AFTER THE HEART OF GOD
by Bishop Julian Porteous
(ConnorCourt, 2009, 170pp, $29.95.
ISBN: 978-1-921421-22-3. Available from Freedom Publishing)
Bishop Julian Porteous, author of After the Heart of God, which treats in masterful fashion the life and ministry of priests, was for some years Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney.
He draws on his years of experience in the formation of future priests, as well as his own time of priesthood, to examine the years since the Second Vatican Council, while considering in detail today's sources of priestly vocations.
The book looks at the past and the challenges of the present in a scholarly yet readable style.
While Bishop Porteous states that the book is directed at the role of priests and the formation of future priests, it contains material of benefit to families and single lay people who wish to understand the full meaning of Christ's Church in the present age.
In a simple yet scholarly manner, After the Heart of God analyses the social and ecclesial (Church) contexts which make the Catholic Church what it is today as well as the changes that have taken place over the past 40 years.
Subjects dealt with in depth include signs of new life in the ministerial priesthood and how the Church views that priesthood, including a priest's identity and humanity and the changes in his living conditions since Vatican II.
The author also discusses a priest's spirituality and pastoral ministry, along with the future's possibilities.
The book is highly recommended and Bishop Porteous is to be commended for making available this valuable publication, the fruit of his personal and lived understanding of an important subject.
Br Michael McMurray is Editor of Contact, a publication of the Confraternity of Christ the Priest.