Excellent Catholic Parishes: The Guide to Best Places and Practices

by Paul Wilkes. Paulist Press, 2001.

'Excellent Catholic Parishes' presents eight Catholic parishes throughout the United States that have uniquely solved the challenges facing them and have brought the gospel to life in an extraordinary way. With problems ranging from a shortage of priests to crime-ridden inner cities, these parishes invite the reader to new ways of looking at issues confronting the Church and perhaps their own parishes; they both challenge and encourage. Author Paul Wilkes develops eighteen points of excellence found in successful parishes and divides them into five categories: approach, institutional life, community, the work, and spirituality. These characteristics offer parishes an opportunity to examine their own ministries and to see what traits they would like to make a part of their future. Wilkes provides a resourceful index of excellent parishes throughout the States that "are a representative list of what is best in the local church." This book will be useful to those parish leaders seeking inspiration and guidance as they strive to excel and reveal “what is best in the local church.”