Monday, February 21, 2011

Great Day in Tucson

Monday greetings and a happy Presidents' Day to all. This is not a non-working holiday for us here at World Library Publicatinos, so we are all happily working away!

On Saturday, I was privileged to give two presentations at the Diocese of Tucson's Liturgy Conference Day. It was held at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Tucson. This was the parish at which the funeral of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the young girl who was killed in the shooting rampage in Tucson last month, was held.

The day was focused in large part on the new translation of The Roman Missal. Bishop Jerry Kicanas delivered the keynote address, an address he delivered in Salt Lake City at the Southwest Liturgical Conference a few weeks ago. This is a presentation well worth listening to; you can order a recording of it here.

My two presentations were quite distinct. In the first, I was asked to talk with RCIA ministers on the opportunities the new translation will give us to do liturgical catechesis with our candidates and catechumens. Since the majority of parishes (sadly) schedule their RCIA process on a school-year model, catechumens and candidates will experience the change in translation part way through their formation. RCIA ministers will need to address the questions that will arise. We spent most of the time in the session talking about the mystagogical homilies of Cyril of Jerusalem and Augustine, as well as the diary of Egeria. This was a great segue into a discussion about the place of liturgical catechesis in the catechumenate. I invited the participants to embrace the fact that the liturgy itself is a locus theologicus, a place where our beliefs are expressed. I asked them to trust the fact that the liturgy itself catechizes. Their role in initiation is to help catechumens and candidates reflect on the meaning of the rites. I used Pope Benedict's model for mystagogical catechesis found in his Sacramentum Caritatis. Folks, this is really great stuff. The people in the room got pretty excited about the fact that the new translation might just usher in a whole new way of looking at the way we do initiation catechesis.

The second presentation focused on the full, conscious, and active participation at Mass. There was a lot of good small group discussion. I urged the people to see the new translation as moment when we can renew this sense of participation at Mass.

It was a very energizing day for me. Thanks to all in the Diocese of Tucson for their hospitality and warmth.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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