Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review: Divine Renovation

Even as I perceive our culture collapsing on so many facets --- and knowing not what to do except to pray --- Pastor James Mallon saw his newly-assigned parish as being confused about even the most basic purpose of a church building:  “We don’t need to know about Jesus; what we need is cards!”  This book is the story of how Fr. Mallon confronted the collapsing Catholic Church culture and, sometimes by trial and error, persisted to build a parish focused on Jesus’ missionary message: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).  Focusing his successes, this book is a how-to manual for changing your dying parish into the lively, loving community it was meant to be.
In his new parish, Fr. Mallon initially saw parents come to have their babies baptized, and never come back.  He saw teens receive Confirmation --- on their last-ever visit to a church.  And he saw the weekly rush out the door before his Sunday masses even ended --- and he resolved to change this culture in his parish.  And remarkably, to a large degree he did.
Reading this review I know you are thinking right now: “Man, what a lot of work!”  No, what a lot of fun!  Fr. Mallon found that his parishioners yearned to have a relationship with Jesus, and with their neighbors.  They didn’t want to come to a one-hour mass with strangers; they wanted to meet and worship and do things with friends and neighbors.  And once they learned (or remembered) how much they enjoyed making new friends, their life became more full, with their new-found family. 
You and your pastor need to read this book, and begin making changes in your parish.  Now! 
I know of this book and this program because I am seeing these changes beginning in my own parish, and I am excited.

No comments:

Post a Comment