CCC Formation Program for Holy Orders
Those who are called to serve as deacons or
priests are trained and tested within our formation program. Before
beginning the formation program, each candidate must
complete the written application, participate in a psychological and vocational assessment, submit several letters of
recommendation, have a civil child-abuse clearance and criminal history
check, so that both the candidate and the bishops are satisfied that
ordained service is where she or he might best serve God and neighbor.
Additionally, each candidate must sign
our Statement of Belief, have a spiritual director, and must have a
local community, a ministry, or be in the process of growing one. We also
require that each candidate be involved with the CCC for at
least three years before ordination.
Those seeking incardination are required to
fulfill all the above, and have it submitted and accepted before incardination proceeds.. Some of this, such as seminary training, may
have been completed in other programs or seminaries and will need to be
documented, but what has not been
completed must be done within our program.
The following outlines our complete formation
program. For more information please contact Bishop Joseph Grenier at
PROGRAM OF FORMATION
The ministry of a priest--to serve people in
their relationship to God--is a very sensitive and important one, and it
must be exercised with all kinds of people, from the uneducated to the
highly educated, and in a world that presents all kinds of problems.
Because of that, formation in view of the priesthood is an extremely important activity, and one that demands
serious and dedicated work. The following course of study is comprehensive
enough and serious enough to give candidates a solid intellectual
preparation for their ministry. Other requirements, to be described below,
complement the intellectual preparation with development in other areas that
are required to be a good and effective priest.
Acceptance into this program or as a candidate
for Holy Orders is not a promise of ordination, and it does not guarantee
that a candidate will be ordained. Rather it is an admission to a period of
discernment and training. Selection of a candidate for ordination is solely
at the discretion of the candidate's Bishop, is not subject to appeal, and
may include criteria not expressly stated or implied here.
A person must be a committed member of the
Celtic Christian Church for at least six months before applying for
admission into the formation program.
In this program the word "candidate," unless
otherwise specified, applies both to persons seeking ordination and to
already ordained persons seeking incardination. In the case of the latter
the requirements will be adapted as needed.
Given its small size, the Celtic Christian
Church does not have a seminary of its own. Nor will it require its
candidates, who in very large part will be adults with family and work
responsibilities, to enroll in a seminary program of another church.
Rather, the Church employs the mentor system. For each candidate a person
with the necessary training and experience will be appointed by the
candidate's Bishop to act as mentor during his or her course of formation.
If advisable, a general mentor will be appointed and other persons will
serve as mentors in the specific areas of their expertise. The mentor will
work closely with the candidate and will have input in all aspects of his or
her formation. In the academic area the mentor will oversee the candidate's
study and will be responsible for testing him or her.
2. Yearly Evaluation.
The candidate's Bishop and the mentor, with
the input of other persons working with the candidate, will evaluate him or
her at the end of each year in the formation program. The decision on the
advancement or the dismissal of the candidate is the responsibility of his
or her Bishop. If the candidate is dismissed from the program, he or she
will be informed of the reasons for this action and will be given full
opportunity to discuss it with his or her Bishop. If the candidate is
advanced in the program, the results of the evaluation, including areas in
which it is judged that greater effort is needed, will be communicated to
him or her.
II. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
1. Clergy Application.
As the first step, a candidate must answer a
basic questionnaire and submit the documents requested in it. Of particular
importance here are the transcripts of any academic work done, since these
will be necessary to determine the specific course of study to be followed
by any individual candidate.
2. Criminal-History and Child-Abuse
Clearances. Small independent
churches, of which the Celtic Christian Church is one, can be havens for
persons with criminal or child-abuse histories. In order to exercise due
diligence in the admission of candidates to Holy Orders and in the
incardination of ordained clergy persons, the Celtic Christian Church
requires these two clearances (unless they are illegal in the candidate's
home state). The specifics are given in the Clergy Application.
3. Psychological Screening.
Each candidate will take a battery of psychological tests to provide his or
her Bishop with information on, first, the candidate's personality,
abilities, weak points, and so on, and, second, on real or potential
pathology. The specifics are given in the Clergy Application.
