Form a Parish Reading Group

Get your friends together at your parish and start reading! This year, The Institute for Catholic Formation will help parishes get great discounts on books, provide a study and reflection guide, and then invite all those who have participated to join us for lunch and a conversation with the author.

Be sure to set your own schedule so that your group is finished in advance of the luncheon. If your parish does not form a group, feel free to read the book on your own and join us anyway.

Fall 2021   Spring 2022

Fall 2021: Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?

by Dr. Timothy O’Malley

Most Catholics don’t believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Rather, they see the bread and wine of Holy Communion as mere symbols of Christ’s body and blood. Is that disbelief just a misunderstanding or is it a blatant rejection of one of the central beliefs of the faith?

In Real Presence, University of Notre Dame theologian Timothy P. O’Malley clears up the confusion and shows you how to learn to love God and neighbor through a deeper understanding of the doctrine of real presence.

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center found that almost seventy percent of Catholics don’t believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.

O’Malley offers a concise introduction to Catholic teaching on real presence and transubstantiation through a biblical, theological, and spiritual account of these doctrines from the early Church to today. He also explores how real presence enables us to see the vulnerability of human life and the dignity of all flesh and blood.

Gather on your own or in your parish and be ready for a conversation with Tim on October 15, 2021.

Spring 2022: Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church

by Chris Lowney

Drawing on decades of leadership experience, bestselling author Chris Lowney examines the profound challenges facing the global Catholic Church, shares real-life stories of Catholics making a difference, and offers practical suggestions for change.

The Catholic Church is suffering its worst decline in five centuries—a precipitous slide that will turn catastrophic unless reversed by fundamental changes in strategy, culture, and leadership style. Even the inspiring leadership of Pope Francis will not reverse the slide without a strategy for action, from the grassroots through the hierarchy. Chris Lowney, a former Jesuit seminarian and business executive who now chairs one of the world’s largest Catholic ministries, not only outlines the challenges but also maps the path forward in Everyone Leads.

After a bracing review of the church’s global struggles—from clergy shortages to declining participation—Lowney draws on two decades of change-management experience to propose an “EASTeR” strategy of five transformational principles: be entrepreneurial, be accountable, serve, transform, and reach out. These five ideas can catalyze profound change in every parish, in how bishops think, and in the roles laypeople play in leading the church. Filled with real-life examples, Everyone Leads outlines strategies that anyone can employ—from the pews to the pulpit—to strengthen the church.

As a former business executive who lectures globally about leadership, Lowney speaks credibly about the institution’s challenges and potential. And, as chair of one of Catholicism’s largest hospital systems, he writes “from within” as a Catholic who loves his church and is committed to seeing it flourish.

Gather on your own in your parish and be ready for a conversation with Chris on March 10, 2022.

To place an order for books and the discussion guide, please email institute@diobpt.org.