Desire as an Avenue to Mystery:
Mental Illness, Stigma, and Healing

Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The stigma of mental illness still plagues our society. Faith communities can play a major role overcoming these fears. Together as a community, we can explore God’s healing graces poured out through the Scriptures and compassionate care. All of us are on a spiritual journey together. Some are called to journey with and through their illness to encounter the Mystery of the divine.

Fr. Pat Howell, S.J., well-known to LIS participants, will speak on his own experience of a psychosis and offer a Spirit guide through these dark, but grace-filled, times.

Q&A will follow his presentation.

Click here for a flyer.


3:30 - 5:30 pm

Mother Louis Room

St. Joseph Center

480 S. Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92868


$20 donation per person is suggested;
but all are welcome regardless of donation amount.

Advance ticket purchase for the presentation is not required.


email Mr. Ryan Pratt at

About Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J.

Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J. grew up in Lisbon, North Dakota, and then graduated from Gonzaga University before entering the Jesuits in 1961 in the Oregon Province.  Further studies included Boston College, the Gregorian University (Rome), and Catholic University of America.  He was a high school educator for 13 years and for the last 32 years has been a professor and administrator at Seattle University.


He was a co-founder in 1985 of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. About 60% of the graduate students at STM are Protestant or Anglican; many are preparing for ordination.  Catholics are preparing to be pastoral associates, chaplains, and spiritual leaders.  He has taught courses such as Psychospiritual Develoment, Catholic Imagination in Art & Film, Theology of Vatican II, the Christian Church in the 20th century, Pastoral Leadership, and so forth.  He is the author of Reducing the Storm to a Whisper: the Story of a Breakdown (available at Ulyssian Press, 2001) and A Spiritguide through Times of Darkness (Sheed & Ward, 1986). He has been the chair and general editor of Conversations magazine published by the National Seminar in Jesuit Higher education for all the 28 Jesuit universities’ faculty and staff since 2011.


Fr. Patrick served as interim director of LIS from August 2017 to June 2018.


Mental Health Resources

American Psychiatric Association (Website)

APA Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith Leaders (PDF)

APA Mental Health - A Guide for Faith Leaders (PDF)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Website)

Diocese of Orange Mental Health Resources (Website)

Welcomed and Valued: Building Faith Communities of Support and Hope with People with Mental Illness and Their Families (PDF)

NAMI Family Support Group at St. Irenaeus Parish, Cypress, CA

This organization helps families who are coping with mental illness issues by providing information, support and agency contacts. It meets the first and third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in classroom #7. Please contact Deacon Jerry at 310-756-4908 for more information.