Friday, February 26, 2010

Generations of Faith

Happy Friday to one and all.

For friends and colleagues in the Northeast, I hope that you are weathering this latest snowstorm. Our mantra here in the Midwest (where it is 18 degrees here now) is "Enough with winter, let Spring begin!"

Last night, I gave a talk at St. Anne parish in Barrington, Illinois, focused on the Catholic devotional life. I am actually giving this talk four times this week as part of St. Anne's Generations of Faith religious formation process. The parish has approximately 1300 people who attend the sessions over the period of one week. There are six sets of sessions scheduled throughout the year. I can't say enough about how I believe this is a great direction for any parish. A dedication to life-long faith formation through programs such as Generations of Faith can really help a parish embrace solid principles of catechesis and conversion. Kudos to the many, many people at St. Anne's who make this opportunity possible for so many parishioners. Here's a photo of the interior of this stunning church:

My presentation was made in the context of Vespers. We celebrated a lucernarium, or "service of light" at the beginning of Vespers. We sang Psalm 141 as the incense rose from the incense pot. I was able to spend time "breaking open" the ritual experience with the people. I love doing this kind of liturgical/mystagogical catechesis. This kind of reflection is simply not a part of the faith journey of most Catholics. It takes a bit of prodding to tease out the theology, but once the folks got used to the method, they were able to articulate the theology clearly.

As part of my presentation, I spoke about the cult of the saints in our devotional treasury. I brought my relic of St. Mary Magdalen along with me and placed it in a prominent location in the church. I was fascinated by the peoples' fascination with the relic. It prompted many questions. Most of the people knew what a relic was, but had very limited experience with relics.

I so enjoy doing these kinds of sessions. They help me keep my feet on the ground; they help me stay connected with life in the pews.

I am playing the two Masses at my parish, Saint James, on Sunday. A colleague here at WLP and I are are filling in for Lent and the Triduum until our new music director — yes, we did hire a brilliant young musician — comes on board after Easter.

I hope your weekend is a good one and that your celebration of the Second Sunday of Lent brings you closer to God's beloved Son.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Translation Thursday: English as a Second Language

Happy Thursday to you all.

I am safely back at our offices here in Chicago. O, the joys of travel!

Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Thursday."

On Sunday evening, I attended the 5:00 Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. Here is a photo of the interior of this magnificent church:

WLP's recording artist, Meredith Augustin, is the director of music at this richly diverse parish. If you have never heard Meredith sing, have a listen to this snippet (Give Me Jesus) from her album Deep River. I am one of Meredith's greatest fans—I could listen to her for hours. Her rapport with the community gathered at St. Francis displayed a side of Meredith I rarely see: the parish music director. Her obvious care for the singing assembly drew me right into the liturgy.

And, it got me thinking. Not unlike my parish here in Chicago, St. Francis is a culturally diverse community. As I looked around, it was evident that English was not the first language of many who were in attendance. I have always had empathy for people whose language of prayer—the language they use to pray to God in those deeply personal and contemplative moments—is not necessarily the language they are asked to pray when parishes recite and sing the liturgical texts at Mass. What effect will the new English translation have on people whose first language is not English? Some of you would respond that there is an easy answer: sing and pray in Latin. This might be helpful in large multicultural gatherings of people who do not share any common language. Does replacing one "second " language with another "second" language really address the issue?

When we get to the implementation phase of the new English translation, we will need to be sensitive to those whose "prayer-from-the-heart" language is not English. For Spanish-speakers, it might be an easier adaptation, since the Spanish translation of the Missale Romanum is already much closer to the Latin text. For others, especially those who struggle with their own speaking of the English language, we will need to expend much time, effort, and pastoral care.

I want to recommend once again to readers of this blog a great new series of pamphlets published by Liturgy Training Publications here in Chicago: Revised Roman Missal: Understanding the Revised Mass Texts. This is a good series of pamphlets that will help your assembly gain an understanding for what is about to take place. You can contact the great folks at LTP using this toll free number: 1-800-933-1800.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Final Day Here in New York City

Good day, everybody.

Greetings for the last morning from here in New York City. Cold and quite rainy here. Looks like I will be getting out of here before a big new snowstorm hits the Northeast tomorrow.

Once back at O'Hare, I am heading to St. Anne Parish in Barrington to give a presentation to their "Generations of Faith" folks on Catholic devotional life. I enjoy these sessions immensely, as they help me keep my feet on the ground in parish life.

