In Pursuit of Excellence: Sustaining Roman Catholic Pastoral Leadership

Abstract: 
One of the greatest changes for American Catholics in the last fifty years has been in the area of leadership. A church once dominated by a hierarchy staffed by priests assisted by nuns has become a church with more democratic, parish-based programs and initiatives increasingly lead by laypeople. So where the Lilly Endowment launched its program, "Sustaining Pastoral Excellence," its application to the Roman Catholic Church involved not only the question of the nature of excellence but the question of leadership itself. This essay describes three Roman Catholic projects with strikingly similar conclusions relevant to both American Catholics and Protestants.
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