The Missionary Parish

In 2006 Father Wil Steinbacher helped organize a group of scholars to reflect on the missionary parish. The group committed themselves to meet two times a year for four years to discover ways U.S. parishes might become more "missionary." The result of that effort was published as the May 2011 issue of New Theology Review, a quarterly Catholic journal of ministry.

The introduction to the May issue defines "missionary parish" as one "that becomes less concerned with itself and more concerned with the world around it. It is a community that understands that it is both called and sent by God. It is a Christian community convinced that it has been sent beyond the parish boundaries to tell the story of Jesus, who tells the real story of God."

The authors of the essays featured in the issue see the mission parish as "a countersign to any injustice, exclusion, or life-denying structures." Written for a wide audience, the essays also attempt to present pastoral theology that is readable and provocative. The article would also be a good resource to use for discussions during Lent and Advent.

Copies of the May 2011 issue of New Theology Review can be ordered by contacting Liturgical Press at or 800-858-5450.