Just wanted to say "hello" just for a moment before the next session begins. More tomorrow when I am back at the desk.

I hope Lent is going well for you.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Translation Tuesday: A "Book" that Will Foster Conversation

Happy Tuesday to you all, and welcome to "New Translation Tuesday."

I am blogging today from Times Square in New York City, where I am attending a publishing conference. This morning we listened to Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post.

The way this conference is set up is quite innovative. Keynote speakers get 25 minutes max of speaking time. Arianna was given 15 minutes. One of the things that Arianna said, which is really sticking with me, is that "books are conversation starters." If you think about this, books have always had this innate ability to foster conversation. Think, for example of Jim Frey's much maligned book A Million Little Pieces.

As I think about the fact that what we are facing in the Roman Catholic Church in English-speaking countries worldwide is the release—simply—of a book. The new English translation of the Missale Romanum, perhaps more than any other Catholic "book" published in my own lifetime, will foster conversation. Just think about how much conversation has already been generated, years and years before we even have this "book" in hand. Today's and tomorrow's conversations about this new book will take place on avenues we didn't even have say, five years ago. Just take Tuesdays and Thursdays of this humble blog. These are days that we focus on a conversation about an upcoming book. Unlike the latest piece of fiction or non-fiction, this upcoming book will affect the lives of Roman Catholics for decades to come. No wonder that this book has exhibited that innate ability to foster conversation.

I recall checking Facebook a week or so ago while the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics were occurring in Vancouver. I was nowhere near a television (I was in a small dorm room in a seminary on the grounds of the University of Notre Dame). Yet, checking in on Facebook gave me the opportunity to experience the opening ceremonies through the direct experience of my Facebook friends, as the ceremonies were actually unfolding live. My brother John said something like this: "I am so proud of my French-Canadian heritage tonight." Just imagine what kinds of conversations will be found on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and whatever new kinds of virtual communities will emerge in the next months and years. This is a very exciting time to be a part of the release of  a new "book." Every English-speaking Catholic—unless they are sound asleep—will have something to say about the new translation. Conversations will emerge in small parish groups; over coffee after Mass; in open fields in Tanzania after an outdoor Mass; in the gathering spaces of suburban parishes in the United States and Canada; over breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in Catholic homes around the world, etc., etc., etc.

My guess is that many Catholics will turn to the virtual world to share conversations about this new "book." Everyone wants to have a voice and the internet gives virtually everyone the opportunity to make their own voice heard in the ongoing conversation. As I said, what an exciting time for English-speaking Catholics worldwide. Some would say that this is potentially dangerous. There were times in the past when those in power would try to prevent open conversations about Church issues. Look today at what is happening in Iran, where the current government is attempting to block cellphone and internet access. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church will need to listen carefully to the conversations that unfold during the implementation of the new translation of the Missale Romanum when it occurs and in the months and years to follow.

Books foster conversation. I want you to know how much I am looking forward to the unfolding of the conversation.

Thanks for listening.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New York City and a Nice Surprise

Happy Monday to you all.

Greetings from New York City. I am attending a publishing conference. Walked and walked around Manhattan yesterday. Walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral and, lo and behold, found Archbishop Dolan presiding at the Rite of Election! Here are a few photos I took of the spires of St. Patrick's.

Last night, I attended Mass at St. Francis of Assisi. I hope to be able to share photos and more about that experience over the next few days. Here's one of the church's interior:

Gotta get going right now, though.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rest in Peace: Richard Proulx

Good day to one and all.

We were shocked and saddened this morning to receive word of the death of Richard Proulx, certainly one of the giants in the world of composition.

The treasury of liturgical compositions penned by this extraordinary composer is vast. One colleague here at WLP mused the following on his Facebook page this morning:

How many of us throughout the world were practicing his music last night as he left us? I was practicing his setting of Jesus, Lead the Way last night. His musical legacy will be with us always.

Here are just a few snippets of Proulx's music we have had the privilege of publishing here at WLP.

Here Is Joy for Every Age
Two Litanies for Advent and Lent

May the choir of angels lead you into paradise . . .
May the martyrs come to welcome you . . .
And take you to the holy city . . .
The new and eternal Jerusalem.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Translation Thursday: Music for a Variety of Situations

"New Translation Thursday" has come around yet again.

