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Liturgical Press

Becoming the Good News

A New Approach to Parish Evangelization

Michael J. Sanem

Becoming the Good News
Becoming the Good News

ISBN: 9780814668580, 6858

Details: 136 pgs, 5 x 7
Publication Date: 04/15/2023
Paperback
$16.95
eBook
$14.99
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Contemporary Topics in Parish Leadership is a new series from Liturgical Press that addresses timely realities in parish leadership. Written primarily for parish staff, leadership teams, and parish councils, each topic affirms the pastoral realities facing today’s church leaders in a way that is engaging, relevant, and most important, accessible. Short chapters grounded in real-world experiences invite readers to consider the depth of pastoral realities from a scriptural, theological, and ministerial perspective. “Questions for Reflection” and “Continuing the Conversation” at the end of each chapter encourage personal reflection, group discussion, and suggestions for practical implementation in today’s diverse parishes.


Perhaps you have seen the signs of the times. Religious faith, on the whole, is declining, and the number of those claiming no religious affiliation is rising. In the face of this, evangelization initiatives permeate the mission and vision statements of Catholic dioceses and parishes across the country, but many of these initiatives are hampered by a strict sense of the tradition. They tend to be an all-or-nothing approach to evangelization, and include some questionable understandings of God, the church, and the world.

In Becoming the Good News, Michael Sanem remedies these attempts by creating an authentically Catholic approach to parish evangelization, grounded in the rich and diverse tradition to which we belong. We the church, as the People of God, are all called, in the common priesthood of all the baptized, to consecrate this world to God in the way we encounter, accompany, and invite people into deeper relationship with Christ. We are called not only to proclaim the Good News but to become the Good News in a world that desperately needs it.

Michael J. Sanem lives in Kansas City with his wife and three sons. A former Bernardin Scholar at Catholic Theological Union, he is the author of Your Church Wants to Hear from You: What Is the Synod on Synodality? and works in evangelization ministry at the Church of the Nativity in Leawood, Kansas. He writes regularly at incarnationiseverywhere.com.

Reviews

"Michael Sanem’s development of evangelization in Becoming the Good News is both compelling and lucid. By filling this book with insights from his years in parish ministry, his theological studies, and his own spiritual growth, Sanem leads us to an appreciation of evangelization as a total parish culture, and not just one more parish program. This is a good book for a pastor to read and a parish council to study."
Fr. Patrick Rush, pastor emeritus of Visitation Church, Kansas City, Missouri

"Michael J. Sanem has given us a vision of evangelization that is not a recruitment process but a form of physical and spiritual presence. In doing so, he restores a contemplative dimension to evangelization that is often overlooked—those moments when, as he phrases it gracefully, 'Even our silence can evangelize.'"
Michael Centore, Editor, Today’s American Catholic

"In this one book, Michael Sanem summarizes the history and current culture of evangelization, highlights gifts and dangers within the church and within parish communities, and brightens the radical but credible path forward. Becoming the Good News should be studied by every parish serious enough about the Gospel to engage in honest, humble self-questioning."
John Kraus, Director, Morning Glory Ministries, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, Missouri

In a down-to-earth, readable and accessible style, Michael Sanem gets at the core mission of discipleship. What does it mean for disciples to be evangelizers? What is involved in the evangelizing mission of the whole people of God? Michael Sanem addresses these thorny issues with insight and wisdom born out of real life church community experience and engagement. The book challenges our way of thinking about what it means to be church, and the elements involved in its evangelizing mission. Questions for reflection along with added specific thoughts to continue the conversation are components of each chapter, making the book an ideal tool for small group sharing. Take and read. It will change you.
Biagio Mazza, Pastoral Associate and Director of Faith Formation at St. Sabina Parish, Belton, Missouri

“Through a first-person account, Michael Sanem will guide you along a journey of faith, gospel and mission. He will open your heart anew to the good news you have received, clarify your vision of the fractured world around you, and show you how to map out a way forward. Invaluable for those in parish ministry, this resource will help every Christian encounter Jesus Christ where he otherwise goes overlooked."
Paul Turner, pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri