Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, May 1, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
3/23/2012 9:51:00 AM
Books examine challenges of modern Catholic Church
Authors approach church's challenges from different perspectives
Authors approach church's challenges from different perspectives "The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community's Search for Itself" by Tom Roberts. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2011). 204 pp., $24. "Wake Up, Lazarus! On Catholic Renewal" by Pierre Hegy. iUniverse (Bloomington, Ind., 2011). 328 pp., $22.95.
Catholic News Service


The data from recent surveys concerning membership in the Catholic Church have not been positive. Fewer people are attending Mass weekly, contributions are down, and many more adults are leaving the church than joining it. These two books examine the challenges and offer suggestions for reversing the current trends.

Tom Roberts, author of "The Emerging Catholic Church," is an editor-at-large for the National Catholic Reporter newspaper. The book developed from a series of articles Roberts wrote for the paper during 2009 while visiting dioceses around the United States, but it does not repeat the original articles. Roberts approaches the topic from the perspective of a journalist, and one who writes for a newspaper that covers the Catholic Church from a progressive or liberal perspective.

Pierre Hegy, the author of "Wake Up Lazarus!", is an emeritus professor at Adelphi University. His dissertation focused on authority in the Catholic Church. He addresses the topic of church renewal from the perspective of an academic who is fully committed to the church and its survival.

Although both books examine the data from many of the same studies and both offer suggestions on what the church can and should be doing to reverse the negative trend, the books are very dissimilar in approach and attitude. Roberts tends to see the problems the church faces today as a contest between the hierarchy and the laity, with the bishops trying to take back the power they lost following the Second Vatican Council. Hegy writes that he is concerned with "pastoral strategies" and so uses whatever tools he can -- theology, sociology, statistics and theory -- in an effort to "make a contribution to the growing field of pastoral sociology" and renewal in the church.

Roberts begins with Sister Thea Bowman's presentation to the U.S. bishops in June 1989. That day the bishops heard what Roberts calls "a plea for a change in the church's hierarchical structure," but the author quickly moves to Pope John Paul II's efforts to roll "back the reforms of the Second Vatican Council" and reshape the hierarchy.

Chapter 2 examines the data from recent studies and presents a brief explanation of their meaning and causes. In the next three chapters, Roberts recounts the sexual abuse crisis and decries the clerical culture that he believes exacerbated the problem. The last half of the book focuses on parishes that Roberts suggests exemplify the new emerging Catholic Church.

Hegy begins with research data to set the context for his proposal for renewal. From the data he suggests that a new form of theological reflection is needed because "academic theology reflects on belief rather than faith; on doctrine rather than practices" but that people today are more interested in spiritual growth rather than knowledge, individual conversion rather than structural change in the church.

Drawing from the work of churches -- Catholic and others -- that are successful at attracting and holding new members, Hegy identifies key issues that need to be addressed, such as the need for a global vision for the future that encourages strong community involvement and vibrant outreach to attract newcomers and keep young people from leaving. He explains that strong and vibrant churches focus on spiritual growth and encourage spiritual practices, while helping their members develop a strong faith identity. In the last 70 pages, Hegy offers strategies for renewing the Catholic Church's vitality by focusing on such issues as piety and devotion, relationships and getting members actively involved in the life of the faith community.

Both books are well written and easy to understand. On balance, "Wake Up, Lazarus!" will be more beneficial to the reader who is interested in a fuller picture of the challenges facing the Catholic Church today and what needs to be done to address these challenges.





Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved