Tony Rossi, Director of Communications                                        

Paula Faris Finds Guidance From Her Late Father

            Easter Sunday is always meaningful, but the reality of Jesus’ resurrection

holds special significance for those who have recently lost a loved one and take

comfort in the idea that they will someday be reunited again in heaven. That is the

case with Paula Faris, whose father Ed passed away in early 2019, due to a

debilitating stroke. In the aftermath of his death, Paula discovered that her dad

had left her a gift that no one knew existed. It found Paula at just the time in her

life, when she needed it most.

            In 2018 – after enduring a “season of hell” that included a miscarriage, a concussion, a head-on car crash, and pneumonia – Paula stepped back from her two time-consuming jobs at ABC News: co-anchoring “GMA Weekend” and co-hosting “The View.” Though she remained at the network as Senior National Correspondent and creator of the podcast “Journeys of Faith,” she felt “lost” because so much of her identity had been tied up in her high profile job titles and pursuit of career advancement. But Paula knew that God was telling her to slow down so she could focus more on her husband, children, and faith. And that’s when she discovered that her struggles were echoed by her father’s own experiences.

            After his death, Paula discovered that Ed had kept journals in which he reflected on his life. They had been stashed in old boxes, and nobody knew about them. Ed wrote about growing up in a Lebanese Catholic family, but never experiencing a real relationship with God. He struggled to find peace in his soul, searching for it through alcohol, transcendental meditation, and career advancement. But nothing worked. 

            It wasn’t until Ed was in his 40s and already married with three children that he found the Morningstar Christian Community, an ecumenical group born out of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement. That is the place where God became an active presence in Ed’s life, helping to save his marriage and giving him a deeper love and appreciation for his family. Paula was born in the aftermath of this spiritual awakening when Ed found his peace in God. During a “Christopher Closeup” interview about her new book “Called Out: Why I Traded Two Dream Jobs For a Life of True Calling,” Paula said, “My dad was a brilliant man, an engineer. He had multiple opportunities to move up the corporate ladder, but he didn’t [take them] because he wanted to be home with his family.”

            On the Saturday before he passed away, Ed was lying in his hospital bed when Paula noticed he was crying. She asked if it was because he was in pain. Unable to speak, he shook his head, “No.” She then asked if he was crying because he was sad. Again, he shook his head. Paula then said, “Are you crying because you’re overwhelmed by the love and the memories and the life that you lived and the people you’re surrounded with?”

Ed nodded, “Yes.”

            For Paula, it was a reassurance that she, too, had made the right decision in prioritizing family over career. And as heartbreaking as it was losing her father, her faith gives her reassurance that this separation is temporary, not final. She said, “When you lose a parent, it’s like your tectonic plates shift. It’s so foundational. I can’t imagine saying goodbye and not having the peace that I’m going to see him again. Dad, I love you, and we’re going to be together forever.”

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