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The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest [Paperback]

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Item Number 140082  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   212
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2000
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814624219  
EAN  9780814624210  


Availability  122 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
Beyond the dramatic drop in seminarians and the declining numbers of priests, beyond the sexual misconduct scandals shaking the confidence and trust once readily given to priests, a spiritual deepening and maturing is renewing the spirit and confidence of the diocesan priest. In this collection of essays, twelve priests (including four bishops) reflect on the spirituality of the diocesan priest from their personal and pastoral experience. Have diocesan priests finally transcended the monastic and religious order spiritualities that have shaped their prayer and interior lives for centuries? Is a spirituality particular to the diocesan priest emerging precisely at a time when the priesthood is under such close scrutiny? The contributors-pastors, theologians, poets, and bishops-grapple with the maturing of the diocesan priest's soul, touch the mystery of the priesthood, and unveil personal, often moving, dramas of grace.

Publishers Description

Beyond the dramatic drop in seminarians and the declining numbers of priests, beyond the sexual misconduct scandals shaking the confidence and trust once readily given to priests, a spiritual deepening and maturing is renewing the spirit and confidence of the diocesan priest. In this collection of essays, twelve priests (including four bishops) reflect on the spirituality of the diocesan priest from their personal and pastoral experience.

Have diocesan priests finally transcended the monastic and religious order spiritualties that have shaped their prayer and interior lives for centuries? Is a spirituality particular to the diocesan priest emerging precisely at a time when the priesthood is under such close scrutiny? The contributors - pastors, theologians, poets, and bishops - grapple with the maturing of the diocesan priest's soul, touch the mystery of the priesthood, and unveil personal, often moving, dramas of grace.

Contributors and their articles include Tenders of the Word" by Donald B. Cozzens, "Personal Symbol of Communion" by Denis Edwards, "Confessions of a Pilgrim Pastor" by William Hammer, "A Kindled Heart" by Frank McNulty, "A Glorious and Transcendent Place" by Robert F. Morneau, "The Conciliar Documents and the 1983 Code" by Edward G. Pfnausch, "Ruminations of a Canonist" by James H. Provost, "Heralds of the Gospel and Experts in Humanity" by Sylvester D. Ryan, "Servant of the Servants of God" by Robert Schwartz, "Speaking Out for the Inside" by William H. Shannon, "Pal of Tarsus: A Model for Diocesan Priesthood" by Richard J. Sklba, and "Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest: Using the Wrong Measure?" by Kenneth Untener.

"Donald Cozzens, PhD, a priest and writer, is author of two award-winning titles, "Sacred Silence" and "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," and editor of "The Spirituality of the DiocesanPriest," al published by Liturgical Press. He is writer in residence at John Carroll University where he teaches in the religious studies department.""

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More About Donald B. Cozzens

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald Cozzens--priest, writer, and lecturer--teaches in the religious studies department at John Carroll University. He is the award-winning and best-selling author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood" and "Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An ordinary holiness  Apr 26, 2003
I first happened upon the book The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest at a Sursum Corda event held a few years ago in Techny, outside of Chicago. Sursum Corda is a gathering of Old Catholic clergy and lay leaders who come together to explore and share areas of common interest and struggles with each other. Because there is no overarching hierarchy or community/institutional structure that binds them altogether, the Old Catholics must look for other ways to be in fellowship and communication with each other. To a certain extent, that made the find of Donald Cozzens' book at this event so apropos. One of the issues for diocesan priests in the Roman Catholic church is similar - what structures and community is there for support of a spiritual life?

First, perhaps a bit of structural knowledge is required. Not all priests in the Roman Catholic church are diocesan priests. Many belong to monastic orders, or various other orders that provide spiritual support, guidelines and community. Jesuits, Dominicans and others have differing kinds of communities that encourage, through rules and practices, gatherings and accountability systems, spiritual development in their members. The `ordinary' diocesan priest rarely has these kinds of supports. To work in the `secular' world becomes a distraction, sometimes a definite hindrance to spiritual growth and practice.

In this sense, it is analogous to the situation in which many Old Catholic priests find themselves. Most Old Catholic clergy have to be `tent-maker' clerics. The label `tent-maker' hearkens back to the apostle Paul, who did not see, nor did he use, his ministry as a means for making money, but rather preferred to continue to ply his trade (tent-making) during his journeys. Most Old Catholics have no choice but to continue to make a living through another means, as they do not have parishes and dioceses and community/institutional structures that provide financial benefits.

