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The Kingdom Began in Puerto Rico: Neil Connolly's Priesthood in the South Bronx
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The Kingdom Began in Puerto Rico: Neil Connolly's Priesthood in the South Bronx (Hardback)

Pre-order for despatch on publication.


South Bronx, 1958. Change was coming. Some of it much needed, some inevitable. Guidance was sorely needed to bridge the old and the new, for enunciating and implementing a vision. It was a unique place and time in history where Father Neil Connolly found his true calling and spiritual awakening. The Kingdom Began in Puerto Rico captures the spirit of the era and the spirit of this great man.

Set in historical context of a changing world and a changing Catholic Church, The Kingdom Began in Puerto Rico follows Fr. Neil Connolly's path through the South Bronx, which began with a special Church program to address the post-war Great Puerto Rican Migration. After an immersion summer in Puerto Rico, Fr. Neil served the largest concentration of Puerto Ricans in the Bronx from the 1960's to the 1980's as they struggled for a decent life. Through the teachings of Vatican II, Connolly assumed responsibility for creating a new Church and World. In the war against drugs, poverty, and crime, Connolly created a dynamic organization and chapel run by the people and supported Unitas, a nationally unique peer-driven mental health program for youth. Frustrated by the lack of institutional responses to his community's challenges, Connolly challenged government abandonment and spoke out against ill-conceived public plans. Ultimately, he realized that his priestly mission was in developing new leaders among people, in the Church and the World, supporting two nationally unique lay leadership programs, the Pastoral Center and People for Change.

A timely story about discovering the real mission of priesthood, urban ministry, and the Catholic Church in the United States, author Angel Garcia ably blends the dynamic forces of Church and World that transformed Fr. Connolly as he grew into his vocation. The book presents a rich history of the South Bronx and calls for all urban policies to begin with the people, not for the people. It also affirms the continuing relevance of Vatican II and Medellin for today's Church and World, in the U.S. and Latin America.

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: philosophers, religious & spiritualPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsUrban communitiesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominations Publisher: Fordham University Press Publication Date: 01/12/2020 ISBN-13: 9780823289264  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Angel Garcia was a community organizer and executive director of South Bronx People for Change, a church-based direct action and membership organization co-founded by Fr. Connolly. Born in Puerto Rico, and a graduate of Regis High School, Princeton University, and Pace University, Garcia is a long-term resident of the South Bronx and has been active on social justice issues and worker cooperatives.

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