Contact: Chris Pierno
(301) 448-1880 x306
WASHINGTON, DC - After months of careful collaboration, research, and planning, the Catholic Apostolate Center launches today a new resource guide for lay ministers and clergy aimed at assisting them in "Building a More Relational Church" through their parishes and other spiritual communities.
The Art of Accompaniment: Theological, Spiritual, and Practical Elements of Building a More Relational Church was developed by two Catholic Apostolate Center collaborators: Colleen Campbell and Thomas Carani, in collaboration with Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C., Center Director, and the entire Center team. This resource, available in print, explores the topic of accompaniment and provides practical ideas to implement in your ministry.
In an excerpt from the foreword, Fr. Frank writes, "The community of faith, particularly the parish, needs to be a primary place where accompaniment occurs. Over the last few years, in various presentations throughout the United States, the Catholic Apostolate Center team recognized the need for a resource that assists parishes, campus ministries, other communities of faith, and individual Catholics in deepening their understanding theologically, spiritually, and practically in the art of accompaniment."
Colleen Campbell is a second year Ph.D. student studying Catechetics at The Catholic University of America. She holds a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Dallas. Thomas Carani works at a parish in Austin, Texas. He received his B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies from The Catholic University of America. Both Colleen and Thomas are graduates of the Echo Graduate Service Program at the University of Notre Dame, where they both received their Master’s in Theology.
"The Center is grateful to Colleen Campbell and Thomas Carani for accepting our invitation to develop this new and needed resource. Their dedicated work in collaboration with the Center team has resulted in a concise, but thorough, work that we believe will be very helpful for pastoral ministers and individual Catholics." Fr. Frank said.
Colleen comments, "I hope that through this document, Catholics can begin to see that there are scriptural, theological, and pastoral precedents for accompaniment in our Church's rich tradition. As authors, we were intentional about the way we named things, defined the different dimensions and objectives of accompaniment, and spelled out what accompaniment actually means in reality. I hope this intentionality sparks conversation, reflection, and discernment about how best to put people in touch with Christ in our present time."
"My hope is that The Art of Accompaniment reveals to its readers the hunger our Church and her disciples have for communities formed by spiritual accompaniment. Our Church's history shows that spiritual accompaniment has played an essential role in forming our greatest saints, theologians, and disciples. To continue planting seeds for a rich future, we, the baptized faithful, must take creative and visionary action in order to implement spiritual accompaniment in modern times." Thomas continued.
The Art of Accompaniment is available for purchase at CatholicApostolateCenter.org/accompaniment.