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God’s Surprise

The New Movements in the Church

Author(s): Susan Gately

ISBN13: 9781847303950

ISBN10: 1847303951

Publisher: Veritas Publications (1 Oct. 2012)

Extent: 117 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 0.9 x 13.3 x 21 cm

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  • A personal walk through some of the latest movements to come to life in the Catholic Church. Through going to their meetings, hearing their stories and seeing their ministry in action, Susan Gately brings us a first-hand account of how the Holy Spirit is at work within the Church today.


    The movements featured include the Legion of Mary, Youth 2000, Focolare, Communion and Liberation, Cell System of Evangelisation, L’Arche, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Cursillo, the Community of Nazareth and Teams of Our Lady.


  • Susan Gately

    Susan Gately is a freelance journalist, specialising in social, family and religious affairs. A former solicitor, she gave up law to study journalism and spent five years as editor of the online Catholic news service, ciNews. She writes for a number of newspapers, including the Irish Independent, Irish Catholic and the Universe, and does multi-media reports for Catholic News Service in Washington.

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    ‘the Church is changing, through the hearts of its members ... [God’s surprise is] an important book, a kind of wing-mirror on reality that allows us to see the grace that comes from behind and beyond.’


    – John Waters


    As the Church as a whole moves forward into a Year of Faith, this accessible survey of some 10 'new movements' within the Church will be found of great interest to many. The author is a former solicitor whose articles have appeared in The Irish Catholic. Some (the Legion of Mary, Youth 2000, L'Arche) are familiar. What they all have in common is a deep and active desire to prompt religion in ways not tried before. Yet since its earliest days the Church has been organised on the basis of a total community, on the whole people of the parish. Some would see in these new movements a break with this tradition that may end not by including, but by excluding those who want to follow God as a parish rather in a supra-parish movement. However, Susan Gately brings before those who might have such doubts the very varied approaches of these groups, allowing the reader to sense the graced faith that inspires them. She is hoping in this way to reach those who have become disillusioned with the Church.


    – Irish Catholic, 8 November 2012


    These groups do not exist for themselves but for the whole Church and the new life that surges through their efforts at renewal affects the wider Church as a whole; and that is how it should be. This is a must-read for those who believe that Irish Catholicism is dead or dying and for those who cannot imagine a group of 1,000 or so young people gathering together for a three-day festival of prayer and praise in a tent in Clonmacnoise each summer, and in smaller gatherings several times a year elsewhere.


    – Salvador Ryan, Intercom, March 2013

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