I received another group of excited e-mails from readers of Forming Intentional Disciples this weekend. Here's a taste:
From a lay parish leader in the southeast:
I'm just finishing your wonderful book, "Forming Intentional Disciples." It has been a great read, highlighting some trends I have experienced and finally offering me some terminology for certain phenomena that I didn't know how to describe. Thank you!
Our pastor and religious education director have read the book - and are running with it! Our pastor has given it to the parish council, the RCIA team, all the school-age catechists, and seemingly anyone he can thrust it upon. I know they just put in another order. My husband is on the parish council, and the last meeting was spent almost entirely discussing some of themes in the book and how we can transform existing ministries and form new ministries using the suggestions in the book.
The emphasis is heavily on catechesis in our diocese -and our parish - and it is very solid. But we are sadly lacking in the first steps of encountering Christ and personal conversion. I don't think this is surprising given that it is such a well-educated area of the country. Emphasis is naturally put on the intellect around here. I think many people in our parish are ripe for a real encounter with Christ, though, and I know my pastor is dying to lead folks to Him!
From the DRE in the southeast:
I heard you were wondering who was buying the multiple copies of your fabulous book—we are the culprits! I bought 55 copies in July and have been offering it to our catechists…all who have had a chance to read it, myself included, have been greatly affected by your work and are looking for ways to change how we minister. I think it’s safe to say we’re all redoubling our efforts at the interior life, as well!
From a Catholic school teacher in the southwest
I wanted to write to thank you for writing "Making Intentional Disciples." I read it over the past few weeks, and I couldn't put it down. I'm so excited about the message found in this book that I'm going to be sharing about discipleship and the thresholds of conversion with my entire theology department and everyone on the core team for our youth retreats during one of our upcoming in-service sessions. You see, I work at a Catholic high school in teaching 9th grade religion. It is, as I often say, the best job in the world! I'm really lucky, too, because my religion department all have the same goal, making disciples of Jesus Christ. I know that I've even started to incorporate the main idea of the book into my lesson plans: with each lesson I'm asking myself, how will I call my students into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ in and through his Church today. So thank you for writing a book that challenges me to a deeper level of conversion myself and to be open to calling my students for an active decision to follow Jesus Christ!
From a seminarian in the midwest:
First off let me say thanks for writing and publishing Forming Intentional Disciples. It is relevant to so many discussions I've had with my brother seminarians over the last year, and it has given me a language to articulate what is at the heart of the crisis in so many parishes today. It has also clarified my vision of how I want to shepherd the flock someday. My own conception of priestly ministry has been recently drifting in this direction – of focusing on intense Christocentric discipleship – and reading the testimonies, theology, and analysis in FID has confirmed that.
From a lay leader on the west coast:
My pastor and I are reading "Forming Intentional Disciples". Bravo. I am so impressed and I agree with your every observation.
Want to read the book that everyone is talking about? We have the last 100 copies of the first printing in captivity (while we are all waiting for the second printing to show up!) and we ship within 24 hours.
Start the conversation in your parish or diocese or among your friends.