Meet a Reader: Father Luke Spannagel

Here is this month’s featured “Reader.”  Alert readers here will notice that I featured Fr. Spannagel when discussing Rogation Days a few weeks back. Thank you, Father, for being willing to be featured here.

Fr. Luke Spannagel

How you know me:

You know me from several assignments throughout the Diocese. Currently I am the parochial vicar for St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington and St. Mary’s Church in Downs.  I also serve as the Episcopal Vicar for Rural Life for our Diocese and am a regular columnist for The Catholic Post feature “Chalices and Calluses.”

Why I love reading:

Reading truly does expand my mind and soul by challenging how I think, giving me new ideas, and inviting me beyond myself.  As a priest, reading keeps my preaching fresh and provides many starting points for conversations.  Most importantly, spiritual reading inspires me to keep growing closer to God and encourages me to hope more and more for heaven each day.

What I’m reading now:

I always have several books going at the same time:  something about Christian life, the Bible, the saints, sports, country living, or even an adventure. I just finished Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium
which I found very inspiring and challenging.  I’m also reading a book about the legacy of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and a book about garden history, which is about landscape design (and includes many beautiful photos!).

My favorite book:

Although I have many “favorites,” books that have had the most profound impact on me are the Diary of St. Faustina; Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux,
; and Give Me a Living Wordby Jean Lafrance. 

But if I had to choose one all-time favorite, I would go with the novel Mr. Blue
by Myles Connolly.  While primary about the interesting life of the title character, the book also includes a wonderful idea “Mr. Blue” has for a movie–a futuristic movie that highlights perfectly the joy of the priesthood and the true power of the Mass.