It is interesting to note some developments just in the last week. I have had four requests (from parishes, individual presenters, and dioceses) to assist in the pastoral preparation for the implementation of the new English translation of the Missale Romanum. People are looking for two things. The first has to do with explanation on the "why" of the new translation. Secondly, people are keenly interested in seeing and hearing new musical settings of the Mass. As you already know, Catholic publishers are not allowed to market or sell new or revised settings of the Mass until the official recognitio is received from Rome. And as you are also aware, we here at World Library Publications have been working now for several years to be able to provide the singing and praying Church with newly composed—as well as revised—settings of the Mass. I am just bursting at the seams in my own excitement to share these settings with the Church. But, wait we must.

The way we have approached the musical settings is to rely on our own experience here as parish musicians (many of us here at WLP were or are currently parish musicians). We know the wide variety of musical resources in parishes across the country. There are places where the organist plays and leads the singing all by him/her self. There are places where a small ensemble of singers serve as music ministers. There are places where the piano or guitar is the primary instrument for music at the liturgy. There are places with large SATB choirs. There are places where the texts are sung in a bilingual fashion. There are places with mighty pipe organs animating the assembly's singing. There are places where there is no instrumentalist; perhaps just a cantor leading a cappella singing.

We have done our best to address the needs of a wide variety of situations. I hope that our hard work will lead people closer in their relationship to the Lord, made present in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taking the Time for Prayer

A blessed Ash Wednesday to you all.

I hope you will indulge me here as I present a brief commercial message . . .

During this forty-day sojourn, I would like to suggest a prayer resource that you might find helpful. Father Joseph Juknialis' fine little book Fifteen Minute Retreats to Slow Down Your World is a real gem. There are thirty retreats in the book. The basic format is scripture based. The "retreatant" is invited to spend the first five minutes reading and absorbing the meaning of the scripture passage. The next five minutes affords the reader the time to read Fr. Juknialis' reflection. Finally, the last five minutes can be spent in prayerful contemplation, prompted by the scripture and the reflection. I hope you consider purchasing this retreat resource. Just visit our web site (you can click on the title of the book above), or call our fine people in WLP's Customer Care department at 800 566-6150.

Thanks for listening. As this Lenten season opens before us, I hope that your spirit is renewed and that, as you prepare to renew your own baptism promises at Easter, you will know God's strength and peace.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Translation Tuesday: Information and Misinformation

Welcome to this latest installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

Those of you who follow the Catholic news wires electronically, or read print or online versions of diocesan newspapers or national Catholic newspapers have probably seen the news piece: "New missal not here yet, but Catholics urged to start talking about it." We here at WLP issued a press release in the last few weeks announcing our new resource, which I have mentioned a few times in this blog: Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV, read by Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet. Low and behold, we received a mention in the piece in the Catholic News Service:

U.S. publishers are gearing up to offer other resources, such as the World Library Publications' recently announced "Prepare and Pray" recordings of the new eucharistic prayers, as read by Bishop J. Peter Sartain of Joliet, Ill.

"I imagine that priests will find it useful and time-saving to play the CDs in their cars while traveling, or even downloading them to their MP3 players to listen while exercising, walking and taking time in prayer," said Jerry Galipeau, associate publisher of World Library Publications.

We have seen interest in Bishop Sartain's recording from people here in the United States and Canada and we have even had orders placed from Jamaica and Australia on our web site. It is my sincerest hope that this is a helpful resource for clergy and laity alike as we prepare for the implementation.

I do need to mention also that there is another Catholic blog that sadly misinterpreted our latest WLP catalogue, thinking mistakenly that Bishop Sartain had recorded the sung chant settings of the Eucharistic Prayers. As you may know, no publisher is allowed to market or publish any musical settings of the Mass until the recognitio (official "recognition" of the new translation) is received from the Vatican. Working under the false assumption that ICEL had allowed WLP to release a recording of the music, the person who runs that blog questioned ICEL's motivation, musing about whether or not ICEL and the publishers (we here at WLP) are in this whole thing for the money. This was a sad and unfortunate mistake.

I need to remind everyone that it is our mission here at World Library Publications to serve the needs of the singing and praying Church, whatever those needs are as the Church continues the reform of the liturgy inaugurated at the Second Vatican Council. I want you to know that we agonized over the pricing of this recording. I originally suggested a much lower price, so that it would be very, very affordable. But when we looked at the cost of producing the CD and booklet, as well as our own editorial, design, and production costs, we needed to raise the price. I am entrusted with being a good steward of this company's time and resources, as well as ensuring fair compensation for our dedicated employees. We still priced this resource in a very affordable range.

