As the Emmaus story unfolds it moves from catechesis to Eucharist to mission. It is a promising paradigm for the process of reweaving the present array of parish ministries into an integrated pastoral practice.
Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM, invites those engaged in ministry and those preparing for it to think of their own ministry as part of a larger pastoral tapestry. He also extends the Emmaus paradigm to pastoral leaders who have the responsibility to integrate and coordinate the practice of ministry at parish and diocesan levels.
Reweaving the Ministries invites all who are involved in ministry to become ever more fully, in St. Paul’s description, co-workers with one another and co-workers with God in the care of God’s people.
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One of the unfortunate, unintended consequences of the professionalization of lay ministry since Vatican II has been the rise of silos separating roles and responsibilities on the parish staff. Reweaving the Ministries offers a biblically centered and pastorally relevant model for overcoming this compartmentalization. If every ministerial team in the country read this book, talked about it together, and put it into practice, we would be a better church for it!
This is a profound, challenging, and comforting book. Readers will delve into and glory in the riches of church teaching on evolving pastoral ministry. Through the paradigm of Emmaus pastoral ministers are challenged to revisit how they companion people on their journeys of faith, listen again to the Good News, break bread, have their hearts set on fire, and re-engage in mission. Readers take comfort that they are engaging in such rich ministries, not as soloists, but as weavers working together.
Ministers of the Christian community—ordained and lay ecclesial—will benefit greatly from this wise and inspiring vision of ministry rooted in Ostdiek’s biblical liturgical, and prophetic imagination. If there is one book your parish staff reads together this year, make sure it is Reweaving the Ministries.
With a pastor’s heart and a scholar’s acuity, Fr. Gil Ostdiek plumbs the depths of the Emmaus story to weave a tapestry that connects catechesis, ministry of word and table, mystagogy, and mission for a rich new paradigm for ministry. Eloquent, insightful, and engaging, this book is a gem that everyone involved in ministry will want to ponder again and again.
Ministers today celebrate the post Vatican II explosion of ministry; they also long for fuller collaboration as our hierarchical history and growing specialization create silos. How can we become truly co-workers? Ostdiek’s meditative reading of the Emmaus story explores the ministries of companioning, Word, table, mystagogy and mission, and their radical connection in serving the faith journey of disciples. A theological frame, probing questions, practical strategies and spiritual depth make this an ideal book for ministry leaders to read, ponder and practice as they work to Reweave the Ministries.
Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM, is professor of liturgy at Catholic Theological Union, an ordained presbyter, and a member of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart. He is the author of numerous publications including Mystagogy of the Eucharist: A Resource for Faith Formation (Liturgical Press). He has received a Festschrift, Finding Voice to Give God Praise: Essays in the Many Languages of the Liturgy, edited by Kathleen Hughes (Liturgical Press).