William D’Antonio is a principal organizer of the third gathering of Intentional Eucharistic Communities set to meet in Chevy Chase, MD., May 15-17. Recently, NCR editor Tom Fox talked with D’Antonio about Intentional Eucharistic Communities and about the weekend gathering and its goals.
D’Antonio was a professor at Notre Dame from 1957 to 1971, and served as executive director for the American Sociological Association, 1982-1991. He is a reknowned scholar in the sociology of religion. He is the co-author of eight books and co-editor of four. His most recent co-authored books include American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church, and Voices of the Faithful, a study of a Catholic lay social movement striving to help change the church. He is a fellow at the Life Cycle Institute at The Catholic University in Washington.
From the web site of Intentional Eucharistic Communities
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Shaping and Celebrating Our Faith
Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) are those small faith communities, rooted in the Catholic tradition, which gather to celebrate Eucharist on a regular basis. Born in the enthusiasm flowing from Vatican II for a church of the people, some IECs were instituted in parishes, some were created as alternatives to the parish, some retain close ties with the institutional church, and some function independently. All are characterized by shared responsibility for the governance and life of the community. Through sharing liturgical life and mutual support for one another, members are strengthened to live Gospel-centered lives dedicated to spiritual growth and social commitment.