From the Back Cover
This volume", says James Coriden in his introduction, "... allows the reader to reach an accurate understanding of the authentic nature and function of parishes within the Catholic tradition". It describes the origins of parishes and their historical evolution, offers a theology of parish as a local church, links parishes to the church's social teaching and provides a comprehensive overview of their function in Roman Catholic law and their relationship to American civil law. In clear, nontechnical language, the volume outlines the canonical status of Catholics as parishioners - as well as their rights, duties and forms of assembly and the relationship of parishes to other ecclesial and civil bodies. Ministerial students, clerical and lay ministers, members of parish councils and laypersons generally will find this book an indispensable handbook for living and working within parish communities. Christians of other denominations will make fruitful connections between their own congregational life and Roman Catholic experience.