I hope that we can move forward with the implementation in a less contentious and a more careful way. The worldwide web and the blogosphere have the power to unleash lots of information and, sadly, misinformation. Information is power and, unfortunately, misinformation is power as well.

Thanks for listening today.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Notre Dame: Terrific Theology Students

Good Monday to you all.

I wanted to write a bit more about my experience at the University of Notre Dame this past Friday and Saturday. I will pepper this posting with some photos I took while there.

19 students in the Master of Divinity program attended a two-day workshop on the RCIA, led by my good friend and colleague, Mary Birmingham (second from the left in the photo above) and me. When we do these kinds of workshops and institutes—sponsored by the North American Forum on the Catechumenate—the people in attendance are usually members of RCIA teams from parishes. We spend a considerable amount of time teaching them how to reflect theologically; how to take an experience of a rite and "unpack" it in such a way that the beliefs expressed in the rite can be unearthed and discussed.

It was such a pleasure to work with these theology students at Notre Dame; since they are immersed in theological studies, they were easily able to articulate the theology embedded in the rite.

As I mentioned in Friday's post, this group of young adults gave me so much hope. I earned the Master of Divinity degree (as part of seminary formation) in 1984. Many of these graduate students are nearing the end of their degree program and are on the job search. They are so eager to enter ministry. Part of me wishes I was back in a parish that could welcome one of these young adults as part of a parish staff. I will pray that they find ministerial settings that are meaningful and will help them to grow. As I said to them, it is the first full-time parish job that constitutes the "real school."

We celebrated our liturgies in the chapel at Moreau Seminary. Here's a photo I took on Saturday. The light coming through these windows is quite lovely.

I hope that your week has opened with hope and grace.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Notre Dame: Hope

Happy Friday to you all.

Spent the day here at Notre Dame teaching M Div (Master of Divinity Graduate Students) about the RCIA. We celebrate an adapted rite of acceptance into the order of catechumens tonight, then one more full day tomorrow.

These young adults are engaged in the process; their faith is so evident; they are sincere in their desire to respond to God's call through a variety of ministries. In a word, these young people give me hope!

Hope your weekend is a good one. More on my experience here when I return to the office on Monday.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Translation Thursday: Lex Orandi Lex Credendi

Happy Thursday to one and all.

Arrived back home to Chicago last night. Lots of snow on the ground here. The sun is just coming up here at the WLP offices in Franklin Park. Hard to believe that I woke up very early yesterday morning and watched the awesome sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean in South Florida. Actually glad to be back in the Midwest.

This is "New Translation Thursday." Please allow me to mention once again a very helpful resource for priests and lay Catholics as we anticipate the new translation of the Missale Romanum.

Bishop J. Peter Sartain, bishop of the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois, has recorded the new translation of the four eucharistic prayers for us here at WLP. Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV is now available. You can find it here. The CD comes with a booklet containing the newly translated prayers. I have spent much time listening to these prayers. I find Bishop Sartain's praying of these texts to be quite inspiring. Is the new translation jarring in spots? Yes. Are there sentence structures that are long and awkward? Yes. Are there moments of inspiration? Yes. Does it take time to unpack the meaning as they unfold? Yes.

I see this resource as a great tool for priests. I also see see it as a great tool for liturgy committees and parish groups to begin work right now with the new texts. This is an opportunity to do some mystagogical catechesis. Perhaps we should have included some kind of guide with this resource. Something along the lines of "Plumbing the Depths of the Newly Translated Eucharistic Prayers." If we adhere to the lex orandi lex credendi principle, there is much to be discovered in these prayers. Remember that our beliefs are expressed in our prayer. I believe that we can take advantage of the opportunity for some real theological conversation now that we have these prayers recorded. Pope John Paul II had some great things to say about mystagogical catechesis in his Apostolic Letter Mane Mobiscum Domine:

"The best way to enter into the mystery of salvation made present in the sacred 'signs' remains that of following faithfully the unfolding of the liturgical year. Pastors should be committed to that 'mystagogical' catechesis so dear to the Fathers of the Church, by which the faithful are helped to understand the meaning of the liturgy's words and actions, to pass from its signs to the mystery which they contain, and to enter into that mystery in every aspect of their lives."

