Resources: in Support of Victim-Survivors:Links to Web Sites and Organizations Providing Information and Support

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Resources: Books and Films

Keep the Faith Change the Church by James E. Muller and Charles Kenney.
"This powerful and lucidly written book chronicles the coming of a great Catholic renewal, a light out of darkness, when courageous men and women took responsibility for their faith and kept it alive. A book for all who love the Catholic Church." --James Carroll.
Excerpts can be found here.
The book can be ordered from VOTF National here

Implementing Vatican II in your Community, by Stuber and Nelson. Dialogue and action manual based on the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council. An Angelus book from Guild Press

Bulletin inserts from St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1-513-241-5615 or write to 1615 Republic St., Cincinnati, OH 45210-9989.

The film A Love Divided. This is a true story. It happened as Vatican Council II was coming to a close. It tells about a Catholic priest in a small town in Ireland whose zeal and despotism nearly destroyed one family in particular as well as the whole town in general. Thirty-five years later, the local bishop finally apologized. A new release.

The film A Walk to Remember takes a close, hard look at peer pressure among high school youth, their cruelty to outsiders, and their freedom to change. It starts out crazy but enters into the profound. Adults will love it too. A moving spiritual film done Hollywood style. A very good message film rated PG. Let's not leave the future church out of the loop. We need to leave a legacy.

The three-volume set, Vatican Two in Plain English, available in individual volumes: The Council, The Church, The Decrees. Daughters of St. Paul, 1-212-754-1110, ask for Sr. Joshua. Set $34.95. Per volume, $12.95. Also available in single-document or decree at $1.95 and $3.95 each. Web site address is

The Parish As Covenant, A Call to Pastoral Partnership, Thomas P. Sweetser. Forward-thinking book for Catholics in transition. Such topics as co-pastoring the parish, teaching religion to children inductively, accepting dissent as a compass to growth. Sheed and Ward.

Transforming the Parish, by Forster. Packed with mind-boggling ideas for creative and constructive change. Studies, statistics, case histories - you name it. from Sheed and Ward

Pastoral Councils in Today's Catholic Parish, by Mark Fischer, This is the "summit and source" of pastoral council wisdom. Recently published, it reviews the history of councils and how they came to be following the Second Vatican Council. The author explains the philosophy behind calling upon God's wisdom as shared in his people to discover the giftedness of parishioners as they foster communal growth. Discernment is the technique whereby everyone - pastor, council, and people - share the responsibility for bringing the Kingdom into being in the parish. Absolutely thorough in its research, exposition, and references. No source has done a better job. Twenty-Third Publications, 1-800-321-0411 or

The Changing Face of the Priesthood, by Donald B. Cozzens. .speaks with deep reverence and reverence and raw honesty about issues, challenges, concerns and realities impacting on priests and the Church in today's world. The reading and discussion of this work by priests and parishoners alike will provide insight, argumentation, challenge and hope. Bishop Robert Morneau. The Liturgical Press

A People Adrift, The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America, Peter Steinfels. In A People Adrift, a prominent Catholic thinker states bluntly that the Catholic Church in the United States must transform itself or suffer irreversible decline. Peter Steinfels shows how even before the recent revelations about sexual abuse by priests, the explosive combination of generational change and the thinning ranks of priests and nuns was creating a grave crisis of leadership and identity." "This groundbreaking book offers an analysis not just of the church's immediate troubles but of less visible, more powerful forces working below the surface of an institution that provides a spiritual identity for 65 million Americans and spans the nation with its parishes, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, clinics, and social service agencies." In A People Adrift, Steinfels warns that entrenched liberals and conservatives are trapped in a "theological gridlock" that often ignores what in fact goes on in families, parishes, classrooms, voting booths, and Catholic organizations of all types. Above all, he insists, the altered Catholic landscape demands a new agenda for leadership, from the selection of bishops and the rethinking of the priesthood to the thorough preparation and genuine incorporation of a lay leadership that is already taking over key responsibilities in Catholic institutions. Simon and Schuster

The Coming Catholic Church. How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism., David Gibson. Not another entry in the Catholic Church "scandal" genre, this is instead a prophetic statement about evolving Catholicism that emphasizes the possibilities latent within the current crisis-ridden institution. A lay Catholic who has worked for Vatican Radio and as a religion reporter for various newspapers, Gibson employs his experience and Vatican insider status to author this delicately balanced work. The darker sides of hierarchical polities are fully exposed and the sinful exploits of errant ecclesiastics revealed. Nevertheless, Gibson uses this discussion as the starting point to articulate a new epoch of faith, tried and purified. HarperSanFrancisco, division of Harper Collins

Sacred Silence, Denial and the Crisis in the Church, Donald B. Cozzens. Bearer of the Word and champion of the oppressed, the Church nevertheless displays a puzzling propensity to denial and silence when faced with realities that threaten her centuries-old structure. In Sacred Silence, Donald Cozzens probes the conscious and unconscious dynamics that sustain the Church's culture of silence and points the Church in the direction of candor and honest dialogue. The Liturgical Press

Pilgrim Church, A Popular History of Catholic Christianity, William J. Bausch. From background and beginnings, through the early Church, through the Renaissance and Reformation, to the post-Vatican era, William Bausch takes readers on an enjoyable and comprehensive journey into the Catholic Church. Twenty-Third Publications.

