The Art of Winning Souls

Overview


In his chapter on the procedure for the reception of new brothers, Saint Benedict makes provision for entrusting them to the care of ?a senior who is skilled in winning souls who will diligently pay attention to them in everything? (58.6). In The Art of Winning Souls: Pastoral Care of Novices, Michael Casey, OCSO, reflects on what this means today, based on his own experience and observation of the fruitful ministry of others. Here Casey focuses on the pastoral care given in the name of a monastic community to ...
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Overview


In his chapter on the procedure for the reception of new brothers, Saint Benedict makes provision for entrusting them to the care of “a senior who is skilled in winning souls who will diligently pay attention to them in everything” (58.6). In The Art of Winning Souls: Pastoral Care of Novices, Michael Casey, OCSO, reflects on what this means today, based on his own experience and observation of the fruitful ministry of others. Here Casey focuses on the pastoral care given in the name of a monastic community to those who enter it, from initial contact up to the point where their vocation has recognizably stabilized. His reflections are not intended to be prescriptive. They are, rather, descriptive of what he considers to be best practice, as he has encountered this in his experience of many different expressions of the monastic and Benedictine charism. This book promises to serve as an indispensible resource for vocation directors, novice directors, and junior directors for years to come.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

We finally have a comprehensive study of how the formative process works, something sorely needed in modern religious life. This book is like honey from the rock for anyone interested in how the human and divine work together to form a spiritual person. Michael reminds us that there is nothing secret or esoteric about formation though many of us have been bewildered by its complexity. We have come to expect clarity and richness from a Michael Casey book, and this one will not disappoint us.
Abbot Brendan Freeman, New Melleray Abbey, Peosta, Iowa

At last, a much-needed handbook for formation in monastic communities. There is no one better placed for the task. Michael Casey brings years of experience and a practical wisdom. He combines a deep knowledge and love of the monastic tradition with a down-to-earth understanding of twenty-first century challenges. This book is to be recommended not just to formators, but as spur to all our monastic communities to improve the quality of the pastoral care we give to the newcomer.
Dom Brendan Thomas
Director, Monastic Formators’ Program, Rome
Novice Master, Belmont Abbey, England

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879070359
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Series: Monastic Wisdom Series , #35
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 642,516
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Casey, OCSO, has been a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey (Australia) since 1960. After completing a degree in Scripture at Leuven, he received his doctorate from Melbourne College of Divinity for a study of desire for God in the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux. For the past decades he has been engaged in exploring different aspects of monastic spirituality, writing, and giving conferences throughout the English-speaking monastic world. His books include The Road to Eternal Life: Reflections on the Prologue of Benedict’s Rule (Liturgical Press, 2011), Strangers to the City (Paraclete Press, 2005), and A Guide to Living in the Truth (Liguori, 2001).

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations vii

Introduction ix

1 Stirring the Possum 1

2 The Work of the Holy Spirit 17

The School of Christ 21

3 The Community's Work 25

Transmission of the Charism 28

Training in the Way of Life 31

Monastic Education 35

4 A Skilled Senior 40

Formation of Formators 47

5 Today's Generation 52

The New Generations 55

Spirituality 58

Areas Needing Special Attention 61

6 Assessment of Candidates 77

Attraction 79

Assessment 85

Particular Points 87

Accepting the Unacceptable 104

7 Building Trust 110

8 The Formative Conversation 135

9 Teaching the Tradition 149

Adult Learners 149

Monastic Theology 153

Reading Texts 158

Forming a Canon? 161

10 Criteria for Continuance 164

Suitability 165

Readiness 172

11 Never Lose Heart 180

Bibliography 185

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