Divine Renovation by Fr James Mallon


Has anybody read Divine Renovation: Bringing your Parish from Maintenance to Mission & if so, any thoughts on the book or Fr Mallon?


Yes I’ve heard of it. Fr. Mallon is actually a priest in my diocese, and is a long-time friend of my mother.

I’m not a fan of Divine Renovation. It doesn’t seem to pinpoint the real problems in the Church.


Can you explain further please?

I tend to be very skeptical of these “how to improve your parish” books.

Has Mallon done these things in his own parish? Did they work?


Well, the program has been implemented in his former parish. I say former, becuase he doesn’t technically have a parish anymore. His position is “Episcopal Vicar for priestly renewal.” It was a position created specifically for him. What it basically means is he’s going to be trying to implement Divine Renovation.

His the atmosphere of his former parish often gets criticized by the more conservative Catholics in our diocese. Basically Divine Renovation has put the focus more on people than in God. His former parish is also really into Alpha, which a lot of the more conservative Catholics in my diocese dislike.

Our Bishop likes his program, so it’s basically the model for the diocese now.

On a side note, my diocese is very small in terms of population, and so it’s weird for me to see a preset from my diocese talked about on CAF. In a good way.


I haven’t read it, but I’ve talked with the Youth Minister in my parish who’s reading it (a diocesan requirement for all parish employees) and she finds his points rather interesting. When she mentioned Alpha, I guess it’s rather similar to how she runs the Youth Ministries and I can definitely see benefits to doing things that way. I can also understand why some people might not like it, but I’d say that from my experience (with the youth group that’s apparently similar) that it’s great at planting the seeds.


I really wish the churches would include some more stuff for those of us who are already evangelized and have a personal relationship with Christ. I feel like everything out there is for the youth or beginners.


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