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Jesuit Thomas Sweetser has worked for more than 35 years with Catholic faith communities on evaluation and renewal. In 2011 he set out to interview a broad range of American Catholics, both practicing and non-practicing, about their relationship with the Church. A few years into the new papacy, Fr. Sweetser asked the same people again. Had anything changed with Pope Francis? The answers are enlightening for the church's future. Based on before/after interviews, this helpful resource is for everyone concerned about the Church. The value of this book lies in the direct conversations with people from very different walks of life between 20 and 80 years old. They include faithful Catholics as well as people who have left the church. They touch on hot button questions such as hierarchy, women in the church, and sexual abuse, and offer insights into the nature of a deep desire for authentic spirituality. Together these conversations offer a picture of the current state of the Catholic Church as experienced by its members.
About the Author
Thomas P. Sweetser, SJ is the founder and current director of the Parish Evaluation Project. He has taught at the Institute of Pastoral Studies, a department of Loyola University of Chicago, at the University of Dayton in Ohio, Boston College, University of Seattle, Retreats International, and Loyola University in New Orleans. He is the author of numerous books and his articles have appeared in America, National Catholic Reporter, Commonwealth, Chicago Studies, Today's Parish, Human Development, Review of Ignatian Spirituality, and Church.