I can just imagine parish groups gathering to listen to these prayers. Once the "Oh, I will never get used to these," or "These prayers are hard to understand," or "These are beautiful prayers" comments subside (and the concerns must be addressed!), it will be a great opportunity to ask some probing mystagogical questions: How do these prayers reflect our understanding of God our Creator? How do these prayers express the reality of the Church, God's Holy People? How do these prayers make present the paschal mystery of the Lord Jesus? As you listen to these prayers, how is your understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit enriched? Is there anything that you perceive as "missing" from these newly translated texts?

The questions are limitless. As you have heard me say before, I hope that the implementation of the new translation will be a watershed moment for us; a time to listen to and address deep concerns; but also a time to do some great liturgical and mystagogical catechesis.

I am off to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana later today, leading a two-day RCIA workshop for graduate students there. The workshop is being held at Moreau Seminary, pictured here:

The schedule is quite full for this workshop; I still hope to get an entry or two into the blog over the next few days.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back to the Snowy Midwest Today

Good Wednesday to you all.

Apparently it's been a good week to be in Florida for a little R & R with all the snow most of the country is seeing.

I fly back to Chicago tonight and then tomorrow night I am off to the University of Notre Dame to teach a group of graduate students about the RCIA. Joining me will be Mary Birmingham, noted maven of the RCIA. Her book Year-Round Catechumenate is a must have for RCIA ministers. It is available through LTP. Here's a link. Mary is working with us on a new book for RCIA ministers, geared specifically for those who are responsible for the Pre-catechumenate period. It looks like it is going to be a very helpful resource.

Well, folks, that's it for now. I hope that, wherever you are, you are keeping warm!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 8, 2010

RCIA Catechesis: How Much Is Enough?

Good Monday morning to you all.

I am taking a few days away from work, so these entries will be shorter than usual.

On Saturday, about 80 RCIA ministers gathered in the Diocese of Orlando to discuss the role of catechesis (RCIA 75.1) in catechumenal formation. A central question we had was the "how much" question. There is definitely incongruity in the rite itself. One paragraph says that catechumens must be given "Catholic teaching in its entirety." Another paragraph says that they should be expected to have a "sufficient acquaintance with Christian teaching."

The participants mulled over these questions. When you think about someone entering the Church, someone who has had little or no catechesis, how much do you think is enough as far as teaching goes? How much does a person need before being baptized, confirmed, and given first communion?
Feel free to comment.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Apologies and Lots of Speaking and Travelling

Deep apologies for not having posted in the last few days.

Yesterday I drove to Kalamazoo, Michigan from Chicago to offer an evening to RCIA ministers in that diocese. Our focus was on the celebration of the scrutinies. A priest, a monsignor, who was in attendance, made a poignant comment about RCIA ministry in general. It went something like this: If we are entrusted with the ministry that deals with change, with conversion for catechumens and candidates, we cannot do that until we experience that change, that conversion, in our own hearts. I thanked him for this comment and thought it was spot on.

I drove back to Chicago early this morning only to do some packing, then it was off to the airport for a flight to Orlando. And here I am at the hotel in Altamonte Springs. Tomorrow morning I will be leading an RCIA workshop focused on paragraph 75 of the RCIA - well worth looking at for those of you who are not involved in initiation ministry. Tomorrow I will focus on the first of four sections of that paragraph. This liturgist will be speaking for three hours on the role of catechesis in the RCIA. The workshop will take place at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park, Florida. Here's a photo of the interior of the church:

Once finished with my talk, I plan to take four days of vacation here in Florida. I will try to keep up on the blog, but you know how vacation time goes . . . 

I hope your weekend is a good one.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Day Everything Changed

Good Wednesday to you all.

Most of you who follow this blog know that I am into Baptism, big time. As a matter of fact, about ten or so years ago, I lead a pilgrimage of about 35 people (other Baptism "geeks") to spend two weeks searching for ancient baptism sites and fonts throughout Italy. It was a wonderful trip.

You also know that I have made my own personal pilgrimage to the place where I was baptized: St. Anthony of Padua in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A few weeks ago, I asked the pastor if he could send me some recent photos of the font. He had it moved from the sacristy (where it was rarely used for years (although I was baptized in that sacristy)—the parish used a glass bowl in the sanctuary for baptisms for years) to a prominent place in front of the altar of Saint Anne. If you don't mind, I'd like to share some of these photos with you.

