Contemporary Topics in Parish Leadership is a 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 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.
New Ways and Next Steps is designed to help pastoral ministers develop LGBTQ+ ministry in their local parishes. Whether a parish is just initiating a ministry or already has one that needs fresh ideas, Francis DeBernardo brings pastoral ministers on a journey of discernment to help them discover the best path LGBTQ+ ministry should take in their local communities.
Francis DeBernardo has served since 1996 as executive director of New Ways Ministry, a national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Catholics and the wider church community. He earned a Master's in English from the University of Maryland (UMD) and has completed doctoral coursework in Rhetoric there and at the Catholic University of America. He has taught courses in writing, rhetorical theory, and literature at UMD. He is currently a board member of the Quixote Center, and he serves on the advisory board of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia. He is the author of Mychal Judge: Take Me Where You Want Me to Go published by Liturgical Press. His writing has appeared in Commonweal, National Catholic Reporter, and American Catholic.