A View from the Trenches
Publication date: 2009-09-15
Number of pages: 144
Monsignor Dennis Murphy consults the difficult environment in which priests work today: declining and aging parishes; priest shortages; growing disrespect for priests as fallout from the sexual abuse crisis; the challenges of aggressive secularism. Through an "environmental scan," he reads the signs of the times to understand the social context for today's diocesan priesthood.
Turning to Catholic tradition, including Scripture, theology and modern Church voices from Popes Benedict and John Paul to Joan Chittister and Donald Cozzens, Murphy builds a case for a distinct spirituality for the diocesan priest. In doing so, he reviews the relationship of the parish priest to his congregation, to other priests, to women, and to his bishop. Along the way, he reflects profoundly on particular challenges, such as celibacy, facing the suspicion of a larger culture, and the question of obedience to authority.
The book ends with an inspiring appeal to Christian hope and the need for a strong life of prayer and love in community to face the challenges ahead.
Dennis Murphy is a priest of the diocese of North Bay, Ontario. He is a former Secretary General of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and founder of the Institute for Catholic Education. His last book was Catholic Education: A Light of Truth (Catholic Register Books). He is in great demand as a retreat leader and speaker.