Biggest challenge: Weekly attendance at Eucharist

 The nuns were excellent, but, with imagination and  training, laypeople do and can excel

       The nuns were disciplinarians and                     discipline (for children!) still plays a role in any        good parish

       New types of loving service engage more        parishioners







 Active Programs



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Renewing Parish Culture Book Review




Recruitment,financial realism and leadership are important in parish life and are addressed in three thematic chapters in Part III, "Issues for Parishes and Dioceses." The general analytical framework applied throughout this book, however, is made up of four specific principles for success that historically marked the institutional approach of religious women: narratives, norms, benefits, and practices. Narratives were used to help institutional participants make sense of Catholic culture. These women’s congregations also established and enforced clear norms or standards of behaviour for all those involved. Spiritual and real-world benefits, such as high quality education and health care, were provided by women religious. Numerous small practices or rituals were used to reinforce Catholic cultural beliefs, values and norms.


The authors concede that the cultural story of women religious is not perfect. However, for all their difficulties, their gains and losses, they maintain that these congregations still remain the best exemplars of Catholic cultural maintenance and transmission.


Renewing Parish Culture was written as a guide for parishes negotiating their way to a new equilibrium. It analyses the key areas that define parish culture: Eucharist, the sacrament of reconciliation, prayer, loving service and education. The authors also develop the four historic "principles for success" of women religious to help evaluate current and proposed new practices for parish cultural renewal.


The authors make the point that cultures can only change if cultural components (content, symbols and people) change and change slowly. Also, because parishes are still in a period of great change, it is difficult to predict what they will look like in the future – but they must make changes in a way that attracts people to the parish.




CatholicTV13-Part Series 


Parish Family is an original series for CatholicTV based on the book by Father Piderit and Melanie Morey, Renewing Parish Culture: Building for a Catholic Future.  CEI Senior Director, Melanie Morey, and Catholic TV Director, Father Robert Reed explore how this moment in time provides the God-given grace for a better future in the Church. 


Click on this link to watch all 13 episodes of the program. Watch Episodes Here






The topics for the first 13 shows:

1.    What is a Parish

2.    Catholic Culture and the Sisterhoods

3.    Reclaiming the Sisters’ Legacy

4.    Mass Attendance

5.    Eucharistic Culture

6.    Penance ~ The Sacrament of Reconciliation

7.    Divine Intervention and Prayer

8.    Religious Education of Children and Adults

9.    Loving Service in a Faith Community

10.   Priest Shortage and Pastors

11.   Lay Leaders in the Parish

12.   Finances and Growth

13.   Politics and the Witness Community



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