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Contemporary Challenges
Msgr. Michael John Witt

The fourth volume in a four-volume work detailing the work of Catholic missionaries in the early Midwest, and the founding and growth of Catholic institutions in Saint Louis and surrounding regions in Missouri and Illinois.

Volume 4, Contemporary Challenges, continues The Story of Catholic Evangelization of America’s Heartland. It begins in 1968, from the appointment of Cardinal Carberry to lead the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and continues through Archbishop Carlson’s tenure in the early 2000s. Msgr. Witt covers the challenges within society and the Church following the Second Vatican Council. These challenges included: the assault on unborn babies in the form of Roe v. Wade, but which launched the Pro-Life movement which has grown every year; the precipitous decline in religious and priestly vocations, but which has been met with new congregations and an energized laity; and the liturgical chaos and unauthorized experimentation, but which resulted in new liturgical flowering in every way, from folk Masses to a rediscovery of the beauty of the ancient Latin liturgy. And within this story is the heavy-handed approach of the federal and state governments to eviscerate the Hill neighborhood by driving an interstate through it like they had done with other old Saint Louis communities. This challenge was met by a charismatic priest and community in solidarity with him. And the Hill was saved. The decades following the Second Vatican Council have not been easy for the Church, but this volume chronicles the creative responses to these challenges.


  1. A Poseidon Adventure
  2. I Kept the Faith
  3. 3. I Fought the Good Fight
  4. The Hermeneutics of Rupture
  5. The Hermeneutics of Continuity
  6. Quid Putas? The John L. May Years
  7. John L. May and the NCCB
  8. Justin Rigali
  9. Crises
  10. Raymond Leo Burke and a Pride of Lions
  11. The Long View

The Miriam Press, ©2020, Soft Cover, 328 pages