While You Were Gone: A Handbook for Returning Catholics clearly identifies the key questions and concerns of Catholics retuming to the Church after an absence of some years.
Author William Bausch sympathetically deals with the changes that returnees will encounter in a way that is non-threatening and informative, all the while reassuring readers that the essence of Catholic faith has remained constant. In fact, Bausch avers, Vatican II sought to reconnect Catholicism to its roots, while eliminating many the unneccessary -- and ultimately distracting -- trappings that had evolved over the years.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One, The Context, surveys the theological and ministerial changes in the Church brought on by Vatican II. Part Two, The Changes, presents a practical perspective of what is different in the Church today, as well as how and why these changes came about. Part Three, The Challenge, gives readers an honest overview of the unfinished business facing the contemporary Church.
Each chapter closes with a brief, annotated list of resources for further reading. Ideal for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, this book will also serve well for parish evangelization and outreach.
WILLIAM J. BAUSCH is the author of Telling Stories, Compelling Stories; Timely Homilies; The Hands-On Parish; Pilgrim Church; Storytelling: Imagination and Faith; A New Look at the Sacraments; and Ministry : Tradition, Transition, Tension.
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