Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter (The Story of a Catholic Parish)

Michael White and Tom Corcoran. Ave Maria, $16.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59471-386-6
Cardinal Timothy Dolan ends the preface to this guide to congregational resurrection by declaring, "If you love your parish, read this book!" Readers must be open-minded as White, a pastor, and Corcoran, his lay associate, explain how they revitalized their suburban parish of "demanding consumers" -- "convenient parking" was the top reason parishioners chose the church -- into a vibrant community of disciples. Essentially a how-to manual, it is easy to read, filled with stories, lists and action items directed at priests, lay ministers, and concerned parishioners. But the authors also admit that they lost many parishioners along the way, and they are unapologetic about angering those opposed to change. They also don't concern themselves with major disagreements within the church, but focus on issues of parish culture. They borrow extensively from evangelical culture, especially megachurch pastors Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. In their efforts to reach the lost, the authors remain humble, wondering in the end if they still cross the line into pandering to consumers. Their model may not appeal to all, but they offer a starting point to address the critical issue of Catholics leaving the church. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 02/25/2013
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