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The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest Paperback – March 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814624219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814624210
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This is an important book for priests who are serious about personal growth.

. . . a balanced, humane, and inspiring collection of perspectives from a rich variety of qualified sources.

About the Author

Donald Cozzens--priest, writer, and lecturer--teaches in the religious studies department at John Carroll University. He is the award-winning and best-selling author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood and Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first happened upon the book The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest at a Sursum Corda event held a few years ago in Techny, outside of Chicago. Sursum Corda is a gathering of Old Catholic clergy and lay leaders who come together to explore and share areas of common interest and struggles with each other. Because there is no overarching hierarchy or community/institutional structure that binds them altogether, the Old Catholics must look for other ways to be in fellowship and communication with each other. To a certain extent, that made the find of Donald Cozzens' book at this event so apropos. One of the issues for diocesan priests in the Roman Catholic church is similar - what structures and community is there for support of a spiritual life?
First, perhaps a bit of structural knowledge is required. Not all priests in the Roman Catholic church are diocesan priests. Many belong to monastic orders, or various other orders that provide spiritual support, guidelines and community. Jesuits, Dominicans and others have differing kinds of communities that encourage, through rules and practices, gatherings and accountability systems, spiritual development in their members. The `ordinary' diocesan priest rarely has these kinds of supports. To work in the `secular' world becomes a distraction, sometimes a definite hindrance to spiritual growth and practice.
In this sense, it is analogous to the situation in which many Old Catholic priests find themselves. Most Old Catholic clergy have to be `tent-maker' clerics. The label `tent-maker' hearkens back to the apostle Paul, who did not see, nor did he use, his ministry as a means for making money, but rather preferred to continue to ply his trade (tent-making) during his journeys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Donald Cozzens is a pastoral psychologist, and president-rector of St. Mary's Seminary of the Diocese of Cleveland. He has written other books such as Freeing Celibacy, The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, and Faith That Dares To Speak.

He writes in the Preface to this 1997 book, "I began putting this book together believing that I knew something about the priesthood. And I thought I knew priests. I had counseled priests, directed their spiritual journeys, and preached their retreats. As a former vicar for the clergy, I knew the wounds of the priesthood, the pain of it, the unspeakable privilege of it. But the past few years seem to have laid bare, more than anything else, the unfathomable mystery of the priesthood." There follow twelve essays (one by Cozzens) and an Afterword.

One notes, "Often, nothing happens while I am praying. Regularly enough to rule out coincidence, insight into the Scriptures comes crashing in on me while I am actively involved with the people of the parish... God often speaks to me more strongly in the midst of the lives we share than in prayer itself." (Pg. 7)

Another says, "Nearly twenty years ago I made a thirty-day retreat. Not your usual Jesuit-directed retreat, but thirty days in a Trappist monastry where I was introduced by a very understanding and patient abbot to the riches of our Catholic spiritual tradition.
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