Melbourne priest launches new book on parish life

Friday 6 July 2018

Media and Communications Office

Melbourne parish priest Fr Brendan Reed, supported by the Catholic Development Fund (CDF), has this week launched his newest book, volume two of a series, entitled Engaging with the hopes of parishes.

CDF sponsored the publication of Fr Reed’s extensive research and also hosted the book launch.

At the launch ceremony at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Centre in East Melbourne, Fr Reed was introduced by Archbishop Denis Hart, who congratulated him both on the book itself, and on the diligence of the research and long term commitment that gave rise to it.
Fr Reed describes the book as ‘a systematic, empirical and practical search for a parish engagement scale’, or, in acronym, SPES (Latin for ‘hope’). It’s primarily, he said, in acknowledging Archbishop Hart’s introduction, a book about parish life, offering a new framework and a new context for the core Christian community.

Fr Reed is proposing four new and different, but complementary, models for parish life.

  • The convinced parish
  • The engaged parish
  • The devoted parish
  • The consumerist parish

His book, he said, will help parishes better understand who they are and what they are capable of becoming, and offers new insights, new visions, on ways for the radical transformation of parish life to ensure the relevance, the power, the growth of Catholic community in an increasingly secular age.

Engaging with the hopes of parishes
provides both pastoral and theological grounds for proposing the engaged parish as the future, the new model, for the ideal parish in a changed world.

Fr Brendan Reed, as well as being a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, is also adjunct lecturer at the Catholic Theological College University of Divinity.
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