Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Exhortation in November 2013 to all the Catholics in the world. He urged Catholics and other Christians to share the good news by tending to the wounds of all people, especially the poor and marginalized, in a caring manner. The Catholic Church needs to be an instrument of change in the world, not self-preservation, he wrote. He calls for decentralization of authority and control. The title of the letter is "Joy of the Gospel".
This book quotes various parts of the letter and includes 34 sets of questions for reflection. It can be used in many ways:
1) Individual reading and reflection to become more knowledgeable of the Catholic Church and staying in tune with current papal thinking. .
2) Day of retreat for Catholic groups. A facilitator can easily guide the group discussion with the many questions provided in the book.
3) Parish staff studying and planning a course of action. This would involve a more detailed study with follow-up discussions and decision making for implementation of a plan for the parish.
4) Parish wide renewal to become a missionary church.
5) Diocesan study and reflection on an action plan for the diocese. This could be in conjunction with any of the above or separate to give parishes some guidance in their reflections.
The book includes suggestions for group discussion and reporting to the pastor.
For volume discounts on the study guide, contact the author at email@example.com or go to his website at www.thisonly.org.
The complete "Joy of the Gospel" is available in book form at booksellers on line and at stores. It can be downloaded for free from the Vatican website at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
"I am very grateful for your fine book and the wonderful way you brought out the contents of the Pope's wonderful message." Fr. John J. Thome, retired priest of the Saginaw diocese.
"I have my copy almost entirely underlined. I will surely use your commentary on "Joy of the Gospel" at THE FRANCIS FACTOR CONFERENCE on August 31-September 1 at the CAC."
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
Center for Action and contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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