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Adoremus Bulletin For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy


News & Views

Adoremus Celebrates a Quarter Century By Joseph O’Brien


US Bishops Approve Hymn Translations for Liturgy of the Hours By Christine Rousselle Baltimore, MD (CNA)—The Latin rite bishops of the United States voted overwhelmingly at their November 2019 meeting to approve the International Commission on English in the Liturgy gray book translation of the hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours. The November 12 vote was 204 in favor, and five against. Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville tweeted that “the translation of the Latin hymnody in the editio typica of the Liturgy of the Hours is a tremendous contribution to the liturgical heritage. The theological insight and aesthetic of the Latin hymns will have an English voice into the future; a work of theological transmission.” Before the vote, the Fall General Assembly was treated to a demonstration in which the hymn translations were sung for the bishops. The choir, which was directed by [Adoremus contributor] Adam Bartlett of Denver, consisted of Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionaries who live in the Baltimore area, as well as music students from the Catholic University of America. The choir sang the opening verse of the hymns, and were then joined by the bishops. Before ICEL did this translation, the vast majority of the hymns that were printed in the English edition of the Liturgy of the Hours were not translations of those found in the editio typica. “What's unique about this translation is that the hymns of the Latin

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he post-conciliar era has scarcely been a period of undisturbed harmony and tranquility in regard to the way Catholics worship. On the contrary: it seems probable that the last thirty years have been the most liturgically troubled period since at least the era of the Reformation—now nearly half a millennium ago.” With these words, part of a frontpage analysis on the current state of the liturgy in the Church, Adoremus Bulletin officially launched into the deep and often troubled waters of liturgical reform. Since that time, Adoremus has, according to its founders, become a byword for liturgical wisdom among many Catholics in the pews, rectories, and seminaries across the Englishspeaking Catholic world. The first two eight-page issues of Adoremus were published in November 1995 and December 1995; today, Adoremus has expanded to a 12-page format and publishes every other month. Yet the heart of the publication’s mission, as reflected in its name (the Latin call to prayer: “Let us adore”), remains the same: to help bring Catholics to greater holiness through the liturgy. Adoremus was founded by three people—two priests and a laywoman: Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, who also founded Ignatius Press in 1976; Father Jerry Pokorsky, co-founder of CREDO, a society of priests committed to promoting a faithful translation of the liturgy; and writer, editor, and passionate Catholic activist, Helen Hull Hitchcock, founder of Women of Faith and Family (WFF). Together, they offered the faithful a periodical that would provide timely and truthful information and analysis on all aspects of the liturgy, seeking to show how the liturgical reform called for by the Second Vatican Council to the Church’s sacred body of communal prayer not only responds to contemporary needs but also finds its roots buried deep in tradition. The history of Adoremus Bulletin begins not with its first issue in November 1995, however, but in June 1995. At that time, Fathers Fessio and Pokorsky and Mrs. Hitchcock (as she preferred to be known) founded the Adoremus Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy which, as the masthead of the Bul-


Adoremus Bulletin JANUARY 2020

The first issue of Adoremus was published as an eight-page Bulletin in November 1995; today, Adoremus has expanded to a 12-page format and publishes every other month. Yet the heart of the publication’s mission, as reflected in its name (the Latin call to prayer: “Let us adore”), remains the same: to bring Catholics to greater holiness through the liturgy.

letin states, “was established…to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.” To help execute this mission, Adoremus Bulletin has served as the public face of the Society. Sadly, Mrs. Hitchcock died in 2014, but to mark her lasting contributions to the success of Adoremus, her name remains on the masthead as a member of Adoremus’s executive committee.

The other members of the committee, Fathers Fessio and Pokorsky, and long-time Adoremus contributor and research editor, Susan Benofy, recently spoke with Adoremus about how the paper came to be and how it flourished under Mrs. Hitchcock’s expert guidance as its editor. They also spoke about the significant progress in the Church regarding the liturgy over the last 25 years, and explained why Adoremus needs to continue to share the truth Please see ADOREMUS AT 25 on page 4

25 Years Young…. Adoremus Bulletin celebrates 25 years of liturgical renewal this year—and, as Joseph O’Brien reports, it all began in a conversation with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger............................ 1

Adoremus Goes to College As the Church strives to make the grade on campuses around the U.S., Patrick Callahan says, the liturgy has its own lessons to teach Catholics and non-Catholics alike......................................... 8

The Big Five-Oh Also celebrating a milestone is the post-conciliar Missal—and both an excerpt from Paul VI and Christopher Carstens’s editorial explain why it remains ever ancient, ever new............................. 3

True or False? To ring in the New Year, Adoremus is launching a new feature in its pages—a quiz on things liturgical, which will appear in each issue. (Answer: See page 5.)

