Research on Small Christian Communities in the U.S. Catholic Church

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Thu, 12/01/1994
End Date: 
Wed, 01/31/1996

Ten years after the publication of "Dangerous Memories: House Churches and Our American Story," Michael Cowan and Bernard Lee launched a major new investigation of the contours and content of one small Christian community movement. Cowan and Lee built their plans around information gathered from a national consultation with theologians and activists from small Christian communities, as well as from a census survey that they sent to upwards of 700 small Christian communities. Among other findings, they identified more than fourteen avenues of access to such organizations, including but not limited to, the following: Buena Vista, Call to Action, U.S. Catholic Campus Ministry, Chariscenter, Communitas, the Hartford Pastoral Office for Small Christian Communities, the NCCB Office of Hispanic Ministry, the Ministry Center for Catholic Community in Seattle, the National Alliance of Parishes Restructuring into Community, the National Center for Parish Life, the North American Forum for Small Christian Communities, Renew, and several religious orders which support affiliated small communities. The study also suggested that the activities most frequently engaged in by such communities were prayer, faith sharing, discussion of scripture, and spiritual development. (MH)