In 1964, Father Joe Nangle, a young American Franciscan priest, was assigned to found a new parish in a middle-class neighborhood in Lima, Peru. Birth of a Church tells the inspiring story of his journey with that parish, in an era of great change and promise in the church.
In the eleven years Fr. Nangle served in Lima, the world church felt the impact of Vatican II and the Latin American church, the bishops' conference in Medellin. Nangle tells the story of what happened when his parishioners made tehir own "option for the poor." Unlike most accounts of liberation theology, set among the poor and marginalized, this story highlights the impact of renewal on a middle-class parish. As such, it has uncanny relevance for the typical North American parish.
Ultimately Birth of a Church is a story about new life and conversion: the an image of a church reborn.
Joseph Nangle is a Franciscan priest who serves as co-director of the Franciscan Mission Service, Washington, D.C., and author of Engaged Spirituality. He is the co-author of St. Francis and the Foolishness of God and Say to This Mountain.