Library Journal

January 5, 2022

St. Brigid is a parish in Westbury, New York, which, following the Irish custom of dedicating water wells to St. Brigid, became a well for people to gather around. Expanding on his 16-month series of reports on this Catholic parish, Newsday writer/editor Keeler offers a blueprint for what a parish “community” can really become. Keeler traces the history of the parish under two pastors with distinctive styles, also detailing the growth of an ordained staff who serve over 23,000 Catholics from diverse backgrounds. Starting in the post-Vatican II era, Father Fred Schaefer reshaped the parish, with community input. In 1989, he was replaced by Father Francis Xavier Gaeta, who continued the idea of living the gospel and making people feel welcome. In addition to engaging interviews with individuals whose lives were enriched by their involvement in the parish, there is a separate chapter on what parishioners can do in their own parishes nationwide. Recommended for all collections.

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