Project Holiness: Marriage as a Workshop for Everyday Saints celebrates the holiness of the ordinary and the goodness of married discipleship. Vatican II's Lumen Gentium reminds Catholics of the universal call to holiness. Each person-lay and ordained alike-shares this vocation to holiness, this call to sainthood. For most adult Catholics, it is within the context of vowed, married life that the joyful and challenging path to sainthood is traveled. Based on an extensive qualitative study of long-lasting Catholic marriages, Bridget Burke Ravizza and Julie Donovan Massey examine the virtues, values, and practices that ground flourishing marriages and lead married partners to holiness.
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This rich and readable volume not only describes some contemporary unnamed saints but offers a model for others who could give flesh to those who make up what the scriptures call "The Great Cloud of Witnesses." Highly recommended.
In Project Holiness, the experience of marriage is narrated by couples who are in the trenches, striving to respond to the universal call to holiness. Their candid and often poignant sharing of friendship and sexuality, service and hospitality, suffering and fidelity will enrich the marriage of those who read this well-researched and wise book.
In Project Holiness, Bridget Burke Ravizza and Julie Donovan Massey illustrate beautifully how spouses grow in holiness not outside of their marriage but in the real, often messy, but always abundantly hopeful and richly graced dynamics of married life. What makes this book special is that it offers a theology of marriage rooted in the narratives and experiences of married persons. What makes it a blessing is that it reveals there are saints all around us, wives and husbands who radiate the love, goodness, compassion, justice, and joy of God to one another, to their families and faith communities, and to the world. Project Holiness is a gift not only to married couples, but also to those who minister to them, to church leaders who teach about marriage, and to anyone preparing for marriage.
In Project Holiness: Marriage as a Workshop for Everyday Saints, Julie Donovan Massey and Bridget Burke Ravizza invite us into sacred conversations with 50 holy couples who share with us how they love, parent, welcome, struggle, negotiate, suffer, and celebrate. Weaving these insights into the authors' own familiarity with other writers in theology and ethics, we get to hold in our hands a spectacular book that brings together wisdom from a variety of sources. This deceptively simple project reads so expertly and easily that we finish it convinced that theologians and the people in the pews have so much to learn from one another.
Project Holiness honors the experiences and wisdom of married couples and brings their voices to center of theological reflection on marriage. The result is a rich and engaging vision of discipleship as it is lived in a "workshop" of friendship, fidelity, and forgiveness. Project Holiness should be required reading for bishops and anyone involved in the pastoral care of married couples and families. It is a model of deep listening that is open to being challenged and transformed by those everyday saints who are preaching the gospel of the family in our midst.
An impressive and collaborative work. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking.
An excellent book about living out the sacrament of marriage in a holy way.
Bridget Burke Ravizza is associate professor of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin. She is a contributor to Women, Wisdom, and Witness: Engaging Contexts in Conversation, edited by Kathleen J. Dolphin and Rosemary P. Carbine and published by Liturgical Press.
Julie Donovan Massey is senior director for mission and ministry at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin.