Make Church Matter

Fr Michael White and Tom Corcoran

Prior to the call of Pope Francis to share the "Joy of the Gospel", the Church of the Nativity embarked on a process "to grow disciples, develop a healthier parish community, and more intentionally and effectively serve the New Evangelization."  This presentation will include the Church of the Nativity's story, offer three key strategies that drove the transformation of the parish and offer advice for parishes on how to make their own changes.

"If you love your parish, read this book" 

- Cardinal Timothy M Dolan (Archbishop of New York)


Drawing on the wisdom gleaned from thriving mega-churches and innovative business leaders while anchoring their vision in the Eucharistic center of Catholic faith, Fr. Michael White and lay associate Tom Corcoran present the compelling and inspiring story to how they brought their parish back to life.

Rebuilt is a story of stopping everything and changing focus. When their parish reached a breaking point, Fr. Michael White and lay associate Tom Corcoran asked themselves how they could make the Church matter to Catholics, and they realized the answer was at the heart of the Gospel. Their faithful response not only tripled their weekend mass attendance, but also yielded increased giving, flourishing ministries, and a vibrant, solidly Catholic spiritual revival. White and Corcoran invite all Catholic leaders to share the vision, borrow their strategies, and rebuild their own parishes. They offer a wealth of guidance for anyone with the courage to hear them.

Moving Members from Consumers to Contributors

Fr Michael White and Tom Corcoran -

The Church is a movement, which means moving members to take greater responsibility for their personal faith as well as the mission of the Church to make disciples. In this keynote, Father White and Tom Corcoran will look at how you can practically move people to contribute to the mission of the church. Practical questions regarding the recruitment, training, and education of catechists/ facilitators for the various age levels will be shared within the philosophy and mission of the parish. How the understanding of adult catechesis at the center of faith formation has formed their vision. Participants will have the opportunity to delve deeper into how parents and families are engaged in catechesis, and be given practical steps for moving their community forward.

In their barn-burning first book, Rebuilt, Michael White and Tom Corcoran shared their story and vision of building better Catholic parishes. Now, in their eagerly-anticipated second book, White and Corcoran lay out seventy-five proven tactics for getting the job done. Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran know that the fundamental work of the Church is to evangelize - to introduce people to Christ and make them disciples. Still, they're the first to admit: the difficulty comes when we reach down into the details and get to work. 


In Tools for Rebuilding, White and Corcoran share seventy-five foundational tactics that helped to rejuvenate their parish. Their candid, hands-on advice gives a clear way forward - one that will make church matter to the people in the pews and that anyone working in parish ministry can implement.


Christopher Wesley, director of student ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland—the Catholic parish at the center of the bestselling book Rebuilt—has doubled teen participation in his programs and tripled the number of adult volunteers who work with youth. In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Wesley presents ten indispensable strategies for creating successful youth programs where teens feel connected, stay involved, and grow in faith.

In Rebuilding Youth Ministry, Christopher Wesley coaches fellow Catholic leaders on how to overcome common hurdles of ministering to young people. Wesley shares how he faced feelings of complacency, underestimated youth, and entertained rather than ministered in his own parish. Wesley built a distinctive program based on small group faith formation and sustained it with the assistance of more than sixty volunteer adult mentors. Adopting a tone and structure similar to the bestselling books Rebuilt and Tools for Rebuilding, Wesley lays out ten strategies that helped grow participation in his high school program from nine teens to ninety and the middle school program from forty teens to eighty-five. 

Features & Benefits 

  • Fans of Rebuilt and Tools for Rebuilding will find many of the same renewal strategies now tailored to the particular needs of youth programming.

  • Christopher Wesley offers an insider’s view of youth programming that comes from working for ten years as youth minister at Church of the Nativity. Under his leadership, the program has flourished and now boasts one adult volunteer per eight teens in faith formation programs.

  • This book explores the distinctive approach to youth faith formation at Church of the Nativity, where students meet in small groups that remain stable from sixth through twelfth grades.

  • Wesley is host of the weekly Rebuilt podcast, keeps an increasingly active speaking and writing schedule, and blogs regularly at Marathon Youth Ministry.