This is a book of resources for priests, lay people and religious who are becoming involved in shared leadership in parishes through their membership of parish leadership groups. A leadership group is one that consciously undertakes discerning, praying about, planning for, and implementing the future direction of the parish and may also be known as a core group, parish council or parish forum.
The bulk of the book is made up of resources to help groups of priests, religious and laity work together collaboratively, to share the leadership and responsibility for the future of the parish and most importantly to help this group communicate with and include the wider parish.
This resourcebook follows a definite path from beginning to end and the resources are laid out for ease of use and include guidelines and directions for the group. The opening chapters focus on the present parish fulltime leaders and acknowledge the importance of planning the introduction of parishioners into collaborative shared leadership. It addresses the apprehensions that fulltime leaders often have about shared leadership and offers resources to reflect and plan for this change.
Groups who are starting to work together will find this an invaluable resource for discussion, formation as well as prayerful reflection. Leadership groups already working together will find this book to be a rich source of ideas and possibilities.
Julie Kavanagh is the Pastoral Resource person for the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. She holds a Masters in Liturgical Studies from St John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, and is a member of the Council for Liturgy (Irish Bishops’ Conference). She has worked in the area of parish ministry for over twenty years, and is currently on the panel of lecturers for the National Centre for Liturgy, Maynooth, as well as being visiting lecturer at St Margaret Beaufort’s Institute, Cambridge.