A LIVING MOSAIC

Great Catholic Parishes

How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive

“An insightful look at what is going right in those parishes that are successfully nourishing their spiritual families.”

-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

Archbishop of New York

LIVING THE CALL

An Introduction to the Lay Vocation

Practical examples and reflections on the growing role of lay leadership in parishes.

Simon and Novak share the personal stories of nine faithful laypeople now serving the Church in new and diverse ways. 

Featured in the Wall Street Journal

Waking Up From Spiritual Sleepwalking

October 20, 2016

By William E. Simon Jr., author of Great Catholic Parishes

Bill’s Op-Ed piece was featured in the Wall Street Journal! Read the article about how we studied hundreds of parishes to figure out what makes the vibrant ones shine.

The Buzz Around Great Catholic Parishes

Cardinal Dolan’s blog article, “Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive”

News about parishes hasn’t always been so happy in recent years, as it seems more and more people have decided that they are “spiritual but not religious,” and have turned their back on any sort of organized religion. Many feel as if they weren’t “getting anything” from their local church.  And while we know that… Read more »

Wall Street Journal, “Waking Up from Spiritual Sleepwalking”

We studied hundreds of parishes to figure out what makes the vibrant ones shine. Some wag once quipped, “I’m not asleep, but that doesn’t mean I’m awake.” This vividly describes many of today’s churchgoers. Though disciplined about attendance, many believers sleepwalk through faith. In my Catholic tradition, the number of parishioners who regularly attend Mass… Read more »

Real Clear Politics, “Great Catholic Parishes”

By soliciting advice in all regions of the country and by conducting visitations, William E. Simon Jr. and his researchers chose 244 of the greatest parishes among us. His researchers then conducted rigorous interviews, asking his respondents, “What makes a Catholic parish ‘great’?” An unprecedentedly high percentage spoke of four distinguishing marks.   Read the… Read more »

The Daily Signal, “William E. Simon’s Mission to Make Parishes Great Again”

To William E. Simon Jr., that means strengthening community by starting with the life of the local Catholic parish. He wrote his new book, Simon explains, to help parishes become thriving places of worship and community, which in turn will influence the lives of millions of American Catholics. Read the full article by Melody Wood… Read more »

The Making of the Book

What People Are Saying

“An insightful look at what is going right in those parishes that are successfully nourishing their spiritual families.”

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan 
Archbishop of New York

“This book may be the best catalyst ever for assisting Catholic parish life to be even better.  It gives fascinating details on many of the best parishes in North America. It gives practical tips on how to improve hymns, homilies, architecture, liturgy, the works.  It gives a tremendous boost to great pastors (especially the overworked and under sung).  It covers virtually every aspect of parish life, and is a powerful invitation to great lay people to pitch in.  For most of us, the parish is the church…Hurrah for the editors and author!”

Michael Novak
Catholic philosopher, theologian, and author

About the Author

Bill Simon, Jr.

Businessman, professor, and philanthropist, William E. Simon Jr. has been highly influenced by the dynamic and inspiring Catholic parishes he has attended for more than 25 years. In 2012, he founded Parish Catalyst, an organization devoted to researching and supporting the health and development of Catholic parishes. Great Catholic Parishes looks at Simon’s insights and the success stories of 244 vibrant parishes to show what makes them great.