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.