`The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest,' edited by Donald Cozzens, is written by and about Roman Catholic hierarchs. This, however, is merely a starting point, and not a final word. Clergy and lay leaders of many denominations can find through this analysis insights into their own situations. There are a dozen contributors to this text: Donald Cozzens, Denis Edwards, William Hammer, Robert Morneau, Frank McNully, Edward Pfnausch, James Provost, Sylvester Ryan, Robert Schwartz, William Shannon, Richard Skelba, and Kenneth Untener. Almost all have direct experience as diocesan priests, past or present. All are men who are experienced with the experiences of and the training of diocesan priests. If there is one shortcoming with the text, it is that there is no female voice reflecting on the issue - a contributor such as Joan Chittister, who has written extensively on Benedictine spirituality, might be a welcome perspective.

The first chapter, with the wonderful title of `Servant of the Servants of God: A Pastor's Spirituality,' Robert Schwartz addresses in a wonderful way some of the insights that have come from his experience as a parish minister, out among the people.

`I have learned theology and the spiritual exercises from the Jesuits, and I have been guided in contemplative prayer among the Trappists, for this I will be forever grateful. Yet, there are some things that only those who are committed to a spiritual life in the midst of the ups and downs of secular realities can teach one another. It is one thing to seek God in an environment ordered around religious concerns. It is a very different experience to find God amid the disorder and distractions of a world that often does its best to shut God out.'

This is a point of relation - lay persons understand this juggle full well. Diocesan and tent-maker priests are in a better position in many ways to relate to such day-to-day struggles.

`Most surprising to me as a pastor is the powerful way that the lay community cares for me. They call forth the best from me, as I attempt to do the same for them.'

There is a sort of mutual inspiration for the people and the minister in this dynamic that communities of all religious persuasions can relate to. Yet, ultimately there must be an intention and a recognition on the part of the minister that this can happen, and an openness toward the `other servants'.

`A spirituality that is truly `priestly' comes to be as a priest surrenders himself to his role in the community, ministers to it, and allows himself to be enriched and enlivened by the people he serves.'

Each of the chapters in this text offer a similar blessing. Kenneth Untener asks us to change the criteria by which we judge spirituality, for ourselves and for others. James Provost looks at spiritual `rules' with a precision of a canon lawyer, yet with compassion and pastoral insight. Richard Sklba develops the idea I mentioned earlier regarding Paul's ministry in the world and its relation to diocesan priestly spirituality today.

Donald Cozzens' own chapter looks to issues of identity, intimacy and integrity as primary in the development of priestly spirituality.

`Karl Rahner has observed that `priestly spirituality is not (at least, not primarily) a kind of extra to a normal Christian life, but (while, of course, determined by the concrete life task of the priest as distinct from other Christians) the spiritual, Christian life of a Christian purely and simply.'

This spirituality is not `special' or hard to attain, but rather is related to and, perhaps, identical with the kind of spirituality to which all Christians, clergy or lay, are called through their baptismal covenants and constant communion with the Holy Spirit.

Other chapters similarly develop aspects of spirituality with a particular focus on diocesan priests, but this focus can lend insight to any search for spirituality. If ever a spiritual support for the `ordinary' diocesan priest is needed, it is today. This book will help toward that goal.

 
Who Says That The Diocesan Priest Lacks Spirit?  Aug 2, 2001
I purchased this book after attending a vocation retreat sponsered by a religious order. During the retreat, a priest laughed and poked fun at the diocesan priest having a strong spiritual life. This attitude struck me as quite arrogant and elitist in nature. After the retreat, I went on a quest to prove this priest wrong and discovered this book.

"The Spirituality of the Priesthood" is a breath of fresh air. The collection of essays whispers "Rest assured, we're with God." Each contributor, either a diocesan priest or bishop, conveys a message of holiness and faith that I honestly feel is a great testament to their commitment to their vocation. Not only covering the staples of prayer, preaching and leadership, these men express an intimate passion for Christ's Church in explaining and taking on some of the most controversial issues between the Curia and the faithful. As the "in-betweeners," these men speak of their triumphs and trials while staying truthful to their personal convictions. Although at times I didn't fully agree with some of the contributors' ecclesiology or theology of the priesthood, the essence of the book gave me hope in my discernment and put to rest any worries of a lack of spirituality in our parishes. I highly recommend this book for any priest, any men discerning a vocation, or anyone who is genuinely interested in this topic of capital importance.

 

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