When the Liturgy Stands Tall… …the Church renews herself and the world, says Father Daniel Cardó, who sees Benedict XVI’s liturgical diagnosis as a timely—and timeless— cure for what ails us all........................................... 6

News & Views ......................................................... 2 The Rite Questions...............................................10

2 Continued from HYMNS, page 1 typical edition are actually being translated, which didn’t happen the first time around,” said Bartlett. “So we have hymns from St. Ambrose, Gregory the Great…, all of the great hymn writers…that are being translated and also paired with chant tunes that come from our rich tradition. In addition, of course, to modern melodies that they can be sung with,” he added. He said these translations created “great utility” as they could be sung with different tunes. Bartlett said he found the updated hymns to be “absolutely gorgeous” and “so rich with theological imagery.” He thinks that these hymns are going to “make a really remarkable contribution to the musical life of the Church.” “These are our hymns as Catholics,” he said. “These are the ones that come from the liturgy itself, and are put in the place where they ought to be sung, which is the Liturgy of the Hours. But I think that’s probably going to have an impact on the hymns that we sing at Mass as well.”

Detroit Priest Sued Over Homily at Suicide Victim’s Funeral By Jonah McKeown Detroit, MI (CNA)—A priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit is facing a lawsuit filed by the parents of a teenager who committed suicide last year. The parents say Father Don LaCuesta’s homily at their son’s funeral Mass—during which the priest said multiple times that their son died by suicide, and urged prayers for his soul—caused them “irreparable harm and pain.” Eighteen-year-old Maison Hullibarger committed suicide December 4, 2018. On Dec. 8, 2018, LaCuesta celebrated Hullibarger’s funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Temperance, MI. Maison’s parents, Jeff and Linda Hullibarger, filed a lawsuit against LaCuesta, as well as against the Archdiocese of Detroit and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, seeking $25,000 in damages. In his homily, which the archdiocese released in full, the priest said that suicide is an act against God’s will, but he also emphasized the mercy of God in the face of suicide. “Because we are Christians, we must say what we know is the truth—that taking your own life is against God who made us and against everyone who loves us,” the priest’s homily text said. “Our lives are not our own. They are not ours to do with as we please. God gave us life, and we are to be good stewards of that gift for as long as God permits.” The homily continued: “On most people’s mind, however, especially [those] of us who call ourselves Christians, on our minds as we sit in this place is: Can God forgive and heal this? Yes, God CAN forgive even the taking of one’s own life. In fact, God awaits us with his mercy, with ever open arms.” “God wants nothing but our salvation but will never force himself on us, he will not save us without us. That’s how much he loves us. Because of the all-embracing sacrifice of Christ on the cross, God can have mercy on any sin. Yes, because of his mercy, God can forgive suicide and heal what has been broken.” According to the lawsuit, the Hullibargers met with LaCuesta before the funeral Mass to discuss the service. The couple says they told him that they wanted the funeral to be a celebration of their son’s life and his kindness, and that they did not tell the priest, or the general public, that their son had committed suicide. Maison’s father, Jeff, says he approached the pulpit during the homily and asked LaCuesta to “please stop” talking about suicide, according to the lawsuit, but LaCuesta continued his homily. Msgr. Robert Dempsey, a pastor in Lake Forest, IL and visiting professor of liturgical law at the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary, told CNA that determining the content of the homily for a funeral Mass is the sole responsibility of the homilist, who must always be a bishop, priest, or deacon. “Although the homilist is solely responsible for the content of his homily, he is obliged to follow the liturgical norms,” Dempsey told CNA in an email. The Order of Christian Funerals, the Church’s liturgical norms for funerals, states that the homilist at a funeral Mass ought to be “attentive to the grief of those present.” “The homilist should dwell on God’s compassionate love and on the paschal mystery of the Lord, as proclaimed in the Scripture readings. The homilist should also help the members of the assembly to understand that the mystery of God’s love and the mystery of Jesus’ victorious death and resurrection were present in the life

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020


and death of the deceased and that those mysteries are active in their own lives as well,” the General Introduction to the norms reads. Dempsey pointed out that the celebrant, “whenever possible...should involve the family in planning the funeral rites” (Order of Christian Funerals, 17), but the content of the homily is ultimately his responsibility, he said. “Reasonable requests from a family for privacy and sensitivity should be honored; requests that are contrary to the Church’s belief or liturgical discipline should not,” Dempsey said, adding that “no one has a right to hear only those aspects of God’s word they agree with or to receive the sacraments according to their own preference or understanding.” However, Dempsey said that compassion is important for a preacher. “In the [Detroit] case, a modicum of common sense and human compassion could have avoided a multitude of woes for all concerned. Weddings are not the appropriate time to preach on the immorality of the contraceptive pill; funerals are not a suitable occasion for preaching about the objective immorality of suicide or uncertainty about final perseverance,” Dempsey said. The Order of Christian Funerals reads in paragraph 16: “In planning and carrying out the funeral rites the pastor and all other ministers should keep in mind the life of the deceased and the circumstances of death.” “They should also take into consideration the spiritual and psychological needs of the family and friends of the deceased to express grief and their sense of loss, to accept the reality of death, and to comfort one another.” Dempsey emphasized that the Church’s norms direct the priest to confer with the family in planning a funeral Mass, and “gives specific indications about the nature of the homily to be preached.” “Moreover, natural justice and pastoral charity suggest that the priest should respect the family’s wishes for confidentiality about specific facts regarding the deceased’s life and manner [of] death. In cases of suicide, overdose, addiction, the less said the better—even if the family doesn’t specifically request confidentiality,” Dempsey said. Father Pius Pietrzyk, OP, chair of pastoral studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA, told CNA that in his view, the immorality of suicide is not preached about enough at funeral Masses. “I tend to be one who thinks, contrary to the current of public thought, that we don’t preach enough about the immorality of suicide,” he told CNA. “It is not merciful to tell someone that it’s okay to commit suicide. It’s never merciful to do that. And yet, I think we indirectly do that when we don’t preach strong enough, we don’t make clear enough, the grave immorality of suicide, and the culpability that can be associated with it.” Father Pietrzyk acknowledged the complicating factor that the manner of the young man’s death was, according to the couple, not widely known before the funeral. “If this were not widely known in the community, and the couple wanted to keep the details of this less public, I do think a priest should respect that,” he said.” But if this was widely known in the community that he committed suicide, I think the priest has a moral obligation to touch on the subject. So it just depends on the circumstances of how widely known it was.” The family of a deceased person has no strict civil or canonical rights to compel a priest to preach on a certain topic or not to preach on others, he stressed. “One doesn’t preach the truth that the family gives; one preaches the truth of the Church,” he said. “That can involve taking into account the desires and wishes of the family, but it always requires taking on, first and foremost, the mind of Christ and the teachings of the Church.” Father Pietrzyk said he observes many priests, and even some bishops, fostering a sense of the laity having the right to “control” the liturgy, especially in the context

