Monday, January 18, 2010

Louisville and Apprenticeship

Happy Monday to you all.

I spent the weekend in one of my favorite places in the United States: Louisville, Kentucky. Why is this one of my favorite places? Because of the vibrancy of the people of the Archdiocese. I believe this was the fourth time I have been to Louisville to do presentations. This past weekend, the site was the beautifully renovated church, Our Lady of Lourdes, pictured here:

On Friday evening, I led a WLP choral reading session. The local NPM chapter wasn't sure if they would get anyone to come on a Friday night. Lo and behold, there were about sixty who came. Many had not had the experience of singing with such a large group, so it was a real treat for many, as well as for me. I was able to give them each a packet of music, about twenty choral octavos in all. They were so grateful for this gift from WLP. It was a grand night of singing. We at WLP cherish these opportunities to share the best choral music for the singing Church today.

On Saturday, I led a day-long session on the RCIA. We focused on the apprenticeship model for initiation, which is clearly articulated in Ad Gentes, the document on the Church's missionary activity from the Second Vatican Council. There were over eighty people in attendance, all on fire with the vision that the RCIA puts forward for parish life. This is why I love going to Louisville. The RCIA ministers there have been most capably led by their diocesan leader, my friend Maureen Grisanti Larison, the Archdiocesan Consultant for Adult Formation and Initiation. What I have come to discover, because of great places like Louisville, is that the RCIA thrives most vibrantly in places where there is strong leadership and passion about initiation. The Archdiocese of Louisville is a great model. It was an honor to serve these good people.

Apprenticeship as the model for Christian initiation is a topic around which I have much passion, so much so that I wrote a book about it. In case you haven't seen it, it's entitled Apprenticed to Christ: Activities for Practicing the Catholic Way of Life. Here's a link to the book on WLP's web site. And here's what the book looks like:

I spent two years writing the book, which moves through all three years of the liturgical cycle, suggesting an apprenticeship activity for each Sunday; an activity that I saw as being suggested by the scriptures for the given Sunday or solemnity. It is a very practical book and I was thrilled to see so many in Louisville purchase this for their RCIA teams on Saturday.

I am headed to Buffalo tomorrow afternoon to give a keynote presentation there on Wednesday. I look forward to sharing with you a new installment of "New Translation Tuesday" tomorrow.

Let's continue to pray for the people of Haiti. I wrote a set of intercessions for the people of Haiti, which has been posted on WLP's web site. They are also translated into Spanish. You can find them by clicking on this link. I was at Mass in a parish in Louisville on Saturday evening and heard these very texts prayed as part of the general intercessions. I believe that as this week unfolds, the Haitian people and the relief workers will need our help more than ever.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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