In this challenging but hopeful new book, Church, Faith, Future: What We Face, What We Can Do, Fr. Louis J. Cameli renders a carefully composed portrait of the church in North America today. Drawing on philosophy, history, cultural analysis, and sociology, he offers a sobering picture of where church and faith stand in our society and where they seem to be headed. Identifying several possible ways forward, Fr. Cameli points out the way he sees as the most promising and most faithful to Catholic tradition.
In a fascinating afterword to the book, Cardinal Blase Cupich enters into dialogue with Fr. Cameli's thinking, describing how the Archdiocese of Chicago has begun to address the issues and the directions indicated.
Father Louis J. Cameli is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the archbishop's delegate for Formation and Mission. Father Cameli has published numerous books on faith formation and spirituality. He has also served as a director for priests' retreats and as a presenter for priests' convocations in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
Cameli expresses his model of evangelization with exceptional clarity in two questions and two invitations drawn from the New Testament: What are you looking for? Come and see. Are you going to stay? Go and proclaim the Good News. If you are looking for a new program describing the steps of evangelization, or if you are seeking a new diocesan program, Church, Faith, Future might be your book.
This hopeful and honest work urges Catholics to go out and engage the secularized world they live in. Instead of lamenting the loss of past expressions of Catholic culture, Fr. Cameli sets the stage for candid conversations that employ imagination to discover what the baptized can and ought to do now. Deeply aware that Jesus' own Spirit guides them, their union with other committed disciples fosters a boldness that individuals alone cannot sustain. Even seemingly insignificant acts, much like Jesus' salt and yeast, make God's kingdom more visible around them. Aware of God showing the way, they can surprise the world with the profound joy that eludes so many in this secular age.
Elizabeth Nagel, Professor of Biblical Studies at Mundelein Seminary, University of Saint Mary of the Lake
This book should make its way into the hands of all those charged with pastoral planning, maybe even serve as an object for reflection at a presbyteral convocation or lay congress. [It is also] accessible to the lay reader who wishes to know what role he or she can play in bringing new life to the church.
Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
This book is an excellent discussion starter for anyone committed to Church renewal today.
Catholic Library World
This book offers remarkable insight into how the somewhat bleak status of the Church of our times can be transformed in the future. Ultimately, Church, Faith, Future offers hopeful and essential substance for anyone who cares about the Church.
Katarina Schuth, OSF, Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas