The task of building a new worship space for a community is both overwhelming and sacred. It is a time of change that presents the opportunity for enrichment and catechesis. Using his experience of working with a steering committee to build a new church, Father James Healy in this volume takes a daunting task and makes it manageable. He provides engaging ideas for involving the parish community in decision making and for ensuring that the process of building a new church is a prayerful and sacred time. The result, as Healy notes, can bring surprising and fruitful rewards: "The paradox I experienced was that I had set out to have the parish build their church, and in following all these processes, the new church built the parish."
James E. Healy, STL, is a diocesan priest of Kansas City—St. Joseph, presently serving as pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine parish in Blue Springs, Missouri. From 1986 to 2005 he was pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist parish in Independence, Missouri, where a new church was built under his leadership.