- Paperback: 109 pages
- Publisher: Franciscan Media; 3 edition (October 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867162759
- ISBN-13: 978-0867162752
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,630,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creating Small Church Communities: A Plan for Restructuring the Parish and Renewing Parish Life 3rd Edition
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He wrote in the Foreword of this 1996 book, "This book is written to promote the restructuring of parishes in two equally important and necessary ways. The first restructuring involves the existing parish programs, committees, and organizations. Everything that happens in the parish would include some time for a life reflection question... a little quiet, and a listening to each other in small groups of two or three, if possible... The second restructuring of parish and what this book speaks to primarily is the restructuring of parishes into small church communities.... This book is an effort to share the vision which inspired us as well as the nuts and bolts of how we did what we did. I have also included actual testimonies---stories---from a variety of parishioners about how this restructuring touched their lives and called them to be church... This book is intended for any Catholic, of any age, who wants to take a first step in renewing his or her own parish."
He explains, "The large universal church is a communion of dioceses. But each diocese is also a church and is, in fact, a communion of parishes. We are adding still another expression of church: the base church, the Small Church Community. Thus the parish becomes a communion of small communities. Notice that the link... between each expression of the church is the pastoral person: the diocese's bishop, the parish's pastoral administrator and the SCC's pastoral facilitator. The Catholic Church ... can be seen as a COMMUNION of different levels and expressions of church. The individual parishioner already belongs to the same church at various levels in different ways: the universal level, the diocesan level and the parish level. The Small Church Community (SCC) would constitute yet another level." (Pg. 14-15)
He observes, "The Small Church Community is really a church. Therefore, that church needs a pastor! The term carefully chosen at St. Elizabeth Seton to designate the pastoral leader of the small community is 'pastoral facilitator.' The 'PF' is often a couple, especially if the small community is mostly couples." (Pg. 53)
He reassures, "Please understand: The larger parish benefits immensely, actually is transformed, by the small communities. People do understand that the care received in a small parish group is the care of the parish and the church. As they experience the parish caring about them, they come to care about the parish and realize the responsibility to give something back." (Pg. 81)
For anyone interested in Small Christian Communities (not necessarily just Catholics!), and particularly those interested in setting up such a structure within their own parish, this book will be of great value.