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One Wild and Precious Life: Ministering to Adolescents
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One Wild and Precious Life: Ministering to Adolescents (Paperback)

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This is a book about listening and particularly about listening to people whose situations are tremendously complex. In almost twenty years of ministry with adolescents, the author has learned that the daily discipline of listening and responding to adolescents requires a true obedience. Obedience in the fullest sense is the process of attuning the heart to the essential call contained in complex human situations. Chapter One addresses the stance of those who minister to adolescents. Chapters Two and Three outline some of the major elements of adolescents' challenges and dreams. Chapter Four considers adolescents at the threshold of 'the road to God knows where'. Chapter Five reflects upon the centrality of the Eucharist in the lives of Christian ministers and the adolescents whom they care and it points towards some practical implications which such a discussion might offer. Chapter Six provides a brief reflection on the value of such programs in advancing the adolescent spiritual journey.

Chapters Seven and Eight map out an outline of a Christian vision of sexuality set against the backdrop of this profound developmental period and discusses some pastoral applications of that vision to a few commonly raised questions. This book concludes with some reflections upon a theology of attentiveness and its meaning for ministry to adolescents in Chapter Nine and a consideration in Chapter Ten of Thomas Merton as a model for retrieving the traditions of the Church and presenting them to teens in a way which fosters their attentiveness.

Fred Herron is Spiritual Director and teacher of Religious Studies at Fontbonne Hall Academy in Brooklyn, New York.

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