4. Spiritual Direction.
The work of a priest is essentially spiritual,
and in order to be effective in his or her ministry, a priest must be a
person with a real and deepening spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.
Because of this each candidate is required to have a spiritual director, a
person who has the knowledge and the experience to guide another in a
relationship with Jesus.
5. Clinical Pastoral Education.
Each candidate or priest incardinating into the CCC will be responsible for one unit of CPE. This provides
real-life training by professionals in important pastoral skills and also
allows for peer interaction between trainees. CPE can be done full-time,
but almost all programs have extended units designed for working adults who
cannot engage in it full-time.
During the entire course of formation the
candidate will be involved in an appropriate pastoral ministry. The choice
of ministry will be the candidate's, with the approval of the mentor. The
supervision of the candidate's work in this ministry will be the
responsibility of the mentor.
7. Mass and Sacraments.
Toward the end of the course of formation, the
candidate will receive practical training in saying Mass and administering
the Sacraments. This training will be the responsibility of the mentor.
III. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
A. Structure of the Program of Study
1. College or Equivalent.
Ideally, a candidate beginning the program of
formation will possess a college degree. Barring that, an associate's
degree will be considered sufficient. However, as noted above, a good
number of candidates will be adults with family and work responsibilities,
for whom returning to college to obtain a degree would be a real hardship.
Such candidates will work with their Bishops and mentors to determine what
must still be done. In many cases this remaining work can be completed by
means of correspondence or online courses offered by reputable
institutions. A candidate finishing college work in this way will be
considered enrolled in the formation program and will be assigned a mentor.
2. Individual Program of Study.
The program of study will be tailored to
each individual candidate, since a certain number of the candidates will
already have done some of the required studies. In each case the
candidate's Bishop will examine the documents sent to him or her along with
the filled-out Clergy Application and will make a preliminary determination
of what needs to be done. He or she will then choose a mentor for the
candidate. The candidate's Bishop, the mentor and the candidate will then
structure the individual course of study.
3. Seminary or University Courses.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to take
at least a few of their courses in a seminary or in a Christian university.
This would provide them with professional teachers and also with peer
interaction. Because of the importance of the orientation of the seminary
or university (the Celtic Christian Church is a sacramental church, close in
doctrine to the Roman, Anglican and Orthodox churches, but different from
the Protestant churches), the choice of a seminary or university must be
approved by the candidate's Bishop.
4. Internet Based Courses.
Candidates who have access to the Internet have the possibility of taking
courses via that medium. Great care must be exercised to choose
organizations and courses that are reputable. Candidates who consider this
possibility are encouraged to look into Global Ministries University. This
is a newly established all-Internet program of study, sponsored by the
Federation of Christian Ministries, that offers an undergraduate degree in
Religious Studies and the graduate degrees of Master of Theology, Master of
Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. All Internet-based courses or degree
programs chosen by a candidate must be approved by the candidate's mentor.
5. Collaboration with the Mentor.
The mentor determines, with input from the
candidate, the concrete details of the way in which they will collaborate,
how often and where they will meet, how the candidate will be tested in the
various areas of study, and so on. This applies also to candidates
following courses in a seminary or university or via the Internet.
6. Reports to the Bishop.
The mentor will advise the candidate's Bishop
regularly--at a minimum, once every three months--on the candidate's
7. Final Paper.
At the end of the course of formation, the
candidate's Bishop will assign the candidate a final comprehensive paper to
write. The Bishop's intent here is to obtain an idea, in the candidate's
own words, of his or her approach to the priesthood and to ministry and
their requirements in the context of the concrete world in which that
ministry will be exercised.
B. Program of Study
Following are the areas in which preparation
Part I. The Western Church
1. Philosophy (a basic
2. Psychology (a basic
3. Comparative Religions
B. Christian Theology
1. Introductory and General
2. Doctrinal Theology
a. God, the Trinity
Virtues (Faith, Hope, Charity)
3. Moral Theology
a. Sin, Original Sin
b. Christian Moral
C. Sacred Scripture
D. History of the Christian
F. Spiritual Life, Prayer,
G. Pastoral Care, Counseling, Religious
Part II. The Eastern Church
Part III. The Celtic Church
2. List of Required and Recommended Books
The list of required books given below may
well seem overwhelming at first sight. It is therefore very important to
keep two points in mind.
