For the next few decades, if not longer, the Church will be trying to recover from the economic and moral costs of the loss of numbers, the critical decline of priests and the global aftermath of the horrendous clergy sexual abuse scandal. The Church will survive but not in the way it previously existed. Those days are over. Clericalism, secrecy, the leadership and credibility of the bishops are all in the gristmill of change.
The current crisis, the greatest since the 16th century Protestant Reformation, is forcing the widening of criteria for priesthood, a deeper appreciation of the baptismal gifts the laity and the reclaiming of the charisms of women. More and more Catholics, determined to reclaim their Church, are rallying for change.This book offers that change at its source: the Mass and its concomitant imperative of the formation of intentional Catholics. It insists on the need to make our communal source of unity and strength, the liturgy, as clean, focused and empowering as possible because the deep truth is that the people kneeling next to you will be your strongest allies in rebuilding a Church so badly in need of reform.
So don’t be put off by this book’s initial lighthearted focus on the criticisms of the Mass, critiques both sober and cranky, serious and funny, challenging and entertaining. Rather try to be mindful of the subtle subtext that slowly sneaks up on you and ultimately invites you to a new mantra to live by, to reform by: don’t leave. Lead.
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Clear Faith Publishing
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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.