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Tools for Rebuilding

Tools for Rebuilding

75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better 

Author: Michael White

Author: Tom Corcoran

Price: $17.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-444-3

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: November 25, 2013

More Ministry and Pastoral Planning, Small-Group Resources


Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran know that the fundamental work of the Church is to evangelize—to introduce people to Christ and make them disciples. Still, they’re the first to admit: “the difficulty comes when we reach down into the details and get to work.” In their barn-burning first book, Rebuilt, White and Corcoran shared their story and vision of building better Catholic parishes. Now, in their eagerly anticipated second book, Tools for Rebuilding, they lay out seventy-five proven tactics for getting the job done.

In Tools for Rebuilding: 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better, White and Corcoran share seventy-five foundational tactics that helped to rejuvenate their parish. Their candid, hands-on advice gives a clear way forward—one that will make church matter to the people in the pews and that anyone working in parish ministry can implement.

For additional resources including videos and discussion questions visit the Rebuilt website at

Principles/tactics include:

  • Get the Right People on the Bus
  • Christmas Is Over, So Throw Out the Dead Poinsettias
  • Stop Advertising (Other People’s Stuff) in Your Bulletin
  • Don’t Let the Insiders Take All the Good Seats
  • Just Because It’s Slow Doesn’t Mean It’s Holy
  • When It Comes to First Communion, Just Surrender
  • Funerals Are Scud Missiles
  • Preach the Announcements
  • Start Getting Rid of Fundraisers
  • Everything Takes Longer (Than You Think)
  • Pastor, It’s Not All About You
  • Stop Trying to Make People Go to Church and Make Church Matter


"Wow! This is a powerful and immensely readable field guide."

"Wow! This is a powerful and immensely readable field guide for everyone who wants to transform their church. Whether you're the pastor in charge, a part-time volunteer, or one of the numerous individuals that labor in the middle, Tools for Rebuilding is a must-have resource. Implementing even a few of the ideas here could make a huge difference in bringing more people to Christ."

Patrick Lencioni
Author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

"A must-read for anyone involved in the great work of parish ministry."

"This book is a must-read for anyone who is involved in the great work of parish ministry. It's chock-full of practical wisdom and enlightening answers to the questions we all face concerning the spiritual health of our parishes and the effectiveness of our outreach."

Cardinal Seán O'Malley
Archbishop of Boston

"A fresh look at many dimensions of parish life."

"In a friendly and accessible style, the authors of Tools for Rebuilding help pastors and parish staff members take a fresh look at many dimensions of parish life and shape them in ways that will bring people closer to the Lord—the ultimate goal of all parish life."

Cardinal Francis George
Archbishop of Chicago

"A must-read and a must-discuss for parish ministers!"

"As thought-provoking as the authors' first book, Rebuilt, this sequel provides ways to revitalize the American parish. Not everyone will agree with or implement everything, but everyone who reads this important book will come away with a lot to think about, pray over, and use in day-to-day pastoral ministry. A must-read and a must-discuss for parish ministers!"

Msgr. Kevin Irwin
Former Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies
Catholic University of America

"Sure to bring fresh life to parish engagement and renewal."

"An insightful and compelling collection of practical ideas and strategies sure to bring fresh life to parish engagement and renewal. Read and let the weaving of scripture, story, and down-to-earth initiatives enrich, expand, and deepen your parish leadership efforts."

Sister Edith Prendergast
Director of the Office of Religious Education
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

"Alleluia, they've done it again!"

"Alleluia, they've done it again! Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran are two voices crying in the wilderness, 'It's not business as usual!' In Rebuilt they gave us hope that renewal was possible for a parish and a vision of what it could look like. In Tools for Rebuilding, they help Catholic parish leaders with wonderful tools to develop a strategy for renewal. Both things are vital, for vision without strategy is hallucination. There is no hallucination in this book but rather simple, pure, double-distilled wisdom that is aged more than fifteen years and is ready to pour and enjoy. It will inspire you, challenge you to your toes, and move you to get to work on the great task of the New Evangelization."

Rev. James Mallon
Pastor and Founder/Director of the John Paul II Media Institute

"I am very excited for this book!"

"I am very excited for this book! It won’t make rebuilding your parish easy, but it will give you practical, tested, and doable steps to help you succeed when you’re ready to work at doing Christ’s mission."

Diana Macalintal
Director of Worship
Diocese of San Jose

"An invaluable resource for parish leaders."

"'Rebuild my church' was the charge given to Francis in the thirteenth century, but there was no road map. In our time, Tools for Rebuilding gives precisely that: practical guidelines for evangelization and forming disciples. An invaluable resource for parish leaders."

Zeni Fox
Professor of Pastoral Theology
Seton Hall University

Tools for Rebuilding Book Trailer

Tools for Rebuilding Your Parish
Rebuilding Parishioners: Moving from Consumers to Contributors
Encounter (Catholic TV) Interview with Tom Corcoran on Rebuilding as a Community

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Tools for Rebuilding Book Trailer