief Walk Through the History of La Salle

Shell Oil – Houston, Texas

Is the 75th anniversary of a petroleum refinery really the stuff of history? It can be, if the one who tells the story can see beyond the maze of pipes and columns, or the dusty annals of dates and statistics. By intentionally taking a broad sweep, an intriguing image emerges – that of “a manufacturing hub around which a large chunk of a company was built…an industrial center that played a key role in a nation’s rise to prominence on the world stage…and a major contributor to a region’s economy.”

The Wonder At Wood River: 75 Years of Progress