The ACU Centre for Liturgy Postgraduate Scholarship for 2018 has been awarded to Susan Fajardo, a masters’ student in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.
During her studies at ACU Susan has learned about the history and theology of liturgy and has discovered the variety and richness of liturgical celebrations offered by the Church.
Susan’s interest in liturgy started during her close engagement with her local parish where her desire to prepare excellent liturgies led to a discovery of the liturgical books. “I began to become more attentive to liturgical celebrations and the liturgical environment”, she says, “to observe what is happening well and what needs improvement”. Susan has a particular interest in the ars celebrandi, the proper celebration of the liturgy, and how it can enhance people’s prayer life.
Now in the process of completing the Master of Theological Studies degree, Susan hopes to proceed to a doctorate in liturgy.
"In the long term, I would like to probe the link between the proper celebration of the liturgy and the full, conscious and active participation of the faithful in it.”
“The primary aim of the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, is to promote full, conscious and active participation of the faithful in liturgical celebrations yet”, says Susan, “in Australia, and many places in the Western world, the number of Catholics attending Sunday Mass regularly has declined dramatically in recent years. I hope that establishing a practical link between proper celebration and active participation may enable the Church to address this declining attendance more effectively”. Susan is very grateful for the scholarship, which will enable her to research this important aspect of the life of the Church.
Assistant Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy, Dr Jason McFarland, says that Ms Fajardo’s academic success “is a testimony to her intelligence, diligence and dedication to the study of theology. Her wholehearted commitment to the study of liturgy makes her an ideal candidate to benefit from the opportunities the scholarship will provide to advance her research in liturgical studies.”
The ACU Centre for Liturgy promotes education in liturgy via both formal academic programs (through ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy) and parish-level pastoral formation. The Centre works in cooperation with the Bishops’ Commission for Liturgy of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and an international network of liturgical scholars and practitioners.