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View from the Altar: An Insider's Look at the Changing Catholic Priesthood [Paperback]

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Item Number 137502  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   221
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.32" Height: 0.63"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Crossroad General Interest
ISBN  0824521412  
EAN  9780824521417  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
A candid but insightful look at the last three decades of American Catholicism argues that the priesthood still matters even after all of the sexual abuse scandals, while deeply exploring the verities surrounding the life of a priest. Original.

Publishers Description
"View from the Altar" opens a window into the lives of dedicated men of the Church who have repeatedly had to relearn their most cherished traditions, rituals, and roles.

Moving beyond the idealistic accounts of flawless priests, and the cynical rehearsal of grievances about the Church, Bleichner uses vignettes from actual experience to give us a account of the recent history, and likely future, of real men who dedicate their lives and spirits to the service of the Church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
In Defense of Catholic Priesthood  Oct 17, 2006
Catholic priesthood faces numerous challenges today. The scandals among priests and the decreasing number of men opting for this way of life have raised concerns in the minds of many well-meaning Catholics. At this juncture what does it mean to be a priest? The basic and essential elements of priestly life need to be rediscovered in the newer lights, for the sake of seminarians looking up to this way of life, priests and bishops. That is the scope of the book of Howard Bleichner.

The author Fr Howard has lived his priesthood for nearly forty years and contributed considerably to the formation of priests as the rector of St Patrick's Seminary, San Francisco and rector of the Theological College of the Catholic University of America. His contributions to the priestly formation in America are valuable and therefore his insights in this book are stimulating. His reflections on the rapidly changing Catholic priesthood provide a true handbook for the spirituality and ministry of the contemporary Catholic Priest. Written with great clarity and precision, the book also demonstrates a great sensitivity to the pastoral and spiritual struggles of contemporary priests. It is a must-read for priests and seminarians; it would provide the lay Catholic with a clearer view of Catholic priesthood from the pew.
A Book That Offers Both Hope and a Challenge  Aug 1, 2005
VIEW FROM THE ALTAR is one of the many books on renewal and reform of the Roman Catholic priesthood that has emerged since 2002. While offering something distinctive is difficult, Howard Bleichner does offer a fresh and interesting perspective.

Fr. Bleichner is the former rector of the theological college at Catholic University. Since most of his ministry has been spent in the formation of priests, he offers valuable insight into both what ails the priesthood today as well as what is worthwhile. The book is divided into three sections. The first assesses priesthood today, beginning with the present scandal and continuing by comparing and contrasting candidates for priesthood in the past and the future. The second section focuses on what are sometimes called the evangelical councils: prayer, simplicity of life, celibacy, and authority and obedience. In the third section Bleichner focuses on his belief of the theology of the priesthood.

Perhaps what makes Fr. Bleichner's work thought provoking is his vision of the Church. He does believe that the Church needs renewal, and he believes that when the scandals recede bishops have to call for a council regarding the future of the Church, but everyone needs to be at the table. He loves many of the traditions of priesthood, but warns about returning to an outmoded type of living the priesthood. He also calls priests in ministry today to review what it means to be a priest and to rise to the challenges these times present.

In Bleichner's book we find a priest who love ministry and the Church, sees the need for change, and has the ability to articulate his vision in this book. Hopefully all who read it will take his challenges seriously and rise to the call of a being a priest in challenging times.

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