Monday, July 18, 2016

The Summer School Begins in Hamilton, Ontario

Monday greetings from Hamilton, Ontario. Let me start by saying that I just love being in Canada, and am so grateful for so many wonderful friends and colleagues here.

Last night we gathered for dinner and a warm welcome by Bishop Crosby, the ordinary here in the Hamilton diocese.

This summer school includes musicians, priests, and deacons, as well as those ministering in Christian initiation. After dinner, we gathered in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King for vespers. This cathedral is absolutely stunning.

We then moved into our main meeting space for my first keynote presentation focused on becoming the one Body of Christ.

After a festive evening with wonderful Canadian friends, old and new, it was time for bed. This morning we celebrated morning prayer and then I presented the first keynote of the day. The week takes as its morning focus paragraph four of the RCIA:

"The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. By joining the catechumens in reflection on the value of the paschal mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful will provide and example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously."

Each morning we will be focusing on different aspects of this paragraph. This morning I talked about "reflection on the value of the paschal mystery." Sometimes it is a struggle for Catholics to take a theological concept, as central as the paschal mystery is, and make the connections between the movements in our daily lives and this central mystery of our faith.

For the next several hours, the participants here are involved in skill sessions:
Advanced Organ
Other Singers
Initiation Ministers

Then I return to the scene and we spend a good long time focusing on the theology and practice of the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens.

Tonight we head to a nearby parish, St. Paul the Apostle in Burlington, Ontario, for a session and ritual that I am leading called "Rediscovering the Power and Potential of Baptism." Afterward, we celebrate Night Prayer, then we return to Hamilton.

The group of participants are excited to be here and I am so appreciative of the leaders of the Ontario Liturgical Conference for their vision in putting all of this together.

More as the week unfolds.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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