First, a seminary program for the priesthood
in a sacramental church would take some three years and include over a
thousand hours of classroom lectures. The program below, while not
pretending in any way to duplicate seminary training, must provide the
substance of such training, without the lectures and the interaction between
students and professors.
Second, the intent of any candidate's Bishop
is to be as flexible as possible in the application of the program. School
work already done will count in the program if at all possible. What is to
be required of each individual candidate will depend on what has already
been done and what still needs to be done. As already noted, the
transcripts requested in the Clergy Application will be particularly
important in determining this, and the input of the mentor will also be
It should also be noted here that the division
of the following material into “The Western Church,” “The Eastern Church”
and “The Celtic Church” is somewhat artificial. In fact all of the material
could easily have been included in a single series of sub-topics, with each
Eastern or Celtic book placed within its proper topic. However, the present
division, in addition to bringing a greater degree of clarity to the
organization of the material, accentuates the intent of the formation
program. Since we live in the Western world and the very large majority, if
not the totality, of our priests will work within that world, the basic
theological formation provided by this program is in the Western ambit.
Then, since we live our faith in the spirit of the ancient Celtic church and
since this spirit is closer to the more mystical spirit of the Orthodox
church than to the more rational outlook of the Western church, that
basic formation is completed by a study of the theological outlook and
especially the spirituality of the Orthodox church and by a study of the
history and spirituality of the Celtic church.
All of the books indicated below are required
unless otherwise noted.
Part I. The Western Church
A general introduction to philosophy, which is
usually done in college, is required. The following two books are examples;
another may be substituted.
Jenny Teichman and Catherine C. Evans,
PHILOSOPHY: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE, 2nd ed., Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995.
C. E. M. Joad, GUIDE TO PHILOSOPHY, New York:
Dover, 1957 (originally 1936). (More thorough than the first book,
accentuating major themes in philosophy.)
A general introduction to psychology, which is
also usually done in college, is required, as is a book on human sexuality.
The following books are examples; others may be substituted.
Ronald Kotesky, GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY FOR
CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS, Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1983.
James Bruce Nelson, BETWEEN TWO GARDENS:
REFLECTIONS ON SEXUALITY AND RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, Pilgrim Press, 1983.
Huston Smith, THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS,
HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. (Revised and updated edition of his "The
Religions of Man," 1958.)
B. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
1. COMPENDIUM OF THEOLOGY
The vast area of Christian theology can best
be addressed by means of a compendium of theology or a book of systematic
theology. This will give a well integrated overview of the material. It
will then be completed by other works in those areas where a more developed
treatment is needed.
Richard P. McBrien, CATHOLICISM, New Edition,
New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco/ HarperCollins, 1994. (A thorough
presentation of Christian doctrine in the Roman Catholic tradition, by a
priest who is a professor of theology at Notre Dame University.)
TOPICS REQUIRING FURTHER STUDY
Matthew Fox, ORIGINAL BLESSING: A PRIMER IN
CREATION SPIRITUALITY, Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company, 1983. (A study of
creation which, while not ignoring sin, sees our world as good and
uplifting. Reflects the Celtic spirit on which it draws.)
SCIENCE AND FAITH
The developments of modern science (concerning
human origins, for example) raise serious questions for the Christian
faith. The following books address various aspects of this issue.
John Polkinghorne (a particle physicist and an
Anglican priest and theologian) - choose ONE of the following two books:
---QUARKS, CHAOS AND CHRISTIANITY: QUESTIONS
TO SCIENCE AND RELIGION, New York, NY: Crossroad, 1997;
---SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION,
Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998.
Jerry D. Korsmeyer, EVOLUTION AND EDEN:
BALANCING ORIGINAL SIN AND CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE, New York, NY: Paulist
Press, 1998. (Korsmeyer is a nuclear physicist and a theologian.)
Dennis Edwards, THE GOD OF EVOLUTION: A
TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1999. (Edwards is a
Roman Catholic priest and a professor of theology in Australia.)
