SPOKANE, Wash. – The Association of Catholic Publishers has named “To Be One in Christ: Intercultural Formation and Ministry,” Liturgical Press, edited by Fernando Ortiz, Gonzaga University’s director of counseling, and Father Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., director of counseling at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, its 2016 “Book of the Year.”
The book, which the editors hope to have translated into several languages, includes essays from some of the nation’s top Catholic and Protestant leaders, and focuses on the education of priests and ministers in contemporary culture. It investigates issues, answers questions and provides insights on the increasing multicultural settings and programs affecting seminary and religious formation. Welcomed by vocation directors, seminary directors, clergy, and seminarians alike, it provides a new and broad vision – data-driven, scientifically valid and reliable – for interculturally competent psychological screening, assessment, formation and ministry.
“The book’s title echoes the hospitality theology of Saint Paul who finds no difference between Jew and Greek, between men and women. This is particularly timely in a world profoundly affected by ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and other individual differences,” Ortiz said. “It is our deepest aspiration that those involved in ministry develop intercultural competencies to more effectively serve an increasingly diverse church. This book resonates with a hunger for more guidance and direction on how to honor and celebrate our oneness and common humanity.”
Living in Rome, Fr. McGlone said one clearly sees the tremendous need for the nuanced understanding and approach the book proposes.
“It is not easy and it will demand new paradigms and a new vision. It will stretch who we are as a people of faith but as Pope Francis says, ‘we must go to the peripheries’ to see the face of Christ more clearly and to become the very living body of that same Christ in all of its pain, brokenness, diversity and beauty. The time is ripe for each of us and our faith communities to embrace an approach that focuses on the Gospel values of love, compassion and understanding and not on fear, building walls and hatred of the stranger,” Fr. McGlone said. “My hope is that this helps form bridges and fills some of the glaring holes that exist in parishes, various faith communities, dioceses, religious communities, seminaries and houses of formation not just in the United States but throughout the world.”
The book’s insights follow the example of Pope Francis “who has reminded us that the unity that we seek is not uniformity, but a ‘unity in diversity,’ or ‘reconciled diversity,’” Ortiz said, noting the book’s broader context is a mercy that embraces others with kindness and sensitivity. “It is an additional resource for parishes and communities of religious formation attempting to authentically live out the call for a Jubilee Year of Mercy when we reach out across our human differences to welcome our brothers and sisters and become one in Christ.”
One of six titles from Liturgical Press to win ACP awards, “To Be One in Christ” won first place in the resources for ministry category.
The editors are nationally recognized experts on the integration of psychology and spirituality in priestly life. Ortiz, Ph.D., also serves as an assistant faculty member at the University of Washington department of medicine and psychiatry, and is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops National Review Board. Fr. McGlone, Ph.D., also is the co-author with Len Sperry, M.D., Ph.D., of the award-winning book, “The Inner Life of Priests,” and is the lead author of three nationally recognized sexual abuse prevention programs: Instruments of Hope and Healing, Critical Conversations and Conversations that Matter.
View the ACP awards announcement at http://bit.ly/27zIiGp.