Public Lecture “Composing for a Church at Prayer ” by Fr J Michael Joncas

 On 19 July 2021 (10-11:30am AEST) the ACU Centre for Liturgy was delighted to host Fr J Michael Joncas for this public lecture which, while particularly relevant to all those who compose, perform or participate in liturgical music, was of great interest to attendees involved in liturgical ministry generally.

Composing for a Church at Prayer

One of the premiere ways in which many people experience full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy is through the music they sing, play, and hear during worship. 

This presentation explored the theory and practice of one composer in creating liturgical music over the last half century. Fr Joncas  explored 1) the texts sung in the context of liturgical worship; 2) the music by which they are sung; and 3) the ritual(s) for which they are intended. He addressed these with particular reference to his own compositions, giving insight into what factors entered into their composition and how they have been received both by worshiping communities and various critics.

Fr J Michael Joncas

Ordained in 1980 as a priest of the Archdiocese of St Paul-Minneapolis, MN, Fr (Jan) Michael Joncas holds degrees in English from the (then) College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN and the Pontificio Istituto Liturgico of the Ateneo S. Anselmo in Rome. He has served as a parochial vicar, a campus minister, and a parochial administrator (pastor). He is the author of six books and more than two hundred fifty articles and reviews in journals such as Worship, Ecclesia Orans, and Questions Liturgiques. He has composed and arranged more than 300 pieces of liturgical music. He is currently Artist in Residence and Research Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.

A link to the recording of this lecture will be available shortly.  

Public Lecture “Liturgy and Sacraments in a COVID World: Renewal not Restoration” by Monsignor Kevin Irwin

Kevin Irwin. On 17 May 2021 (10-11:30am AEST) the ACU Centre for Liturgy had the honour to host Msgr Kevin Irwin as he gave this important and topical online lecture.

In the face of restrictions on gathering for public worship, parishes have attempted to keep their congregants attached to the Eucharist by use of technology such as streaming video. However, this has underlined some of the problems with liturgical practice as it has developed in the decades since Vatican II. Streamed liturgies have no ‘live’ congregations and often only a single priest in the sanctuary, which skews the roles of congregation and presider. The celebration of other sacraments has been no less affected, as they’ve been ‘streamlined’ for the sake of expediency and observance of social distancing rules. Vatican II’s emphasis on scripture whether through the expanded lectionary used at Mass or through the inclusion of readings in the celebration of every sacrament, has often been overlooked and is sometimes lost in practice. The increasingly sloppy application of norms has led to bad liturgies that betray a basic lack of understanding of the meaning of the liturgy itself. Rather than return to ‘business as usual’ post-COVID, Kevin Irwin urges us to use this ‘break’ as an opportunity to revisit the liturgical reform and truly implement it.

A member of The Catholic University of America Theology Faculty for over thirty years, Msgr Irwin held the Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies from 2000-2015 and was the Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies from 2005-2011. Currently Ordinary Research Professor at CUA, Msgr Irwin is the author of over twenty books and seventy journal articles. Prominent in his research are liturgical-theological method and the role of creation in liturgy and sacraments. Msgr Irwin’s most recent books include A Commentary on Laudato Si' (Paulist Press, 2016), the revised and expanded edition of his classic text Context and Text: A Method for Liturgical Theology (Liturgical Press, 2018), Pope Francis and the Liturgy: The Call to Holiness and Mission (Paulist Press, 2019), and Liturgy and Sacraments in a COVID World: Renewal not Restoration (Paulist Press, 2021).

This online lecture was not recorded. Those interested in this important topic are referred to Msgr Irwin's book of the same name.

Public Lecture “Liturgy, Prayer, Pastoral Care and Pandemics”

Sr Prof Julia Upton, rsm

On Monday, 12 October 2020 the ACU Centre for Liturgy hosted Sr. Prof Julia Upton, RSM, a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, who gave an online Public Lecture entitled “Liturgy, Prayer, Pastoral Care and Pandemics”. Applying her expertise in liturgy and her education and interest in Public Health, Dr Upton’s lecture was received with gratitude and great interest by all those who attended.

Sr. Prof. Julia Upton, RSM, Ph.D. (Fordham) is Provost Emerita and retired Distinguished Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John’s University (NY), where she has taught for 40 years. She is a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Brooklyn since 1978 and served as an advisor to the United States National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship (1978-1981; 2007-2010). Dr. Upton is author of Worship in Spirit and Truth: The Life and Legacy of H. A Reinhold and is currently writing a biography of Adé Bethune, a liturgical artist, consultant and social activist associated with the Catholic Worker. In 2019 Dr. Upton completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health and now devotes her time to writing and consulting.

Watch lecture here

References used in the Public Lecture can be found here

Public Lecture “The Challenge of Intercultural Liturgy in the Era of Pope Francis”

Rev Prof Mark R. Francis CSV

In July 2020 the ACU Centre for Liturgy hosted Rev Prof Mark R. Francis CSV, author of Local Worship Global Church: Popular Religion and the Liturgy and Shape a Circle Ever Wider: Inculturating the Liturgy in the United States.

In addition to the online Public Lecture on 20 July 2020 entitled “ The Challenge of Intercultural Liturgy in the Era of Pope Francis” Professor Francis also taught an online one-time-only special studies unit, THEL620: Liturgical Inculturation through the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy on 6, 7, 9, 10 July. The unit was offered as a professional learning seminar available to liturgists, clergy, pastoral associates and all with an interest in the fascinating and pastorally relevant area of Liturgical Inculturation.

Watch lecture here

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Celebrating the Lectionary Year A (Garratt, 2019)

Celebrating the Lectionary Year A is designed for schools and parishes as a catechetical resource that focuses on the Gospels of the Liturgical Year. It can be used as a supplement to Catholic school religious education programs, as a resource for Children’s Liturgy of the Word in parishes, and during the process of preparing children for Christian initiation. Celebrating the Lectionary Year A includes sessions for every Sunday of the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas Time, Lent, Easter Time, and Ordinary Time), sessions for each day of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, and sessions for holydays, solemnities, and feasts, including Australian Feasts, Saints and Seasons.

Each 15-20 minute session is designed so that you can lead group discussions and engage in activities which require minimal preparation and make use of resources on hand. Sessions can easily be adapted to your group’s specific needs and time constraints.

Each session includes:

  • Background information for teachers and catechists
  • Ways to connect children’s lives with the liturgical year
  • Full text of the day’s Gospel reading and an age-appropriate guided reflection
  • Gospel-related activities
  • A take-home page for families to do during the week

Authors: Catherine G. Johnson, Mary Kathleen Kelley, SSJ, Maureen A. Kelly, Nora Malone, Christine Ondrla, James Philipps

Adaptations and Australian Content by: Clare Johnson

Celebrating the Lectionary Year B (Garratt, 2020)

Celebrating the Lectionary Year B (Garratt: 2020) is the second volume of a rich resource of Lectionary-based catechesis designed especially for use in schools and parishes celebrating Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Collaborating with authors from the USA, Prof Clare V. Johnson has prepared this text for use with students in years 5-8 in conjunction with the Year of Grace Calendar for 2021. Exploring the Gospel for Sundays, solemnities, feasts and holydays (according to the Australian Lectionary and liturgical calendar) through proclamation, reflection and engaging classroom activities, this attractive book will help young people to link each Gospel text with their Catholic faith and everyday lives.

Authors: Sr Ann Therese Chaput BVM, Christine Ondrla, James Philipps, Sr Ann Therese Chaput, Clare Johnson

Adaptations and Australian Content by: Clare Johnson

RRP $39.95

For more information see:

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