Contemporary Catholic Spirituality: The Case for Parish-Based Lay Spiritual Ministries
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There is no recognized lay ecclesial ministry of spirituality serving the U.S. Catholic Church. Research shows that spiritual formation is required of candidates for professional ministry, yet there is no dedicated category of ministry that focuses on spiritual formation for Catholics in a parish setting. This thesis seeks to make a case for the importance of lay parish-based spiritual ministries and to envision some such possible ministries. Toward this end, the thesis explores the nature of the parish, lay ecclesial ministry, and spiritual practices as it draws also on insights from selected ecclesiologies and concrete illustrations of spiritual ministries at one Boston Roman Catholic parish, St. Albert the Great. Experience gained from my Supervised Ministry Project, the development of a parish-based program of Spiritual Autobiography and Group Spiritual Direction at St. Albert the Great, supports these findings.
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