Ministry That Transforms: A Contemplative Process of Theological Reflection

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The Long Journey takes us into the heart of Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the site of the Benedictine Dormition Monastery, a place where pilgrims, seekers, and peacemakers come for liturgies, prayer, and conversation. Our guide on this journey is James Paharik, who in nine closely woven essays, leads us through the labyrinthine spaces of Jerusalem, al the while digging through the layers of history to expose the rich stories that are the foundation of the city. We meet not only Jews and Palestinians but also Armenian and Ethiopian Christians, +¬migr+¬s and expatriates, living and working in this polyglot place. Paharik reveals hearts damaged by violence but also brimming with hope that Israel will one day soon live up to her calling, as expressed in Psalm 76:
In Judah God is known,
his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
&nbspthe shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.

James G. Paharik, PhD, is a member of the sociology faculty at Seton Hill University. He writes and teaches in the areas of comparative genocide and peace studies. Paharik is director of research and curriculum design for Beit Benedict Peace Academy and an oblate of Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A great example of real life ministry in action and as theology. This little book and McAlpin’s model are simply, yet extremely effective ministerial tools in our ongoing conversion.
Catholic Library World

. . . a useful resource for anyone involved in the many forms of ministry.
Catholic Studies

It would serve as a useful resource for anyone involved in the many forms of ministry.

In today’s harried and hectic culture, in a Church where ministers are stretched beyond reasonable limits, in a society where the needs of the human family continue to increase, and where we struggle to overcome compassion fatigue, Kathleen McAlpin’s Ministry That Transforms is a gift that keeps on giving. Who can profit? Pastors, directors of ministry training programs, social service committees, formation personnel, rectors of seminaries, those engaged with college students on service projects, and those engaged in ministry and service––the book is a gold mine that can assist in the ongoing challenge addressed to all who would become true disciples, the giving of self that leads to a genuine spiritual transformation.
Pastoral Music

This is a great idea and also a reality, one served well here. The idea works, the people work, and so many can learn much here for their own future work in our needy world.
Review for Religious

For those who have wondered about the connection between spirituality and theological reflection, Kathleen McAlpin has provided a clear, compelling, and practical answer. Her integration of spirituality into the theological reflection process is a welcome addition to the several models of reflection-on-ministry currently available. In her approach contemplation guides theological reflection toward the ongoing conversion of the minister and confirms theological reflection as a transformative process not only for the minister but for the ministry performed. The extensive use of personal experiences from those she has worked with, especially members of Romero House in Toronto, gives concreteness and appeal to the model she has developed.
Robert L. Kinast, Center for Theological Reflection

The never-ending demands of ministry can lead many ministers to ‘compassion fatigue,’ an experience of burnout that deadens not only our work but also our spiritual lives. Kathleen McAlpin’s Ministry that Transforms offers a path toward new life and fresh meaning in ministry. The book outlines a practical method of theological reflection drawn from the author’s journey with Romero House, a Toronto community dedicated to housing and assisting refugees. Through the inspiring stories of seven dedicated individuals, McAlpin shares a model of reflection that is full of wisdom, theological insight, and pastoral sensitivity. It is a model of ongoing conversion that both ministry students and experienced ministers will find life–affirming and life–giving.
Edward P. Hahnenberg, PhD, Past consultant to the US Bishops’ Subcommittee on Lay Ministry, Author of Ministries: A Relational Approach and A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II

McAlpin’s Ministry That Transforms marks a new more practical and more spiritual stage in theological reflection. This book—clear, practical, and forceful—makes explicit the requirements for graceful pastoral reflection in today’s world: a reflection firmly rooted in a community of faith and action; where there exists an ongoing courtship of mercy and justice; with the expectation of transformation—both of participants and the world. The community of McAlpin’s reflection is Romero House in Toronto that shelters immigrants and refugees as they arrive in Canada; here a ministry of mercy flowers into demands of justice for society’s most vulnerable members. This model of contemplation in action would delight the heart of Ignatius Loyola. Readers will find in McAlpin’s two brief appendices an excellent illustration of how her method of reflection proceeds. Few pleasures rival that of professors watching their student surpass them in a creative contribution to society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814632222
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,030,729
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen McAlpin, RSM, DMin, teaches spiritual direction at Regis College in Toronto and Creighton University. She directs the Integration for Ministry Program at Regis College, where she also facilitates a contemplative method of theological reflection for both integration and formation for ministry.
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