Asks the question that, until now, has been spoken only in private conversations. Brian T. Joyce, a retired pastor with decades of ministerial experience, has witnessed the best and worst of Catholic parish experience–and everything in between. The tone throughout is positive. He shines a loving light on a shadow area in the Church’s life, with broad consequences for its evangelizing effectiveness. While the title may seem to address lay Catholics and parish staffs, the author’s scope extends to all stakeholders, both lay and clerical, from top to bottom, Catholic and other denominations. Joyce calls for excellence in local communities, where Catholics of all levels of conviction, education, and commitment live, worship, and witness to the Risen Christ. Only a priest who has “fought the good fight” in parochial trenches can break open the meaning of pastoral leadership with such insight, compassion, and humor.