Daniel Donovan, WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT THE
MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD? New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1992. (Describes
different emphases on the priesthood as developed by several modern
theologians. Provides an excellent view of the complex nature of the
Alexander Schmemann, THE EUCHARIST: SACRAMENT
OF THE KINGDOM, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1998. (A
beautiful and deeply spiritual treatment of the Eucharistic celebration and
what it means in our daily life. Schmemann is an outstanding Orthodox
e. SIN AND ORIGINAL SIN
Karl Rahner, ed., ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THEOLOGY:
THE CONCISE SACRAMENTUM MUNDI, New York, NY: Seabury, 1975, "Sin" and
"Original Sin." (Rahner, a Jesuit priest, now deceased, is one of the
greatest of the modern theologians.)
f. FEMINIST THEOLOGY
Rosemary Radford Ruether, WOMEN AND
REDEMPTION: A THEOLOGICAL HISTORY, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999.
(The author is a respected theologian known for her work in feminist
C. SACRED SCRIPTURE
THE HOLY BIBLE. Recommended: THE NRSV NEW
OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE WITH THE APOCRYPHA, Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson,
Margaret Nutting Ralph, "AND GOD SAID WHAT?":
AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL FORMS FOR BIBLE LOVERS, New York, NY: Paulist
Press, 1986. (Explains the literary forms used in the Bible [myth, parable,
letter, etc.] and shows the importance of this in interpreting the Bible
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, SJ, SCRIPTURE, THE SOUL OF
THEOLOGY, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1994. (Shows how the correct
interpretation of Scripture should function in relation to Tradition, in the
study of theology and in ecumenical work.)
Lawrence Boadt, CSP, READING THE OLD
TESTAMENT: AN INTRODUCTION, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (An up-to-date
and comprehensive introduction.)
Pheme Perkins, READING THE NEW TESTAMENT: AN
INTRODUCTION, Second Edition, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Includes
material on the individual books of the New Testament, and recent material
from archeology and social history that helps the reader better to
understand the New Testament.)
RECOMMENDED: Raymond E.
Brown, SS, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, New York, NY: Doubleday,
1997. (An excellent, scholarly and thorough introduction to all aspects of
the New Testament and its books. A very useful resource book.)
2. THE EVANGELISTS AND PAUL
Donald Senior, CP, WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT
MATTHEW?, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (A survey of current scholarship on
Patrick J. Flanagan, THE GOSPEL OF MARK MADE
EASY, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Places Mark's gospel in the context of
its original audience, the early church in Rome.)
Mark Allan Powell, WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT
LUKE?, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (A presentation of the most important
current studies on Luke.)
Mark Allan Powell, WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT
ACTS?, New York,NY: Paulist Press. (An overview of present-day scholarship
Stanley B. Marrow, SJ, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN: A
READING, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Reflects on the meaning of John's
gospel, and brings out its wealth and its mystery.)
Stanley B. Marrow, SJ, PAUL, HIS LETTERS AND
HIS THEOLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION TO PAUL'S EPISTLES, New York, NY: Paulist
Press. (Interprets Paul's theology by his letters and his life, against the
background of his times.)
D. HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Following are three books that each give a
good, if summary, treatment of the history of the Christian Church. The
candidate will choose ONE of them:
---John C. Dwyer, CHURCH HISTORY: TWENTY
CENTURIES OF CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY, Revised and Updated Edition, New York,
NY: Paulist Press. (Good, objective summary treatment.)
---David L.Edwards, CHRISTIANITY: THE FIRST
TWO THOUSAND YEARS, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997. (Broad in scope,
blends institutional history with theological developments.)
---Justo L. Gonzalez, THE STORY OF
CHRISTIANITY: THE EARLY CHURCH TO THE PRESENT DAY, Peabody, MA: Prince
Press, 1999 (two volumes in one, originally 1984 and 1985). (Sheds light on
the major cultural and theological currents shaping the church's outlook,
while highlighting essential events, people and ideas.)
Bishop Karl Pruter, THE OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH:
A HISTORY AND CHRONOLOGY, San Bernardino, CA: St. Willibrord's Press, 1996
(PO Box 2845, San Bernardino, CA 92406). (Biased against the Roman Catholic
Church and the Jesuits, but good to obtain the basic history.)
