Forward in Hope

Forward in Hope

Saying Amen to Lay Ecclesial Ministry 

Author: Matthew H. Clark

Foreword by: Zeni V. Fox

Price: $11.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 128

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-191-6

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: November 1, 2009

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Currently in the U.S., there are more than 30,000 lay ecclesial ministers serving the Catholic Church, and another 16,000 studying in ministry formation programs—nearly five times the number of men preparing for ordination to the priesthood. A long-time advocate of lay ecclesial ministry, Bishop Matthew Clark offers his vast theological knowledge and engaging stories from years of ministry to make this an informative and accessible read for anyone called to leadership in today's Catholic Church. Forward in Hope examines the ever-growing significance of lay ecclesial ministry and the way it is changing the face of the Church.



"Amen! This book ought to be required reading in every seminary, diocesan office, and ministry program. With the heart of a pastor and three decades of experience fostering the gifts of the baptized, Bishop Clark celebrates the call of lay ecclesial ministers and challenges the whole Church to move forward in hope."

Edward P. Hahnenberg, PhD
Author of Ministries: A Relational Approach

"Excellent and needed."

"Forward in Hope is an example of how theological reflection and the test of experience shows the value of time, which has allowed the seeds of Vatican II to sprout beautifully where they have been watered by the Holy Spirit. The growth has not been uniform or even universal and, in some parts of the church, it has been met with reluctance and even opposition. The book is excellent and needed."

Most Reverend Anthony G. Bosco, Bishop Emeritus of Greensburg


"In this inspiring volume a bishop and his people offer a remarkable testimony to the work of the Spirit in the recovery of a form of ministry that goes back to the very origins of the church. Bishop Clark eloquently demonstrates the possibility of a fruitful collaboration between ordained and lay ecclesial ministry in the service of the Church."

Richard R. Gaillardetz, PhD
Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies
University of Toledo


"Here we meet a courageous bishop, well grounded in the history of the Church, fully aware of the challenges of the present moment, and yet hopeful about the emerging future. Clark prods his fellow bishops, but also all of us, to welcome with open arms one of the most significant movements of the Spirit in our time."

Ann M. Garrido, Author of
A Concise Guide to Supervising a Ministry Student