The demand to the whole Church to go out from the pew and the sacristy and become evangelising missionaries has become the hallmark of Pope Francis’s pontificate. The new pope has been calling all Christians to anew level of maturity and responsibility in regard to their faith. At his first Mass of Chrism as Pontiff, he told priests to ?be shepherds with the smell of sheep, so that people can sense that the priest is not just concerned with his own congregation, but is also a fisher of men’. Being a missionary in contemporary culture places new demands upon all of us.
This extensive volume of thirty-six essays, written by laity, priests and religious, takes a considered look at the new demands being placed in particular on priests. It maps aspects of the contemporary context for mission, and considers a number of the spiritual and theological foundations priests can turn to in order to discern the path of authentic renewal. It also explores dimensions of human formation that are essential to effective mission, ministry and leadership, and it considers the celebration of each of the sacraments in a contemporary cultural context.