The faith of the Celtic Christian Church is
that of the first seven ecumenical councils, which were those of the
undivided Christian Church. For a study of those seven councils, the
following book is RECOMMENDED: Leo Donald Davis, SJ, THE FIRST
SEVEN ECUMENICAL COUNCILS (325-787): THEIR HISTORY AND THEOLOGY,
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1983/1990.
For those interested in tracing how the
church's doctrine evolved over the centuries, the following lengthy study is
highly RECOMMENDED: Jaroslav Pelikan, THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION: A
HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE, 5 vols., Chicago, IL: University of
Chicago Press, 1971-1989.
Vol. 1: THE EMERGENCE OF CATHOLIC TRADITION
Vol. 2: THE SPIRIT OF EASTERN CHRISTENDOM
Vol. 3: THE GROWTH OF MEDIEVAL THEOLOGY
Vol. 4: REFORMATION OF CHURCH AND DOGMA
Vol. 5: CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE AND MODERN
CULTURE (Since 1700).
The thought of St. Augustine had incalculable
influence on the theology of the Christian Church, and for us, his thought
is also important in understanding Pelagius (see below, Part III, The Celtic
Church). For a basic understanding of Augustine's thinking, the following
book is RECOMMENDED: T. Kermit Scott, AUGUSTINE: HIS THOUGHT IN
CONTEXT, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1995.
Dennis C. Smolarski, SJ, SACRED MYSTERIES:
SACRAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND LITURGICAL PRACTICE, New York, NY: Paulist Press,
1995. (A practical and sound guide for the celebration of the sacraments,
with notes on their historical and theological roots.)
In addition, the candidate will choose ONE of
the following books:
--- Edward J. Kilmartin, SJ, CHRISTIAN LITURGY
I: THEOLOGY, Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.
---Regis A. Duffy, REAL PRESENCE, WORSHIP,
SACRAMENTS, AND COMMITMENT, San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1982.
---Aidan Kavanagh, ON LITURGICAL THEOLOGY, New
York, NY: Pueblo, 1984.
---Dom Gregory Dix, THE SHAPE OF THE LITURGY,
London: A. C. Block, 1986.
---David Power, WORSHIP: CULTURE AND
THEOLOGY, Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1990.
---Herbert Vorgrimler, SACRAMENTAL THEOLOGY,
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992.
The candidate must be familiar with the
-THE ROMAN SACRAMENTARY, New York: Catholic
Book Publishing Co., 1985 (the Mass).
-INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE LECTIONARIES and
RESPONSORIAL PSALMS, Hyattsville, MD: Priests for Equality.
-THE ROMAN RITUAL (the Sacraments).
-ORDER OF CHRISTIAN FUNERALS.
F. SPIRITUAL LIFE, PRAYER, SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
1. SPIRITUAL LIFE
Matthew Fox, ed., WESTERN SPIRITUALITY:
HISTORICAL ROOTS, ECUMENICAL ROUTES, Santa Fe, NM: Bear and Company.
(Traces the development of spirituality in the Western Church.)
Lawrence S. Cunningham and Keith J. Egan,
CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY: THEMES FROM THE TRADITION, New York, NY: Paulist
Press, 1996. (A concise overview of the ways in which Christians over the
centuries have approached God in prayer and practice.)
Henri J. M. Nouwen, REACHING OUT: THE THREE
MOVEMENTS OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975. (The
successive stages of our approach to God, as explained in simple terms by a
modern master of the spiritual life.)
Henri J. M. Nouwen, WITH BURNING HEARTS: A
MEDITATION ON THE EUCHARISTIC LIFE, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994. (A
profound and beautiful reflection on the meaning of the Eucharist for
ourselves and for our communities.)
M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, DAILY WE TOUCH
HIM: PRACTICAL RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCES, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977.
(Simple practical exercises to help us pray more deeply, by another modern
master of the spiritual life.)
Thomas Keating, OCSO, OPEN MIND, OPEN HEART:
THE CONTEMPLATIVE DIMENSION OF THE GOSPEL, NewYork, NY: Continuum,
1986/1992. (An initiation into a deep loving relationship with God, by,
once again, a modern spiritual master.)