First off is a photo of the interior of the church. Notice the little gizmos attached to the pew backs. I remember well my dad and grandfather using these things to clip their hats to the pew.

Here's a photo of the altar of St. Anne—kind of dark, but you can see the font.

And here's a closer look:

A view from the side:

Here's another:

And a few more:

Right there, on May 25, 1958, my life changed forever. Nothing would ever be the same again. Child of Henri and Yvette became an adopted child of God; Gerald Henri Galipeau put on Christ; Alleluia, Alleluia!

Send up a prayer of thanksgiving today for the greatest gift you were ever given. Thanks, Ma and Dad!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Translation Tuesday - The "Shake-up"

Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Tuesday."

First of all, I want to wish a happy anniversary of ordination to the many priests out there who were ordained on February 2. And a happy Candlemas to all.

Here's a recent photo of some people I love; the parish community celebrating in our parish hall at St. James on the near south side of Chicago.

This past Sunday at Mass at St. James, I noticed the words of the Prayer after Communion:

Lord, you invigorate us with this help to our salvation.
By this eucharist give the true faith continued growth
throughout the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. 

I have to admit that, as I prepare myself to accept the newly translated texts, I have been paying much more careful attention to the texts currently prayed. To be honest, lots of times these texts kind of washed over me. That had to do with two factors, I believe. One is the way that some celebrants rush through them, reading them rather than praying them. The other is my own distraction; my own not paying attention to what is going on. So, now I have been more attentive—almost all the time now—when these prayers are proclaimed. I find myself running around here at WLP in the early part of the week, grabbing a Sacramentary and looking for the texts that were proclaimed the previous Sunday.

I like the first line of the Prayer after Communion cited above. I had to ask myself if I really had a sense of having been "invigorated" by the eucharist at Mass. A common definition of "invigorate" is "to give life and energy to." One of my mantras to the Catholics to whom I speak is that we are called to "work off the eucharist;" people need to avoid becoming "spiritually obese." We need to take the energy received through the reception of the sacrament and "work it off" throughout the week to bring Christ to others. Is the celebration of the eucharist something that invigorates you?

I bring this up on "New Translation Tuesday" in the hopes that some of you might think about sharpening your attentiveness at Mass, especially when praying the opening prayer, prayer over the gifts, and prayer after communion. For those members of the clergy who faithfully follow this blog, perhaps this is an invitation to you, too, to sharpen your own proclamation of these texts as well. I think there is a kind of Catholic stupor that can settle in after years of proclaiming and listening, proclaiming and listening. Let's all dedicate ourselves to sharpening our proclaiming and listening skills. If there is anything that is going to shake Catholics up—shake off that stupor—it's a good chance that the reality of the new translation is going to be just that "shake-up." 

Perhaps we might look at the new translation as a new moment of "invigoration" for the Church. What do you think?

Hope your week is going well.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Great Musicians in Seattle

Happy Monday and Happy February to you all.

I got a chance to do a little walking around Pike Place Market in Seattle on Friday afternoon. Here's a photo I took there (This is the market where the employees at the fishmonger's stands throw the fish at one another.)

Friday evening's WLP choral reading session in Seattle went quite well. There were approximately sixty or seventy singers present, and many of them were terrific sight-readers. For you non-musical folks out there, that means that these musicians were able to pick up the new music and sing it quite well the first time around. The acoustics in the chapel were wonderful and it was a pleasure to conduct these fine musicians.

Here's a photo of the chapel:

We did a variety of WLP pieces, including Nicholas Palmer's Kyrie Eleison. Listen to it here. We also sang Kathleen Demny's Jesus Is Risen Today. Here's the sound clip. Louis Valenzi's Spirit of God was a real hit as well;  here's the clip. It was a privilege to share my own piece, Help Me, Lord, with the group. Here you go.

Special thanks goes to the Seattle NPM chapter and the Archdiocesan worship office for their support. I look forward to a return to the Archdiocese in the future. You, too, can schedule a WLP choral reading session in your own diocese. Simply email me here at WLP:

Tonight I will be attending a meeting of our music minister search committee at the parish. We are interviewing two prospective candidates tonight. Hopefully we will have that perfect person in place soon.

I hope your week has opened on a bright note. Looking forward to sharing some new insights tomorrow on "New Translation Tuesday."

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.