The Liberation of the Laity, In Search of an Accountable Church, Paul Lakeland. The present crisis in the American Catholic church stems from a two-fold source: lay people are powerless while bishops are accountable to no one but the pope and the curia. While the number of lay people exercising ministries in the church has grown enormously over the past thirty years (largely due to the shortage of priests), there has been little or no theological reflection till now on the genuine role of the laity. It is only from such reflection that structural reform of the church will come.

The first half of The Liberation of the Laity concentrates on the fortunes of the laity, theologically speaking, between Vatican I (1870) and Vatican II (1962-65). It examines the growth of the "new theology" in France in the 1940s and 1950s and shows how in the work of one of its leading practitioners, Yves Congar, much of the vision of the laity expressed at Vatican II was anticipated. Seeing the years after the council as decades of missed opportunities to recognize the role of the laity, the book then turns to a series of constructive proposals for the liberation of the laity, and thus the liberation of the church. It discusses the importance of "secularity," the need for a "lay liberation theology," and the centrality of the struggles against global capitalism in the mission of the church. It ends with a chapter envisioning dramatic changes in ministry and governing structures, in which accountability will be central, "servant leaders" will include women and married people, and both ecclesiastical careerism and the College of Cardinals will be history. Continuum Publ.

Excellent Catholic Parishes, The Guide to Best Places and Practices, Paul Wilkes. Hundreds of great parishes throughout the country have been uncovered by Paul Wilkes in his search to pinpoint what makes a Catholic parish successful. In his earlier book, The Seven Secrets of Successful Catholics, Wilkes looked at what made individual Catholics successful. His new book on parishes is a kind of "Michelin Guide" to the very best American Catholicism has to offer. To begin, Wilkes takes an in-depth look at eight parishes that are not only models of excellence; they're also proof that all kinds of parishes can be successful--from inner city to suburban, homogenous to diverse, co-pastorates to churches without priests. Not every parish excelled in every area, but together they touched on all aspects of parish life: from finances to devotions, social action to renovations, adult education to outreach to the unchurched. Following is a section on those traits common to excellence that can be reproduced in parishes everywhere. And the book includes a directory of hundreds of great parishes throughout the country. Wilkes disproves the myth that a lack of priests and resources is what holds parishes back from excellence. He puts the three keys of success--vision, energy, and hope--within the reach of every parish. Paulist Press.

The Parish of the Next Millennium, William J. Bausch. As the new millennium approaches, here is a great resource for Catholics to discern the current movements in their parish and to begin planning the kind of spiritual and operational posture their parish should take in the future. Twenty Third Publications

Catholics in Crisis, The Rift Between American Catholics and Their Church, Jim Naughton. Washington D.C.'s Holy Trinity Church, one of the most prominent and popular churches in the nation, has long been known as a refuge for liberal Catholics, and a place where Post-Vatican II Catholicism is at its most vital. When a lone parishioner stands up through a Sunday Mass to protest the exclusion of women from the priesthood, he ignites a fire-storm of controversy that exposes deep rifts and threatens to tear the community apart. Using The Standing,' as it comes to be called, and the subsequent events at Holy Trinity, Jim Naughton examines the issues confronting American Catholics everywhere, men and women who want to practice their faith but cannot find a clear way to reconcile it with the teachings of the Church of Rome. In this engrossing chronicle, Naughton gets to the heart of much wider issues, and exposes the system of uniquely American social views that are at odds with much of Catholic doctrine. The emerging role of the laity in determining Church practices, the issues of abortion, homosexuality, divorce, and celibacy of the clergy, are all brought to bear in this revealing, trenchant look at the anger and dissent that threatens to separate many more American Catholics from their church. Penguin Books

Public Catholicism, David J. O'Brien. An engrossing and readable history of the role Catholics and their church have played in American public life. Orbis Books

Vatican II, 101 Questions & Answers, Maureen Sullivan. Pope John XXIII called Vatican II a new Pentecost in the church's life. While the great meetings of 1962-1965 opened the church's windows to let the stale air out and the fresh winds in, the years since have been decades of contradictory movements: tradition and progress, conservation and innovation, reform and renewal, status quo and change.

Vatican II has become so much of a battleground that some who lived through it may have lost sight of its original intentions. Many believers do not even remember the pre-Vatican II world of Catholicism. Still others have tried to continually apply and update the spirit of the Council without appreciating the context in which the church gathered and the global circumstances that surrounded the Council's implementation.

101 Questions and Answers on Vatican II brings us back to the beginning-to the preparations and expectations for the Council, to the meetings and developments in 1962-1965, to the internal church struggles and the exterior influences that shaped the final documents, and to the many layers of experience and perspectives within the church since the Council adjourned. For people who have heard of Vatican II but have only experienced the Council through a glass darkly, this book takes them back to the beginning to a basic question: "Just what was Vatican II?"

--no other guide like this one.
--user-friendly format.
--sure to be a hit in parishes, lay leadership groups, RCIA and catechist groups. Paulist Press