The following book is
Louis Dupre and James A. Wiseman, OSB, LIGHT FROM LIGHT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF
CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM, Second Edition, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Presents
the key spiritual texts from the most important mystical writers in the
Christian tradition, with introductions and bibliographies.)
2. SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Jean Laplace, SJ, PREPARING FOR SPIRITUAL
DIRECTION, Chicago, IL: Franciscan Herald Press, 1975. (An excellent guide
by an experienced and highly competent director.)
Benedict J. Groeschel, SPIRITUAL PASSAGES:
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT, New York, NY: Crossroad, 1989.
(Guides the reader through the interrelationships between one's spiritual
life and one's psychological make-up.)
Wilfrid Stinissen, THE GIFT OF SPIRITUAL
DIRECTION: ON SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND CARE OF THE SOUL, Liguori, MO: Liguori
Publications, 1999. (Excellent, well balanced and expressed in simple
Kathleen Fischer, WOMEN AT THE WELL: FEMINIST
PERSPECTIVES IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1988. (An
approach to spiritual direction that reflects women's experience and
G. PASTORAL CARE, COUNSELING, RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
One unit of CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION (CPE)
is required. This provides hands-on supervised training in pastoral
Henri J. M. Nouwen, THE WOUNDED HEALER:
MINISTRY IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY, Garden City, NY: Doubleday/Image, 1972.
(The author argues that ministers must be willing to go beyond their
professional role and as wounded and suffering fellow human beings leave
themselves open to those they serve, if they are to collaborate in Christ's
ministry of healing.)
Henri J. M. Nouwen, CREATIVE MINISTRY, Garden
City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. (In his or her several roles, the minister must,
again, go beyond the professional role to "lay down his life for his
friends" in order to mediate new life in Christ.)
Eugene Kennedy, ON BECOMING A COUNSELOR: A
BASIC GUIDE FOR THE NON-PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR, New York, NY: Crossroad,
1977/1989. (An excellent resource for the many counseling situations a
priest encounters, by a married priest, professional psychologist and
Thomas N. Hart, THE ART OF CHRISTIAN
LISTENING, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1980. (The author, a marriage and
family counselor, uses the insights of Scripture, contemporary spiritual
theology and modern psychology to guide the Christian helper in various
Robert J. Wicks and Thomas E. Rodgerson,
COMPANIONS IN HOPE: THE ART OF CHRISTIAN CARING, New York, NY: Paulist
Press. (Written by two counselors, this book provides practical information
on interacting with others in a caring way, again in various pastoral
situations. This book and the previous one are complementary, and both are
complementary to Kennedy's book, which is slightly more clinical in
Richard M. Gula, SS, ETHICS IN PASTORAL
MINISTRY, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Helps pastoral ministers see the
moral dimensions of their ministries and guides them in a methodical way in
reflecting on their moral responsibilities.)
Maureen Gallagher, THE ART OF CATECHESIS:
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE, KNOW AND DO, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1998.
(Combines theology, liturgy, psychology and catechetics in showing
catechists how to help others grow in faith.)
The following book, concerned with ministry in
the church, is very highly RECOMMENDED: Edward Schillebeeckx, THE
CHURCH WITH A HUMAN FACE: A NEW AND EXPANDED THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY, New
York, NY: Crossroad, 1988. (A thorough and carefully researched study of
ministry in the successive periods of the Christian Church's history.
Provides valuable insights for ministry today.)
The following two-volume study, concerned with
pastoral counseling, is RECOMMENDED: Robert J. Wicks and Richard
D. Parsons, and for Volume 1 Donald E. Capps, eds., CLINICAL HANDBOOK OF
PASTORAL COUNSELING, VOLUME 1 (EXPANDED EDITION) and VOLUME 2, New York, NY:
Paulist Press. (Provides thorough and professional treatments of various
aspects of pastoral counseling itself and of specific populations served by
pastoral counselors, such as minorities, married couples, the aged, the
incarcerated, the handicapped, the addicted, those experiencing loss and
bereavement, gays and lesbians, the depressed, and so on. The two volumes
constitute an excellent resource in this broad area.)
