Tricia Colleen Bruce: Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church
A systematic study of American Catholic parishes is a needed addition to the study of religious practice. Tricia Bruce’s study of personal parishes analyzes an increasing although not new structure in Catholicism, and provides an insightful organizational analysis. An additional contribution of this study is its overview of the history and legacy of territorial parishes.
Personal parishes actualize lay identities, needs, and preferences, principally found in ethnicity, language, Anglican Use, Latin mass, university missions, social justice missions, charismatic Catholicism, and others, permitted by the change in the 1983 Revised Code of Canon Law. Today eight percent of all parishes are personal, continuing to grow even in the face of declining numbers of parishes.
Bruce conducted a national diocesan (not parish) survey to identify the population of personal parishes and followed up with in-person interviews of their pastors in twelve arch/dioceses across the country. This was...