Wednesday greetings to all.
I am leaving for the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow. I will be presenting a keynote to about 450 teachers and staff members of the Catholic school system there. An afternoon workshop follows, during which we will look more deeply at the new translation and do some singing. One of the questions I am posing to these teachers is this:
If one of your Catholic school students asked you, “Mrs. Smith, when I went to church yesterday, it was really strange; the words were different. Why?” What would your response be?
I am very interested to hear the discussion that ensues.
On Saturday I will be meeting with another group of people in the diocese and our focus is, you guessed it, the new translation.
I wanted to share a conversation I had recently. I was speaking with a bishop in one of our dioceses here in the United States. He had just returned from World Youth Day in Madrid. After I introduced myself and told him that I was the associate publisher at WLP, he began to speak to me quite passionately about his experience in Madrid. He told me how very sad he became when he was at many of the large gatherings and the celebrations of Masses at which the English-speaking youth from around the world were gathered. He spoke about the fact that at many of these gatherings and Masses, all of the music was chanted by a choir in Latin. He said that many times he looked at the youth gathered there and saw looks of disinterest and boredom on their faces. He said that he felt strongly that this was such a missed opportunity. He said that the Mass celebrated by Cardinal George for the group from the United States was quite different; there was music in English and Spanish that the young people sang with vigor. It was the other large gatherings that he found to be so disappointing. He told me that, because of the music at these other Masses, the young people were not connected to the celebration. I urged him to speak to his fellow bishops about his experience.
I know this will open a can of worms. This was one bishop's opinion, which I felt needed to be shared here.
I will do my best to post over the next few days.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.