This book captures lay-led services Fr. William Bausch wrote for his fellow patients at a care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they did not have access to Mass.
Roman Catholics are a communal people. We gather for worship because we are more than the sum total of our individual selves. Going to church on Sunday is not only a statement of faith. It is also a place of support and affirmation. Participating on sacred days such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, or to celebrate the sacraments, underwrites cohesion and identity as a People of God.
To lose all this during times of crisis, such as a pandemic, diminishes the communal enterprise and opens the door to the ills of isolation. This happened when public worship became a hazard with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The ongoing critical decline in clergy has aggravated the situation. Mass via TV has proven helpful, but as an isolating activity, it ultimately undermines the Catholic genius of the Communion of Saints and corporate witness.
Nothing can replace common worship in church, but we do what we can when necessary, and we are not without inspiration. The awareness of our need to include those traditionally excluded has provided another rich resource for legitimizing the gifts of the laity in many areas of the Church, including conducting public worship. In the end, when all pandemics are over, a more prophetic Church of shared and collaborative ministry may emerge. This book of lay-led liturgies foresees that day.
|Dimensions:||6" x 9"|
Clear Faith Publishing
|1-2 copies||$16.15 each|
|3-5 copies||$15.30 each|
|6+ copies||$14.45 each|
Rev. William J. Bausch is a parish priest of the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. He is the award-winning author of numerous books on parish ministry, the sacraments, Church history, storytelling, and homiletics. His book, Traditions, Tensions, Transitions in Ministry received an honorable mention in 1983 from the Catholic Press Association; Storytelling: Imagination and Faith was awarded second place in 1985 for best pastoral work; The Total Parish Manual won first place in 1995; Brave New Church won first place in 2002; and Once Upon a Gospel won third place in 2009.
He was awarded the President’s Award in 1996 from the National Federation of Priests’ Councils for Parish Leadership, the Catholic Library Association’s Aggiornamento Award for Notable Contribution to Parish Life in 2004 and the Walter J. Burghardt, S. J. Preaching award in 2008 for his contribution to Catholic preaching. He has lectured and given workshops at such colleges and universities as Notre Dame; Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Connecticut; Boston College; Charles Carroll in Cleveland; and in most U.S. dioceses as well as abroad. His latest book is The Story Revealed, a book of homilies.
First and foremost, however, though retired from the pastorate, he remains happily engaged in his first love: being a parish priest active in assisting at three parishes, writing, and giving lectures and retreats.