This grant supported the dissemination of the findings of the Small Christian Communities in the U. S. Catholic Church Project. The Small Christian Communities project examined the rapid growth of small groups of individual Christians who met regularly for support, prayer, study and worship; most of these operated with the initiative of lay people. The study analyzed the types of people who join small groups, their motivations for joining these groups, the religious practices of such groups, and the impact of involvement in a group on its members and parishes. Such small group participation increased the person’s involvement in the parish and helped individuals develop valuable leadership skills.
The dissemination grant led pastors, lay leaders, church-officials, and small-group members to examine the earlier study’s findings. A series of consultations beginning in 2000 led to a wide dissemination of the study’s findings published in 2000 under the title “The Catholic Experience of Small Christian Communities” (Paulist Press).