For those who are, or who want to be, engaged
in specific or specialized ministries, the following books are RECOMMENDED:
--- Maxine Glaz and Jeanne Stevenson Moessner,
eds., WOMEN IN TRAVAIL AND TRANSITION: A NEW PASTORAL APPROACH,
Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1991.
Rev. Steven Waterhouse, STRENGTH FOR HIS
PEOPLE: A MINISTRY FOR FAMILIES OF THE MENTALLY ILL, Amarillo, TX:
Westcliff Bible Church.
---Fernando Poyatos, I WAS SICK AND YOU
VISITED ME: A SPIRITUAL GUIDE FOR CATHOLICS IN HOSPITAL MINISTRY, New York,
NY: Paulist Press.
---Mary Elizabeth O'Brien, THE NURSE'S
CALLING: A CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY OF CARING FOR THE SICK, New York, NY:
---Henry C. Simmons and Mark Peters, WITH
GOD'S OLDEST FRIENDS: PASTORAL VISITING IN THE NURSING HOME, New York, NY:
---Alan D. Wolfelt, DEATH AND GRIEF: A GUIDE
FOR CLERGY, Muncie, IN: Accelerated Development, 1988.
Walter J. Burghardt, SJ, PREACHING: THE ART
AND THE CRAFT, New York, NY: Paulist Press. (Practical advice by a
recognized master preacher.)
Part II. The Eastern Church
As noted above, the approach of the Eastern
Church is generally more mystical than the basically more rational approach
of the Western Church. And the ancient Celtic Church has a great deal in
common with the outlook of the Eastern Church. Since the Celtic Christian
Church lives its Christian life in the spirit of that ancient Celtic Church,
it draws heavily on the theology and spirituality of the Orthodox Church.
It is important, therefore, for the ministers of the Celtic Christian Church
to have a good grounding in Eastern theology and spirituality.
Timothy Ware, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, Part I,
History; Part II, Faith and Worship, Revised Edition, New York, NY: Penguin,
1993. (An excellent and clear introduction to the Orthodox Church, by a
Westerner who is a bishop in the Orthodox Church under the name of
George A. Maloney, SJ, GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, AND
MYRRH: AN INTRODUCTION TO EASTERN CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY, New York, NY:
Crossroad, 1997. (The author is an American Jesuit priest, a member of the
Eastern Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, and the author of many deeply
For those interested in pursuing their study
of Orthodox theology and spirituality, the following books are highly RECOMMENDED. All are by renowned contemporary Orthodox theologians, and
all are published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY:
---Vladimir Lossky, ORTHODOX THEOLOGY: AN
---Vladimir Lossky, THE MYSTICAL THEOLOGY OF
THE EASTERN CHURCH.
---Vladimir Lossky, IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS
---John Meyendorff, THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: ITS
PAST AND ITS ROLE IN THE WORLD TODAY.
---John Meyendorff, LIVING TRADITION:
ORTHODOX WITNESS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD.
---John Meyendorff, CHRIST IN EASTERN
---Alexander Schmemann, FOR THE LIFE OF THE
WORLD: SACRAMENTS AND ORTHODOXY.
---Nicholas Arseniev, REVELATION OF LIFE
ETERNAL: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE.
Part III. The Celtic Church
The spirit of the ancient Celtic Church, which
flourished for the greater part of the first Christian millenium in the
northwestern part of Europe, is a simple and beautiful one, seeing God in
nature and believing in the basic goodness of men and women and in personal
relationships. It is in this spirit, as noted above, that the Celtic
Christian Church tries to live its Christian life, and understanding that
spirit is therefore important for its ministers. Since a great deal of
material called "Celtic" is available today, a careful choice must be made.
The following books, all excellent, provide a basic introduction to the rich
heritage of Celtic Christianity.
Timothy J. Joyce, OSB, CELTIC CHRISTIANITY: A
SACRED TRADITION, A VISION OF HOPE, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998. (An
excellent short presentation of the basic history of Celtic Christianity.)
