Shifting Pillars: Diocesan Leaders' Perceptions of Baby Boom Era Institutional Change


Leadership; Sociology and Criminal Justice

Date of this version


Document Type



Catholicism, Priests, Catholic schools, Seminary, Baby Boom generation, Pastors, Educational administration, High schools


Relatively little research has examined the relationship between the Baby Boom cohort and localized specific religious institutions. Employing an institutional approach, this research focuses on interviews with 20 key actors in a case Roman Catholic diocese about their professional experiences between the years 1960 and 1989. Speaking from the perspective of the institutional sectors in which they served, respondents provided a "thick description" of the stresses affecting the diocesan schools, parishes, seminary, and central administrative offices over the period in question. The resultant patterns portray one form of "institutional memory" of the period's religious dislocations within the case diocese. Across all sectors, the data document with specific personal examples the experience of diocesan infrastructural shifts away from hierarchical to more democratic protocols for membership and governance. Many of the dislocations noted can be attributed either to the demographic characteristics of, or social ethos promoted by, members of the

Published in

Review of Religious Research

Citation/Other Information

LaMagdeleine, D. R., & Gessner, J. C. (1992). Shifting pillars: Diocesan leaders' perceptions of Baby Boom Era institutional change. Review of Religious Research, 33(3), 194-214. doi: 10.2307/3511086