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Beyond My Wildest Dreams: From Local Ministry to Worldwide Mission

Author: Msgr. Thomas Kleissler - President Emeritus and Co-Founder of RENEW International.
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Beyond My Wildest Dreams is the memoir of Msgr. Thomas A. Kleissler, who co-founded RENEW, the first diocese-wide faith-sharing process in the United States. Under Monsignor Kleissler’s leadership, the organization now known as RENEW International went on to touch the lives of millions of people all over the world. Against the background of his childhood and early priesthood, Father Kleissler recounts the origins of RENEW amid the social turbulence of the 1960s and its unexpected growth.

The author, now retired, also looks forward to the future of RENEW. This story follows Father Kleissler and his staff as they spread RENEW throughout the United States and to Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, helping people of many cultures put their Christian faith to practice in everyday life.

The Msgr. Kleissler Legacy Society is a wonderful way for donors to help continue to foster renewal in the Catholic tradition.

What people are saying about Beyond My Wildest Dreams:
"Beyond My Wildest Dreams is the remarkable story of Msgr. Thomas Kleissler, a man whose desire it was … to build God’s kingdom by connecting faith to people’s everyday lives. With a deep conviction that small community experiences could transform parishes, the Church, and bring people closer to God, Msgr. Kleissler was the fire behind the RENEW movement. Focusing on meeting people where they were at, RENEW International continues to be instrumental in the conversion of the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people."
Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.
President, Oblate School of Theology,
San Antonio, Texas

"Thomas Kleissler understood profoundly the difference between breaking a Church down into small communities, and building a Church up out of small communities. While neither is wrong, Tom knew the pastoral power of building Church up out of base communities. Tom Kleissler’s brilliant pastoral intuitions have left their mark all over the Catholic world."
Bernard J. Lee, S.M.
Professor of Theology,
St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas

"Beyond My Wildest Dreams aptly describes one man’s fidelity to God’s “wild dream” for him in order to participate in bringing about the far vaster, wilder Dream of God for this Church and world that our God so loves. The Spirit’s gift of RENEW … continues to unfold from its simple beginnings around kitchen tables in northern New Jersey to an incomprehensible act of forgiveness in a tiny village in India. What an amazing story Tom Kleissler recounts of God’s providential hand at work in ordinary women and men, drawn to hear and respond to God’s call—to be formed in community and sent as disciples in love and service to a world in need."
Catherine Nerney, S.S.J. Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania