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The Changing Face Of The Priesthood

The Changing Face Of The Priesthood

A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul
Donald B. Cozzens

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ISBN: 978-0-8146-2504-0, 2504
Details: 168 pgs , 6 x 9
Publication Date: 02/01/2000

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Few today would contest that the priesthood is in a state of crisis. The nature and implications of that crisis, however, remain the subject of considerable discussion and debate. In The Changing Face of the Priesthood, Fr. Donald Cozzens offers insight into the crisis by reflecting on the issues, challenges, concerns, and realities of the priesthood today.

The same year that Pope John XXIII surprised the Catholic world with his call for an ecumenical council, Cozzens began his formal study of theology. As a seminarian he felt the shaking of the priesthood's foundations. The very face of the priesthood was evolving even as he arrived at his first parish assignment. A generation later, the face of the priesthood continues to reveal new contours, fascinating features, and sadly, some tragic blemishes.

In The Changing Face of the Priesthood, Cozzens takes a long, honest look at the present state of the priesthood. He provides this examination not merely from an empirical, scientific perspective but also from a personal, pastoral perspective. Drawing on clinical data, church documents, and his nearly forty years of pastoral experience, Cozzens gives shape and form to the changing face of the priesthood. Through his reflections he leads readers to both concern and hope for the priesthood of the twenty-first century.

Chapters are "Discovering an Identity," “Guarding One’s Integrity,” “Loving as a Celibate,” “Facing the Unconscious,” “Becoming a Man,” “Tending the Word,” “Considering Orientation,” “Betraying Our Young,” and “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.”

Donald Cozzens, PhD, a priest and writer, is author of two award-winning titles, Sacred Silence and The Changing Face of the Priesthood, and editor of The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, all published by Liturgical Press. He is writer in residence at John Carroll University where he teaches in the religious studies department.

This book is both courageous and timely. It should be required reading for bishops, priests, seminarians, and ministerial students who wish to find a reliable and balanced assessment of the priesthood based on clinical data, church documents, theological research and pastoral experience.
Catholic Library World

This volume is an insightful and penetrating look at the human dimensions of Catholic ordained ministry. . . . It is recommended not only for the clergy, but for anyone who works with clergy.
Liturgical Ministry

John Paul II wrote in Pastores dabo vobis that priesthood is essentially relational. This book is mostly about relationships, relationships in flux that beg for careful dialogical reflection. Cozzens hopes his work encourages and serves that reflection. We think it does.
Church

This is the most honest assessment of the American priesthood I have read in years. I found myself continuously underlining passages, and putting ‘yes!' in the margins.
Paul Wilkes, Author of The Good Enough Catholic: A Guide for the Perplexed and In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest

. . . what Father Cozzens . . . has embarked upon is as comprehensive and honest an examination of conscience of the American priesthood as we have seen.
America

It gave us insight into what's going on at the seminary.
In Trust

. . . speaks with deep reverence and raw honesty about issues, challenges, concerns and realities impacting on priests and the Church in today's world. . . . The reading and discussion of this work by priests and parishioners alike will provide insight, argumentation, challenge and hope. The author demonstrates great courage in facing the agonies and ecstasies of the priesthood today.
Bishop Robert Morneau

With boldness and wisdom, with enormous sensitivity and unflinching honesty, Fr. Donald Cozzens skillfully analyzes the issues and challenges that throw both shadow and light upon today's Roman Catholic priesthood. An enlightened study that draws on empirical data as well as pastoral experience. Should be a must read for all bishops, priests, seminarians.
William H. Shannon, Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies, Nazareth College of Rochester

Drawing from years of experience and study, Fr. Don Cozzens artistically paints the very soul of the priesthood. The result is a masterpiece which captures its triumphs and tribulations, hopes and doubts, loves and disillusions, and the mysterious powers that sustain it. The Changing Face of the Priesthood could not be more timely as we enter the new millennium in hopes of a renewed priesthood.
Rev. Eugene F. Hemrick, Syndicated Columnist, Catholic News Service, Research Associate, The Catholic University of America, Research Director, The Washington Theological Union

It gave us insight into what's going on at the seminary.
In Trust

Drawing from years of experience and study, Fr. Don Cozzens artistically paints the very soul of the priesthood. The result is a masterpiece which captures its triumphs and tribulations, hopes and doubts, loves and disillusions, and the mysterious powers that sustain it. The Changing Face of the Priesthood could not be more timely as we enter the new millennium in hopes of a renewed priesthood.
Rev. Eugene F. Hemrick, Syndicated Columnist, Catholic News Service, Research Associate, The Catholic University of America, Research Director, The Washington Theological Union

This is the most important book on the priesthood I have read for many years. It is a breath of fresh air in that it is authentic, helpful, and open.
Dean R. Hoge, Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America

The signs of hope he finds are encouraging. 'Behind the changing face of the priesthood remains the saving face of Jesus the Christ.' This study helps to reveal that saving face.
Prairie Messenger

It is full of wisdom and insights, success and failure, hope buttressed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

Cozzens' most important virtue is his courage to say what his experience has taught him. For this alone, his book deserves a wide and respectful readership.
Commonweal

I found this little book hard to put down, compelling reading for all priests. . . . We can only hope that those in places of influence will not just read this book, but will fearlessly support and effect open dialogue during what is, in fact, the ever-changing face of the Priesthood.
Tui Motu InterIslands, New Zealand

What's valuable about this book is that Cozzens does more than simply name the issues. He points to where faith lies within all of this.
Ron Rolheiser

. . .honest and frank treatment of the issue of homosexuality in the priesthood.
Publishers Weekly

Two aspects of this book make it a bestseller: its subject matter and its usefulness. . . . Father Cozzens offers a serious approach to understanding the priesthood in the modern day.
Priests and People

For Catholics and non-Catholics alike who have thought—or need to think—about the underlying issues that have precipitated the crisis, this is a must-read book.
Los Angeles Times

It is Cozzens' love for the priesthood that motivates the book. He speaks warmly of the majority of priests in whom he finds great hope.
National Catholic Reporter

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