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Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter Paperback – February 25, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I think it will be a bit of a barn burner when it comes out." --Rev. Michael Roach, Pastor of St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church, Manchester, MD


"Father Michael White, whom I have known for many years, and his pastoral associate, Tom Corcoran, write with remarkable honesty and humor, telling us about what happened to them. Through trial and error, success and failure, and with some unexpected experiences along the way, they leanred a lot about parish life. But most of all, they learned to fall in love with their parish. . . . This is a book that takes the New Evangelization seriously. …If you love your parish, read this book." --From the Foreword by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York


"Rebuilt is an excellent resource for parishes seeking new ideas and a fresh approach to bringing the faithful closer to Christ in the third millennium." --Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore


"This story of Catholic parish renewal is a must-read for pastors and future pastors. It provides an amazing testimony to the transforming power of God's love when we say a generous yes to following Jesus in true discipleship, centered in word and sacrament." --Rev. John Horn, S.J. , President-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Archdiocese of St. Louis


"This is an eminently practical how-to book by two ordinary parish leaders doing extraordinary work. They challenge us to learn from their experience of growing a healthy parish built on the radical call of Gospel hope, focused on making disciples, and committed to reaching the lost." --Theresa Rickard, O.P. , Executive Director, Renew International


"Vibrant parishes are essential if we are going to re-propose the genius of Catholicism to the people of our times. Rebuilt is much needed and well written. White and Corcoran are stunningly honest, insightful about the real problems facing parishes today, and passionate about helping your parish become the best version of itself." --Matthew Kelly, Author of Rediscover Catholicism

A must read for anyone serious about parish engagement, membership, and financial and spiritual growth. It should be required reading for pastors, new priests, and parish councils. --U.S. Catholic

About the Author

Michael White received his bachelor's degree from Loyola University Maryland and his graduate degrees in sacred theology and ecclesiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. After being ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, he worked for five years as personal secretary to William Cardinal Keeler, who was then archbishop. During that time, he served as the director of the papal visit of Pope John Paul II to Baltimore.
During his tenure as pastor at Church of the Nativity, the church has almost tripled in weekend attendance from 1,400 to over 4,000. More importantly, the commitment to the mission of the Church has grown, evidenced by the significant increase of giving and service in ministry.

Thomas Corcoran received his bachelor's degree from Loyola University Maryland and completed his graduate work in theology with Franciscan University of Steubenville. Corcoran has served Church of the Nativity in a variety of roles that give him a unique perspective on parish ministry and leadership. Beginning as a youth minister, Corcoran later held positions as coordinator of children's ministry and director of small groups. He currently serves in the position of associate to the pastor and is responsible for weekend message development, strategic planning, and staff development.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (February 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594713863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594713866
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before writing this review I had to read the book twice.

And this review is my opinion. I admit that. I may be and probably am completely wrong, but it is my perception of a ministry and a method based on a text. If I got to visit the parish the book is about, my opinion may be completely different. And this review doesn't cover half of my praises for the work that these two men have done and the concerns I have. It is just a few of them.

As a Director of Religious Education and someone who has been praying and working in my parish for 6 years there were times when I wanted to give the book 10 stars and was screaming "YES!" out loud, and other times when I wanted to give them -10 stars. After all, there are people at my parish who love me and others who want my head on a silver platter. I am sure their staff is used to this type of reaction. I am excited and invigorated by the work this Catholic parish has done to grow disciples and be evangelistic. The mere fact that they got any kind of reaction at all out of normally apathetic parishioners is impressive when they started the paradigm shift at their parish. Our changes have been slower than theirs, but we experience many of the same results, parishioners yelling at us and leaving the parish, withholding their title, new young families coming in, and so on.

There is so much to be commended and imitated - and oh yes - I will be taking some of their ideas. Much of what they have experienced in growing disciples, I have experienced at my own small parish. However, I have concerns with their approach as well.

It appears based on the book that they have seemingly made their Catholic identity an afterthought in their ministry because it is not seen as being "seeker friendly".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our pastor has recommended Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter for our parish to read and discuss. I purchased the Kindle edition. There are some really good suggestions about growing a church. Small groups are a great way to get people to know and support each other as Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

I was disturbed by the designation of some of Nativity's parishioners as "consumers". They are parishioners. They may be annoying and disagree with the vision of the authors but they remain parishioners. I also thought there was too much business-speak. God's judgement as a performance review? Really?

We need to attract the lost to our church but we also need to love the people who are already there. Perhaps some of them are lost as well. Jesus is in the Mass in the Word, in the Eucharist, and in the body of His people. Look around the Assembly. You will see Jesus there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you heard about this book and were expecting a mainstream attempt to restore the Catholic Sanctuary, authentic Catholic piety and Catholic worship as well as to rejuvenate the faithful and quicken the spiritually dead, you will be sorely disappointed. It is yet another source of liturgical innovation which dilutes the Faith through the laver of secularism. This time it is finding its way into the Church through the Protestant “Seeker Service” movement. The Catholic reader should be aware that even within the Protestant camp, the formula presented in this book is rejected or criticized by a large percentage of Christian churches for producing false conversions and ill-formed disciples.

Rebuilt, explains how the culture of an established Roman Catholic parish is changed. According to the authors, their church, the Church of the Nativity, was not successful because it was irrelevant to the community. It was irrelevant because it was unwelcoming and it was unwelcoming because it was populated by “churchpeople”. To the authors, an unwelcoming church is a problem because it prevents evangelization and consequently, church growth. In other words, their definition of a successful church is one that is “healthy” because it is increasing its membership through converts. The objective of the book is to remove the impediments that keep people from attending church and propose innovations to attract newcomers.

In a nutshell, Rebuilt teaches that the role of the local parish is to reach lost people and evangelization is accomplished by inviting the unchurched to attend church and then keep them coming back. This is facilitated by not offending them when they come through the door and meeting their felt needs once they are under the roof.
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Format: Paperback
p. 109

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I should first make an admission that my concerns about this book began when I attended their one-day Matter conference in November 2014. My parish council began reading this book in order to implement the ideas in our parish (and we have implemented many at this point) and we attended the conference as a group. It was at this conference that I realized that the majority of the changes the parish has implemented and recommends in the book are influenced by the Protestant mega-church, especially Rick Warren. This in itself is neither good nor bad, yet I came away from the conference convinced that Protestant strategies will ultimately collapse into irreverence and a very stripped down version of Catholicism. I will make more substantive claims below, but this was the impression that colored the majority of my reading of the book i.e. I saw what happens in practice, then I read the strategies. So I want to make sure I put that out there in the interest of full disclose.

First let me say some positive things as well as some clarifying remarks as to what I am not claiming. I first need to make it clear that I am in no way questioning the orthodoxy of the authors or the parish as a whole. Nothing in the book led me to believe that there is any kind of hidden agenda to promote homosexuality or “no need of the sacraments” or anything else like that. So my criticisms in this review are not to be taken anywhere near the level of urgency or heresy or even heterodoxy. The criticisms are prudential as well as a concern for what I worry will be unintended side effects. So again, the authors and the parish itself from my reading seems quite orthodox, obedient, and faithful to the teaching magesteruim of the Catholic Church.
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