Reversing Catholic exodus starts with renewed spirituality
HUNTINGTON, Indiana, August 8, 2012 – Over 10% of American adults are ex-Catholics. Only 30% of those who were raised Catholic are still practicing their faith.
To stem this tide, Sherry Weddell’s new book Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012), gives Catholics a renewed sense of spiritual direction.
This is clearly a time of immense challenge for the Church, but, according to Weddell, it is also an immense opportunity for Catholics to rebuild the Church.
Drawing upon 15 years’ experience with the Catherine of Siena Institute -- which Weddell co-founded to equip parishes for training lay leaders -- she guides readers through steps that help both Catholics and non-Catholics enter into a deep relationship with Jesus Christ in the midst of His Church.
“There is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Church’s sophisticated theology … and the lived spiritual experience of the majority of its people,” Weddell says. “And this chasm has a name: Discipleship.”
Forming Intentional Disciples explores the five thresholds of postmodern conversion and how local parish leaders can guide others through the process. The five steps include: how to open a conversation about faith and belief, how to ask thought-provoking questions and establish an atmosphere of trust, when to tell the Great Story of Jesus, how to help someone respond to God's call to intentional discipleship, and much more.
In Forming Intentional Disciples, readers will learn of places where conversion is active, and where the presence of many intentional disciples is beginning to change everything: spiritual tone, energy level, attendance, almsgiving, and what parishioners ask of their leaders. Because when life at the local parish level changes, the life of the whole Church changes with it.
About the Author
Sherry Weddell co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute with Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, which equips parishes to prepare ordinary Catholics for their mission in the world. Sherry created the first gifts discernment program designed especially for Catholics, and currently leads CSI’s international team of teachers and facilitators who have formed over 85,000 lay, religious, and ordained Catholics in 105 dioceses in the art of evangelizing post-moderns, in gifts and vocational discernment, and in understanding the theology and mission of the laity. When not on the road, Sherry and her husband enjoy the challenge of turning a Rocky Mountain “fixer-upper” into a Tuscan villa and garden.
The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, and celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit www.osv.com.