Something More Pastoral: The Mission of Bishop, Archbishop, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl

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by Ann Rodgers and Mike Aquilina

Donald Wuerl is one of the most accomplished and influential churchmen of the last half-century—a time of great seismic shifts in society and in the Church. Ordained a priest in the 1960s, he served as a Vatican official during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. Ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II, he came to lead two major American sees. Created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, he emerged as a world leader in Catholic thought and pastoral practice. He has played key roles in several Roman synods. He remains a close and trusted advisor of Pope Francis.

This book is an account of his pastoral years, his years as bishop and archbishop. He has lived as a public figure for most of his life; and even among public figures he has been known for his professional transparency. Yet he has made his reputation not by bombast, grand gestures, or provocative public statements. He has chosen instead to work quietly and work hard, to unify, to gain consensus, and to serve the Catholic Church and its faith.

This book shines a light on his quiet work in the last three decades—work accomplished in the churches, in the fields, all across the world, and over coffee breaks in meetings of bishops and cardinals.

As a bishop, archbishop, and cardinal, Donald Wuerl has learned from great mentors. He has learned from his own successes and his own mistakes. And he has emerged as a great leader and example for anyone who desires a life of service—anyone looking for “something more pastoral.”