Priesthood Today Ministry in a Changing Church

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Ministry in a Changing Church
Priesthood Today

This book offers an informed and comprehensive view of the life and role of the priest in a changing cultural context. Drawing together over thirty articles from leading thinkers, both priests and laity, it takes a considered look at the needs and skills of the individual in ministry, contemplates the spiritual and theological foundations of priesthood, deliberates on the opportunities and challenges presented by a changing Church, and reflects on the priest and his place and role in the community.

  • Foreword / Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh
  • Introduction / Eamonn Conway
  • Section 1. Ministering in a Time of Change
    • The Demands of Collaborative Ministry / Maureen Kelly
    • Being a Priest in Contemporary Culture / Eamonn Conway
    • The Priesthood and Contemporary Society / Dermot McCarthy
    • The Role of the Laity: Reflections of a Priest / Gerry Tanham
    • Professional Lay Pastoral Ministry: Preserving Integrity and Quality of Practice / Aoife McGrath
    • Going to God Together: Priests in Ecclesial Movements / Brendan Leahy
    • Priests and the Clustering of Parishes: A Theological Reflection / Eugene Duffy
    • The Role of the Priest in Regard to Pastoral Councils and Finance Committees / Pat Farragher
    • Digital Media: A Version of the Pulpit / Paul Tighe
    • Priesthood Today Within Evolving Church Structures / Anne Codd
  • Section 2. Spiritual and Theological Foundations
    • Ignatius of Loyola: An Imagined Message for Today / Michael Paul Gallagher
    • Letter to Priests, from Brother Francis, the Little Poor Alan of Assist / CaoimhIn O Laoide
    • Bringing God to the World and the World to God: The Priest in the Twenty-First Century / Jim Corkery
    • Do We Really Know Christian Teaching About Jesus? / Enda Lyons
    • 'With Joy You Shall Draw Water From the Wells of Salvation': Scripture and the Contemporary Priest / Feidhlimidh T. Magennis
    • Communicating the Church's Moral Teaching / John Sherrington
    • The Ecumenical Imperative / Patrick Fintan Lyons
    • The Priesthood of All the Faithful / Donal Murray
    • Mary's Hymn of Praise / Eamonn Conway
  • Section 3. Person and Role
    • 'Is the Priest at Home?': The Personal Maturity and Mental Health of the Priest / Brendan S. O'Rourke
    • Celibacy and Intimacy / Brendan Geary
    • Realising Leadership Potential / SeAn Ruth
    • Authority and Power / Tom Dalzell
    • Ordained Ministry - A View 'From Below' / Eamonn Fitzgibbon
    • The Relationship Between Bishop and Priest / Willie Walsh
    • Priests' Rights and Responsibilities / Patrick Connolly
    • The Ministry of the Priest: A Lay Perspective / Nuala O'Loan
    • Prophets of the Eternal / Niall Ahern
    • Dissent and Dissension / Padraig McCarthy
  • Section 4. Sign and Sacrament
    • Presiding at Eucharist: The Ars Celebrandi / Tom Whelan
    • Speaking From Within: More Effective Preaching / Kieran J. O'Mahony
    • Ministering Healing and Forgiveness / Hugh Connolly
    • The Priest and Ministry to the Sick / La Flynn
    • Supporting the Sacrament of Marriage / Rik Van Nieuwenhove
    • The Priest and the Permanent Deacon / Martin Browne
    • Consecrated Beauty and the Witness of the Priest / William Desmond
  • Contributors.

The demand to the whole Church to go out from the pew and the sacristy and become evangelising missionaries has become the hallmark of Pope Francis’s pontificate. The new pope has been calling all Christians to anew level of maturity and responsibility in regard to their faith. At his first Mass of Chrism as Pontiff, he told priests to ‘be shepherds with the smell of sheep, so that people can sense that the priest is not just concerned with his own congregation, but is also a fisher of men’. Being a missionary in contemporary culture places new demands upon all of us.

This extensive volume of thirty-six essays, written by laity, priests and religious, takes a considered look at the new demands being placed in particular on priests. It maps aspects of the contemporary context for mission, and considers a number of the spiritual and theological foundations priests can turn to in order to discern the path of authentic renewal. It also explores dimensions of human formation that are essential to effective mission, ministry and leadership, and it considers the celebration of each of the sacraments in a contemporary cultural context.

The conversation around the changing context within which priests find themselves today is not, as Archbishop Eamon Martin points out in his foreword, an easy one, but one that must be had, and which needs to be open and creative: ‘God continues to call all priests to new life in Christ.That new life is nourished through prayer, meditation and study of the scriptures … It flourishes when we are prepared to take time to evaluate, review and renew our ministry.’

All of these issues, and more, are addressed in Priesthood Today, which, it is hoped, will help priests to deepen their own faith, hope and love, and will be a valuable contribution to the renewal of the Irish Church and to priestly ministry today.

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Format: Paperback book
Product code: IC305183
Dimensions: 9" x 6.1"
Length: 407 pages
ISBN: 978-1-84730-518-3
Written by Eamonn Conway