The author has spent much of his life deepening his faith and participating in church prayer groups. His spiritual journey was helped by four years of night classes at the School of Theology in Detroit, Michigan, and by monastic retreats in Three Rivers, Michigan, where monks provided instruction and spiritual insights. Mr. Simonds is a chartered financial analyst and has pursued a forty-nine-year career as a securities analyst and investment counselor. He retired as chairman of his nationwide counseling firm in 2003. Mr. Simonds has been a lay Episcopal minister since 1985.