Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Paul Wilkes To Speak On Empowering Catholics

Published October 19, 2006

Paul Wilkes, best-selling author, film director and guest lecturer, will offer a daylong Saturday workshop for church leaders and a two-day parish mission at Our Lady of the Valley Church Oct. 28-30.

Wilkes has spent the past seven years traveling the country, researching and writing about the traits of excellence found in American churches. As a married Catholic layman and father of two college-age sons, Wilkes’ heart is with the local parish where he believes most people come to know and practice their faith most fully.

Giving a Saturday workshop specifically for church leaders entitled “Empowering the People in the Pew,” Wilkes will give ways to awaken the ordinary person in the pew “to live out what is already burning deep within their hearts—the desire to be closer to God in service to others.” The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost of $10 includes lunch. Books written by Wilkes and other authors will be available for sale.

Continuing with the theme “Alive With the Spirit,” Wilkes will give a two-day parish mission at Our Lady of the Valley on Oct. 29-30, with evening presentations in the church from 6 to 8 p.m. with babysitting provided. On Sunday, Oct. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. he will show his film biography of Thomas Merton and on Monday, Oct. 30, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. he will talk on “Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Life.” All mission presentations are free and open to the public.

Wilkes is the author of 18 non-fiction books, including “The Seven Secrets of Successful Catholics,” “The Good Enough Catholic,” and “Best Practices from America’s Best Churches.” His Merton biography aired on PBS. He has written for numerous national magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. Recently he has developed curricula for two parish programs, New Beginnings and Stewardship as a Way of Life.

A brochure is available online at or e-mail or call (205) 991-5488. Our Lady of the Valley Church is located south of Birmingham about three miles off Interstate 65 at Exit 246.