Item #: 0882-3
St Pauls Price: $12.95


Author: Joseph M. Champlin
Copyright: 2001
First Printed: 02-08-2001
Reprints: 2006

When an inactive Catholic seeks the sacraments there are many delicate and complex issues involved, each charged with emotional intensity. In a treatment characterized by pastoral wisdom, Monsignor Joseph Champlin addresses such issues as how to respond to parents who seldom attend Mass, but who request the baptism of a child, or an inactive couple that seeks a Church wedding. He summarizes official Church directives and provides practical, pastoral suggestions for resolving the concerns of all involved. “The goal,” he explains, “is to challenge peripheral Catholics who seek a baptism or marriage in the Church, but not to crush them.”

About the Author: The author of over 40 highly acclaimed and very practical pastoral works with some twenty million copies in print, Msgr. Joseph M. Champlin has been a parish priest in the Diocese of Syracuse for over 40 years and presently serves as rector of its Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Over the past 30 years he has traveled more than two million miles here and abroad lecturing on pastoral subjects and, in addition, he has jointly produced a video entitled The Heart of Stewardship: Sacrificial Giving which has won high accolades. His current books include: What It Means to Be Catholic, Why Go to Confession, and Meeting the Merciful Christ (St. Anthony Messenger Press); The Stations of the Cross with Pope John Paul IIand Father Champlin on Contemporary Issues (Liguori); Together for Life, From the Heart, and Through Death to Life (Ave Maria Press) and The Mystery and the Meaning of the Mass (Crossroad).

Book: 221 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8189-0882-8
Prod. Code: 0882-3



"There is no surer hand in crafting a sound approach to parish life than Monsignor Champlin. Once again, his pastoral wisdom is a reliable and respectful guide for enabling people to experience the grace of sacrament." --Msgr. Philip Murnion, National Pastoral Life Center


"I have found this book extremely helpful, especially in understanding my own reactions to 'Marginal Catholics' and being able to critique those reactions. I have insisted that all members of our pastoral staff read it. It has also been a great help to tuning in to the 'teachable' moments of our evangelization." --Fr. Dan Danielson, Pastor, St. Augustine Parish, Pleasanton, California


"The Marginal Catholic is an excellent book because it deals with what's happening today in the lives of our people. It deals with reality... since there are an estimated 15 million alienated, unchurched, marginal Catholics, it is a blessing to have this book to help handle the situations that will surely arise in pastoral ministry today." --The Cord


"Any minister remotely connected to sacramental preparation should in conscience make time to read this landmark book. The Marginal Catholic is characterized by sensitivity and realness and is based on the fruit of a lifetime of pastoral work and research." --National Catholic Reporter


"Champlin has revised a book that he authored a decade ago. In the new version he includes pertinent paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and reflections from some fifty conferences he held with priests to discuss pastoral issues involving Catholics who while still maintaining membership in their Church have become lax in practicing their faith. --Clare Boehmer, ASC in Review for Religious, September-October 2001


"A Catholic schoolteacher stopped at her parish office recently to pick up a letter of recommendation for her son, who had been asked to be a godparent for a family baptism. She was stunned when the parochial vicar refused her request. 'Father,' she pleaded. 'You know me. You know my son. You know we're a good Catholic family.' 'I don't see him at Mass every Sunday,' the priest replied coldly. When she reminded him that her son was away at college, the priest shook his head. 'Tell him to get a letter from the Newman Center,' he snapped as he walked out of the room. The pastor later apologized and gave the letter of recommendation. But it took a while for the hurt to subside. 'I would never leave the Church over something like this,' the woman admitted, 'but I can understand why some people might be so hurt that they would feel as if they were no longer welcome.' Msgr. Joseph Champlin, author of the newly revised edition of The Marginal Catholic: Challenge, Don't Crush admits that these kinds of encounters are more common than one might expect. Priests and other Church workers sometimes say or do hurtful things 'because they have such a strong respect for the sacraments, faith and reverence for God that they sometimes fail to balance this high ideal with the compassion of the Church,' Msgr. Champlin told Our Sunday Visitor. 'For example, they might refuse to baptize a child because the parents are not married. The ideal in the Church is for people to be married, but that requirement is not actually in the Church documents or in Canon Law. The only requirement is the assurance that the child will be raised Catholic.' In the revised edition of his book, Msgr. Champlin explores ways to challenge people who are seeking sacraments or services from the Church to be better Catholics without crushing them. 'We need to adapt to the pastoral concerns of the people,' he pointed out. 'There's a difference between saying: "I will uphold the sacrament at all costs" and "I will uphold the sacrament with sensitivity to the human condition."'" --Lorene Hanley Duquin in Our Sunday Visitor, June 10, 2001


"The Marginal Catholic: Challenge Don't Crush by Msgr. Joseph M. Champin is a revised and updated version of the initial edition published a decade ago with inclusion of references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Its consistent focus: To show effective ways to welcome and guide Catholics who practice their faith in a limited way, especially when they present themselves or children for the sacraments. It has ten chapters, beginning with 'Once a Catholic' and concluding with 'Marriage: Pastoral Suggestions.' It also inculdes a summary and helpful notes." --Crux of the News, April 2, 2001



Pin It

Email A Friend

Send your friend a link to this product.