Ministry: A Theological, Pastoral Handbook

Overview

This highly praised handbook on ministry is an essential resource for clergy and laity alike—clear, readable, theologically sound, and pastorally wise. Traces the development of ministry from New Testament times through Vatican II to provide pastoral guidance for priests, nuns, teachers, and others who are called to the ministry.

An essential resource for Catholic clergy and laity alike, this highly praised handbook on ministry is written by Richard P. McBrien, ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.70
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$12.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $3.90   
  • Used (28) from $1.99   
Ministry: A Theological, Pastoral Handbook

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

This highly praised handbook on ministry is an essential resource for clergy and laity alike—clear, readable, theologically sound, and pastorally wise. Traces the development of ministry from New Testament times through Vatican II to provide pastoral guidance for priests, nuns, teachers, and others who are called to the ministry.

An essential resource for Catholic clergy and laity alike, this highly praised handbook on ministry is written by Richard P. McBrien, author of the 100,000-copy Catholicism.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060653248
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1988
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard P. McBrien is Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Educated at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he has also served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. A leading authority on Catholicism, he is the bestselling author of Catholicism, Lives of the Popes, and Lives of the Saints, as well as the general editor of The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Most recently a consultant for ABC News, McBrien offers regular commentary on all the major television networks. He is also a prizewinning syndicated columnist in the Catholic press.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

WHAT IS MINISTRY?

Before reading this chapter, scribble a definition of ministry on a piece of paper. The exercise will show that it's not so easy as it appears on the surface. Ministry encompasses a myriad of functions, but its whole is more than the sum of these functions. (If you write your definition now, you'll be able to check after finishing the chapter to see if it took everything important into account.)

Clear-cut definitions of ministry are indeed hard to find. In Bernard Cooke's major work, Ministry to Word and Sacraments (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1976), which is more than six hundred double-columned pages, there is no definition of ministry. Instead there's a complete and detailed description of some of its functions: formation of community, proclamation of God's word, service to God's people, service to God's judgment, and celebration of the sacraments.

Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., in his first book on the subject, Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ (New York: Crossroad/ Continuum, 1981), also provided no explicit definition as such, although he occasionally came close. "Ministry in the church is not a status or state but a service, a function within the 'community of God' and therefore a 'gift of the Holy Spirit"' (p. 37). In a sequel, The Church With a Human Face: A New and Expanded Theology of Ministry (New York: Crossroad/ Continuum, 1985), ministry comes to mean for Schillebeeckx both "the specific crystallization of a universal charisma of the spirit" and "a gift of the Spirit reserved for certain Christians with a function in the church" (p.81).

Although Father Schillebeeckx has not given us a useful definition, he has made two important points: (1) ministry is both universal and particular, and (2) ministry is a function, not a state. Both distinctions are crucial--the second even more so than the first. One doesn't become a minister to become a minister, that is, to enter the ministerial state. One becomes a minister to do ministry, that is, to fulfill the function of a minister.

This is not to say that external activity is more important than internal, or spiritual, dispositions. Of course, one must be an authentic Christian before one can effectively do Christian ministry. The more authentically Christian one is, the more effective one's ministry.

Yves Congar, O.P., perhaps this century's greatest ecclesiologist, speaks of various levels of ministry. He suggests that there are three levels. The first is general ministry, rooted in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and expressed in various occasional, spontaneous, and passing services--for example, parents catechizing their children, a married couple giving advice to others who might be having difficulty in marriage, individuals visiting the sick and imprisoned or leading Bible study groups. The second is publicly recognized ministries more directly related to the needs and habitual activities of the Church--for example, permanent catechists, lectors, eucharistic ministers, choir directors. And the third level is ordained ministries, which are, for Congar, public offices whose base is sacramental--for example, diaconate, presbyterate, and episcopate.

Yet another Dominican theologian (and a colleague of mine at the University of Notre Dame), Father Thomas F. O'Meara, offers a readily discoverable definition in his book, Theology of Ministry (New York: Paulist Press, 1983). Christian ministry "is the public activity of a baptized follower of Jesus Christ flowing from the Spirit's charism and an individual personality on behalf of a Christian community to witness to, serve and realize the kingdom of God" (p. 142).

Ministry, according to Father O'Meara, has six characteristics: (1) doing something; (2) for the advent of the kingdom; (3) in public; (4) on behalf of a Christian community; (5) which is a gift received in faith, baptism, and ordination; and (6) which is an activity with its own limits and identity within a diversity of ministerial actions (Theology of Ministry, p. 136).

These attempts at definition by important Catholic theologians overlap in significant ways with similar efforts by theologians of other Christian traditions and by various ecumenical consultations. The Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in the United States, for example, makes a distinction between lowercase and uppercase ministry. Ministry with a lowercase m belongs to every baptized Christian and involves the task of proclaiming the gospel to all, believers and nonbelievers alike. Each of us shares in this ministry insofar as we belong to the priestly people that is the Church. Ministry (with a capital M) is a particular form of service within and for the sake of the Church in its mission to the world. It is a ministry of proclaiming the gospel, celebrating the sacraments, caring for the faithful, witnessing, and serving. It stands with the People of God under Christ but also speaks in Christ's name to his people. (See the suggested readings at the end of this chapter for information on Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue: Eucharist and Ministry.)

The so-called Lima statement, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper No. 111, World Council of Churches, 1982), makes a similar distinction between a general ministry, which is rooted in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and bestowed on every member of the Church, and ordained ministry, about which there is, of course, disagreement. According to the Lima document, the word ministry in its broadest sense "denotes the service to which the whole people of God is called, whether as individuals, as a total community, or as the universal Church." The words ministry or ministries "can also denote the particular institutional forms which this service may take" (II, 7, b, p. 21). The term ordained ministry, on the other hand, "refers to persons who have received a charism and whom the church appoints for service by ordination through the invocation of the Spirit and the laying on of hands" (II, 7, c, p. 21).

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Very Helpful Book

    Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame University is a prominent Catholic theologian in the United States. While this book is, perhaps, not the most prominent or well-known of his works, it is nevertheless a useful pastoral tool. As its subtitle suggests, this is a theological and pastoral handbook for ministry in the Church. It is general enough that anyone may use it, a deacon, a lay person, a religious, a seminarian or a priest. It is especially helpful for those who are entering full or part-time ministry for the first time or for use on a retreat to reflect on past ministerial experience. The only fault that I would find with this book is that it has not been updated or revised since its publication over 20 years ago. As such, it does not take into account recent theological reflections and publications on the subject such as by the U.S. Catholic Bishops: The Program for Priestly Formation, the National Directory on the Life, Ministry and Formation of Deacons, or Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, three very important documents.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)