The ACU Centre for Liturgy is staffed by academics with international tertiary qualifications in liturgical studies, sacramental theology, and the sacred arts.
Professor Clare Johnson is the Director of the Centre and Dr Jason McFarland is the Assistant Director. Centre staff work closely with the Bishops Commission for Liturgy to support, promote and enhance the liturgical life of the Catholic Church.
BMus (Hons), BTheol (Hons), AMusA, MA (Theol), GCHE, PhD
Professor Clare Johnson is Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology and Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy. She has taught liturgical studies, sacramental theology, preaching, liturgical music and introductory theology at the University of Notre Dame (USA), Michigan State University (USA), the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle) and ACU.
Clare has been awarded for her teaching excellence with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is an experienced presenter of interactive online learning. She supervises higher degree research students in liturgical studies and sacramental theology. Her research in liturgy, liturgical music, ritual studies, liturgical theology and liturgical inculturation has been widely published.
Clare is a frequent presenter of professional development sessions for clergy, teachers, musicians and parishioners. She is a member of the National Liturgical Council advising the Bishops Commission for Liturgy and is the Chair of the National Liturgical Music Board.
Clare is based in Melbourne and is available to work with parishes, schools and dioceses throughout Australia.
BMus (summa cum laude, with honours), MMus, MA, PhD
Dr Jason McFarland is Lecturer in Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology and Assistant Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy. He has many years of teaching experience at the university level, including the areas of liturgical studies, liturgical theology, sacramental theology, liturgical music, Church history, world religions, choral conducting, individual voice instruction, and introductory theology at The Catholic University of America, St Norbert College, and The University of South Dakota. He has also taught at Zunyi Normal College (Guizhou, China).
Jason is an active presenter in the Music Seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy. He has presented at meetings of Societas Liturgica, the College Theology Society, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, and the American Academy of Religion. His substantial experience in preparing liturgical celebrations and thorough knowledge of the ritual books of the Roman Rite come chiefly through his work with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, as well as through over a decade as a cantor and member of the professional choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Jason’s research on the theological interpretation of liturgical music and the history and theology of liturgical books has appeared in a variety of journals and pastoral resources. His book, Announcing the Feast: The Entrance Song in the Mass of the Roman Rite (2012), is considered by many to be the standard treatment of the subject in the English language.
Maryanne Hemsley provides the administrative support for the ACU Centre for Liturgy.
After her professional career in engineering, Maryanne spent many years working in the Archdiocese of Sydney, in Vocations ministry and in parishes. She has a strong interest in liturgy as a parish musician and in support of the priests for whom she worked.