Ian Bradley, THE CELTIC WAY, London: Darton,
Longman and Todd, 1993. (A very readable short presentation of the
essentials of Celtic Christian spirituality.)
Philip Sheldrake, LIVING BETWEEN WORLDS:
PLACE AND JOURNEY IN CELTIC SPIRITUALITY, Boston, MA: Cowley Publications,
c. 1995. (A discussion of place and journey, both important concepts to the
Celtic mind, as keys to understanding Celtic spirituality.)
Esther de Waal, EVERY EARTHLY BLESSING:
REDISCOVERING THE CELTIC TRADITION, Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publications,
1999 [Originally: A WORLD MADE WHOLE, 1991.] (A beautiful and sensitive
presentation of the key aspects of Celtic spirituality.)
Esther de Waal, THE CELTIC WAY OF PRAYER, New
York, NY: Doubleday, 1997. (A simple presentation, based on wide
scholarship, of the Celtic Christian approach to prayer.)
J. Philip Newell, LISTENING FOR THE HEARTBEAT
OF GOD: A CELTIC SPIRITUALITY, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1997. (An
examination of Celtic spirituality through the medium of important figures
in its history.)
J. Philip Newell, ONE FOOT IN EDEN: A CELTIC
VIEW OF THE STAGES OF LIFE, New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1999. (A prayerful
reflection on the stages of human life, from birth to death, seen through
the prism of Celtic spirituality.)
For those desiring to pursue their study of
Celtic Christian history and spirituality, the following books are highly RECOMMENDED:
Oliver Davies and Fiona Bowie, CELTIC CHRITIAN
SPIRITUALITY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MEDIEVAL AND MODERN SOURCES, New York, NY:
Continuum, 1995. (Texts set in their own time and context. Includes an
excellent introduction to Celtic Christianity.)
CELTIC SPIRITUALITY, Translated and Introduced
by Oliver Davies, The Classics of Western Spirituality, New York, NY:
Paulist Press, 1999. (Varied texts described and placed in context. Also
includes an introduction to Celtic spirituality.)
Alexander Carmichael, CARMINA GADELICA: HYMNS
AND INCANTATIONS COLLECTED IN THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND IN THE
LAST CENTURY, Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1992. (Contains numerous
prayers in the Celtic spirit, asking God's blessing on all aspects of life
including the most mundane activities.)
THE CELTIC VISION, Selected and Edited by
Esther de Wall from the Carmina Gadelica, Petersham, MA: St. Bede's
Publications, 1988. (Selections presented by themes, with an introduction
to each theme.)
B. R. Rees, PELAGIUS: LIFE AND LETTERS, Two
Volumes in One, Volume 2, THE LETTERS OF PELAGIUS AND HIS FOLLOWERS (1991),
Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1998. (Pelagius,
active in the fifth century, though much maligned and condemned by the
Church, has much worthwhile teaching in the Celtic spirit.)
John Scotus Eriugena, THE VOICE OF THE EAGLE:
HOMILY ON THE PROLOGUE OF SAINT JOHN, Christopher Bamford, translator, with
introduction and reflections, Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1990. (Eriugena,
born in the early ninth century, is an outstanding Celtic mystic and
Peter Beresford Ellis, CELTIC INHERITANCE,
London: Constable, 1992. (A scholarly study of Celtic Christianity and of
its history in each of the Celtic lands of northwestern Europe.)
B. R. Rees, PELAGIUS: LIFE AND LETTERS, Two
Volumes in One, Volume 1, PELAGIUS: A RELUCTANT HERETIC (1988), Woodbridge,
Suffolk, UK, and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1998. (A judicious and
scholarly presentation of Pelagius' life.)
James P. Mackey, ed., AN INTRODUCTION TO
CELTIC CHRISTIANITY, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1995. (Chapters on various
aspects of Celtic Christianity. Includes M. Forthomme Nicholson, "Celtic
Theology: Pelagius," on pages 386-413.)
Thomas Cahill, HOW THE IRISH SAVED
CIVILIZATION, New York, NY: Doubleday/ Anchor, 1995. (Both scholarly and
written in a lighter vein, describes the work of the Irish monks and scribes
in preserving the heritage of Western civilization during the Dark Ages.)