Catholic parishes are staffed by dedicated, passionate members of the laity who are often underpaid and overworked but nevertheless continue to labor in the vineyard of the Lord. Whether you are on staff or a volunteer, faith, hope, and a sense of humor are crucial to surviving and thriving in parish ministry.
Down-to-earth, candid, and funny, author Karen Baker has served on the front lines of her parish, and she can empathize and commiserate with the day-to-day struggles, like when the toilets back up during Sunday Mass. This little book offers a ray of hope and humor by reminding parish leaders that developing holy habits and clothing themselves in Christ can help them navigate the challenging and changing world of ministry.
“I have had the opportunity to share ministry with Karen Baker and appreciate her great love of Christ and his Church. This book provides valuable encouragement and resources for those who work tirelessly to serve the Church in our day.”– Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
“In her great book, Faith, Hope, and a Sense of Humor, Karen Baker has given a great gift to those who love and work for the Church. The book is full of respectful, honest, and humorous stories and lessons on what it means to serve God’s people. I highly recommend this enjoyable book, so that many who work or volunteer in the Church can share a few laughs and be reminded of the joy and adventure of what it means to labor among God’s people.” – Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, STD, pastor
“Karen’s wit and wisdom combine harmoniously to present an enjoyable reflection on the difficulties of parish ministry. We can all use a reminder that living a virtuous life is difficult, no matter what our circumstances. This book reminds us that many solutions of our day-to-day frustrations can be found in the longstanding tradition of the Church we dedicate ourselves to serve.” – Dr. Susie Veters, Assistant Director of Human Formation, Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans
“With an inspiring and entertaining combination of Scripture and humor mixed with lessons learned over years of experience, this book is an energy boost for weary parish staff and volunteers, and an invitation to grow in virtue.” – Barb Szyszkiewicz, editor at CatholicMom.com and author of The Handy Little Guide to Prayer
“In Faith, Hope and a Sense of Humor, Karen Baker writes lovingly, honestly, and inspiringly about parish life. Reminiscent of the tender and humorous cultural memoirs of Frances Mayes and Peter Mayle, Karen’s work is a proper ‘ministry memoir,’ narrating the unique culture of parish life. The stories resonate across parish boundaries, and we need more works like this to bless, affirm, and encourage the hardworking lay women and men who help hold up our communities of faith though a myriad of good works behind the scenes. Karen is one of these women, and I am grateful for her gift of storytelling and wisdom.” – Dr. Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, Director of Ministerial Formation, Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, MN
“Karen’s collection of Christ-centered meditations on the virtuous dispositions that are conducive to flourishing in parish ministry and in life are simply profound, weaving the ordinary elements of everyday life into the extraordinary grace of God. Guaranteed to lift your spirit and make you smile many times!” – Dr. Tom Neal, Professor of Spiritual Theology, Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans