The Road to Renewal: Victor Joseph Reed and Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905-1971

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CUA Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 425 pages
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Between 1958 and 1971, Catholics in Oklahoma emerged from the sheltered world of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. Under assault from divisive cultural forces within American society at large, many responded to the deliberations of the Second Vatican Council by embracing a wholesale transformation of the way in which the Church functioned in secular society, a process that brought national attention to a comparatively small Midwestern Catholic Diocese and to its ordinary, Victor Joseph Reed. In this study, Jeremy Bonner explores the process of Catholic renewal at the parish level and assesses the role of Victor Reed as an agent of that process.
A product of the Catholic Action and liturgical renewal movements of the 1930s and 1940s, Reed returned from the Second Vatican Council convinced of the need for greater participation by the laity and clergy in the life of the Church. Relaxation of the hierarchical structures of the Church in favor of a more consultative model was accompanied by a drastically restructured liturgical practice and a greatly reduced emphasis on parochial education. As more lay Catholics participated in parish-level ecumenical exchanges and in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, a corresponding decline in numbers occurred within the female religious orders, while the male priesthood was transformed into a more professionalized - and less distinctively Catholic - clerical order. In all of this, Reed proved a powerful voice in favor of a measured response, embracing neither outright rejection nor unqualified acceptance.

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From Catholic American to American Catholic
Part One Before the Council 19051957
Part Two The Institutional Church 19581971
Part Three The Prophetic Church 19581971
Part Four The Human Church 19581971
Aggiornamento Completed
Appendix of Maps

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About the author (2008)

Jeremy Bommer is an independent scholar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in American History from the Catholic University of America.

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