Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Translation Thursday: A Look Back and a Heart Filled with Gratitude

"New Translation Thursday" greetings to you all.

I have something interesting coming up in a few weeks. I am leading the music for a retreat for Roman Catholic Army Chaplains. While I was putting the worship aid together, I needed to include a musical setting of the Mass parts. I chose Steve Janco's Mass of Wisdom, chiefly because of the fact that it is intuitive and just sings so well.

Then I thought to myself . . . what about the rest of the assembly's responses? You see, only one of the 70 priests in attendance will be the principal celebrant; the rest of the priests will be in the assembly. Wondering what it will be like for them on the other side of the altar? I am especially wondering about the "Lord I am not worthy . . ." Should be interesting.

As usual at the end of the year, I get nostalgic. I want to share with you what I wrote on this blog on the final "New Translation Thursday" a year ago, as 2010 came to a close:

I have spent a good part of 2010 crisscrossing this country of ours, talking to liturgists, clergy, catechists, musicians, and people in the pews about the new translation. I have been in places where I have felt like the sheep among the wolves. I have honestly expressed my own disappointments with regard to the way the process of this translation seemed to unravel in its last months. I have shared new and revised musical settings of the new translation and have watched many peoples' deep concerns transform into anticipation as they begin to "practice" the new and revised musical settings. I have advocated for the singing of the dialogues at Mass. I have urged bishops and priests to see the implementation of this new translation as an advent of a renewal in their own celebratory style at Mass. I have cautioned them that old approaches—like not even practicing the texts before Mass—will need to be jettisoned.
Here on the home front at WLP, I have watched a group of brilliantly talented composers, editors, designers, artists, music engravers, marketers, and customer service representatives serve the needs of the singing and praying Church. Good, solid, and beautiful musical settings have been composed that will address the various musical needs of the English-speaking world. First-class recordings of all these settings have been made. Hours have been spent researching appropriate art and photography for the covers of the various components of these Masses. Our customer service representatives have fielded countless calls from those we serve, fielding questions about the new translation and WLP's work to help the Church through the transition. Our marketing team has created ways to help make people aware of our new and revised Mass settings. Our rights and permissions manager has made sure that all notices are correct. Our editors have, at many times, agonized over all kinds of musical issues within these settings. We have all dealt with the frustrations associated with the last-minute changes to texts that had already received the recognitio—we have had to ask composers to re-compose parts of their Masses; we have had to go back into the recording studio several times to bring these recorded texts into conformity with the last minute changes.
As I look back at 2010, I am struck by what it really means when we say that our mission here at WLP is to serve the needs of the singing, praying, and initiating Church. It has certainly not been an easy year. Navigating a Catholic company like ours through these very challenging economic times has had its own challenges. It is our commitment to serving the Church that keeps us focused on the road ahead.
It is my hope that a year from now, the music that we have created here will be ringing in parishes across our country.

Well, folks, as 2011 comes to an end, I still feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to be working here at World Library Publications. This year was a dramatic one for me, as I transitioned into the Senior Management Team of the J. S. Paluch Company (WLP's parent). Even more dramatic were the many, many more trips to places throughout the United States to continue preparing people for the new translation. I guess it all came together for me at Midnight Mass last weekend when I was in an assembly which indeed did sing a WLP musical setting of the new translation, Steve Janco's Mass of Wisdom. As it rang out in that church, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride as I leaned over to my nephew seated next to me and said, "That's one of ours!"

So I end this year of blogging with a huge thank you to Jennifer, Michele, Mary Beth, Deb, Israel, Norma, Mary, Marcia, Mike, Denise, Tejal, Chris E, Chris B, Geovanni, Steve, Raquel, Lisa, Gina, Ellen, Jude, Kathy, Didi, Patty, Ed, Peter, Alma, Tom, Pedro, Alan, Christine, Ron, and Keith. You are simply the best people to work with and to lead. Your contribution to the work of the Church can never be measured.

Happy New Year.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray."


Jennifer said...

A team is only as good as its leader. Thank YOU, Jerry, for your leadership, inspiration, patience, and good humor, on your blog and in the office, throughout a very busy, sometimes challenging, often satisfying, completely interesting year!

Austin Fleming said...

I was on a directed, silent retreat with 40 other priests that began on the evening of the First Sunday of Advent, just hours after our first liturgies with the new translation. As will be the case for the chaplains' retreat, 39 of us had the experience each day of the retreat of sitting in the pews and taking those parts usually assigned for the assembly. It was a very helpful experience for me and gave me a pew's eye view of what's happening.