A Struggle for Holy Ground: Reconciliation and the Rites of Parish Closure (Paperback)
  • A Struggle for Holy Ground: Reconciliation and the Rites of Parish Closure (Paperback)
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A Struggle for Holy Ground: Reconciliation and the Rites of Parish Closure (Paperback)

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£14.95
Paperback 280 Pages / Published: 01/10/2004
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The consolidation and closure of parishes across the United States has become a fact of contemporary Catholic life. Responding to such an event is often traumatic. How do lay leaders allow their parish to heal when an approved ritual format does not exist? Through the voice of experience and local diocesan offices, Michal Weldon, OFM, has created a guide to the reconciliation process and the rites of parish closures in A Struggle for Holy Ground.

Composed of thirty-five interviews conducted from participants in the 1990 consolidation of ten parishes in Chicago's Englewood and participants in the 1995 San Francisco consolidation after the 1989 earthquake, A Struggle for Holy Ground offers a study for any parish leader to use as a reference when facing such a conflicted issue. This work explores the roles of ritual and pastoral care and proposes a series of new rites: group reconciliation, atonement, lament, leave-taking, memorial, and inauguration, based on the personal experience of those involved in parish restructurings.

Chapters include: The Best We Could Do with Church? Demographics, Finances, and Culture, Traditions of Reconciliation: Conflict, Communion, and Sacred Remembering, The Negotiation of Crisis: Forgiveness, Trauma, and Sacred Space, Remembering in a Different Kind of Way: Grief, Lament, and Healing, Towards New Rituals of Reconciliation at the Closure of Sacred Space.

Michal Weldon, O.F.M., D.Min., of Francis and Clare's Friary, Franklin, Wisconsin, is also an instructor at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780814621554
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Though he deals with issues on a sound scholarly basis, what comes through most clearly is what has often been absent from the process of parish closure and consolidation: a pastor's spirit that gives a human face to forgiveness and offers a wholesome vision of church.Worship
This book would be a valuable aid to all those involved in the painful changes facing the Church and its churches today, especially bishops, diocesan officials, pastors, parish councils and ministry staffs.Pastoral Music
. . . the book will be welcomed by pastoral planners, bishops, pastors, and parish liturgy coordinators.Catholic Library World
Borne out of personal experience, Franciscan Fr Michael Weldon OFM writes a healing book that offers other pastors a guide that he didn't have.Crux of the News
". . . an uncommonly timely book."Touchstone
Troubled Catholics in high and low places have sad reasons for needing all of some of this probably unique book.Review for Religions
With all of our sacramental wealth, we do not seem to have developed a way to negotiate through troubled waters. Into this gap steps Michael Weldon. He has taken seriously the trauma caused by church closure or consolidation. With this book, he provides us with insights into how to move through this painful loss with sensitivity and grace. He draws these insights from his own experience as a pastor as well as the experience of others. He then calls upon our rich religious tradition for both inspiration and direction. What follows are suggestions for ritualizing the loss, the pain, and possible reconciliation. The approach offered in this book is a real gift to a changing church.Dianne Bergant, CSA, Professor of Old Testament, Catholic Theological Union
Michael Weldon has a done a signal service to the Church in writing about church closings and consolidations. From now on no diocese should attempt closings or consolidations without carefully reading and studying this book. . . . I strongly recommend this book and the wisdom, insight and practical suggestions which make it so valuable.From the Foreward by Archbishop John R. Quinn, Retired Archbishop of San Francisco, California

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