Author: Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.
The current crisis in parish ministry for maturing adults is the reason Richard Johnson has written this book. It is his clear intention that parishes become more active, more assertive, and more focused on the fundamentals of ministering to those in their maturing years. This includes a greater appreciation that this time of life has immense spiritual purpose when people draw closer both to God and their true selves. As he looks into the future, the author sees this ministry growing steadily and surely, taking its rightful place among other parish ministries. He sees a deeper understanding of the aging process taking hold in the hearts and minds of spiritually maturing adults--an understanding that will lead to greatly expanded opportunities for helping others and acts of compassion. He sees spiritually maturing adults emerging as leaders in prayer, in corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and in the practice of virtue. For these things to happen, however, he believes that maturing adults need the nurturance of the Church's care and compassion; the understanding of their real needs as they are now; the necessary help in discerning the call of God today; encouragement to continue their spiritual pilgrimage; and direction to reach out to others in new ways. For all these reasons, he calls for a new vision for parish ministry with maturing adults that moves beyond social activities to a new model of spiritual growth and personal development.