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Adoremus Bulletin (ISSN 1088-8233) is published six times a year by Adoremus— Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Adoremus is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation of the State of California. Nonprofit periodicals postage paid at various US mailing offices. Change service requested. Adoremus—Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy was established in June 1995 to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Adoremus Bulletin is sent on request to members of Adoremus. Suggested donation: $40 per year, US; $45 foreign.

of wedding and funeral Masses. But, he said, the Mass does not belong to “the people,” but to the Church. “It’s the Church’s expression of prayer and grief for the couple,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that one ignores the family..., one should listen to them attentively. But the wishes of the family cannot supersede the mind of the Church with regards to these matters.” The Archdiocese of Detroit released a statement on the matter Dec. 17, 2018. “Our hope is always to bring comfort to situations of great pain, through funeral services centered on the love and healing power of Christ. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. We understand that an unbearable situation was made even more difficult, and we are sorry,” the statement read. “We...know the family was hurt further by Father’s choice to share Church teaching on suicide, when the emphasis should have been placed more on God’s closeness to those who mourn.” The archdiocese also announced that for the “foreseeable future,” LaCuesta will not be preaching at funerals and he will have all other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor. In addition, the archdiocese said, he has agreed to “pursue the assistance he needs in order to become a more effective minister in these difficult situations.” Father LaCuesta declined to comment to CNA on the ongoing case, referring questions to the archdiocese.

Holy See validates new French translation of Roman Missal A new French translation of the Roman Missal has been approved by the Vatican. According to a November 6 report by La Croix International, a French language Catholic newspaper, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, signed the confirmation decree approving the new translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal in early November. In an interview with La Croix, Bishop Guy de Kermimel of Grenoble-Vienna, president of the Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and Sacramental Pastor Care, explained that the approval “completes a work that began in 2002, in response to the Liturgiam Authenticam, instruction ‘for the right implementation on the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.’ This text, published in 2001 at the request of John Paul II, called for greater accuracy in Latin translation…. There were many round trips to Rome, then came Pope Francis’s ‘motu proprio’ Magnum principium in 2017, which gave back a flexibility to the translation, according to a triple fidelity: fidelity to the Latin text, fidelity to the language of translation and fidelity to the understanding of the faithful.” Bishop de Kereminmel noted there were a few significant changes to the missal. “For the faithful,” he said, quoted by La Croix, the new Missal “changes little. For example, in the Creed, the ‘of the same nature’ is replaced by ‘consubstantial.’ In the anamnesis, ‘We proclaim your death, we announce your resurrection’ becomes ‘We proclaim your death, we proclaim your resurrection.’” As reported by La Croix, Bishop de Kermimel said that the new missal “should be able to be implemented for Advent 2020 and become definitive in the parishes of France from May 24, 2021, the memorial of ‘Mary, Mother of the Church.’” In his interview with La Croix, the bishop said the new translation will help the faithful to better encounter Christ in the liturgy. “This change will be beneficial if it helps us to better understand what we are saying,” he said, “if it allows us to rediscover the meaning of the Eucharistic liturgy, while being aware that it will always be difficult to articulate the mystery of God with our words.”

EDITOR - PUBLISHER: Christopher Carstens MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph O’Brien CONTENT MANAGER: Jeremy Priest GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Danelle Bjornson OFFICE MANAGER: Elizabeth Gallagher PHONE: 608.521.0385 WEBSITE: MEMBERSHIP REQUESTS & CHANGE OF ADDRESS: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR P.O. Box 385 La Crosse, WI 54602-0385

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky = Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ

Contents copyright © 2020 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020

Silver and Gold By Christopher Carstens, Editor



uch water has passed under the liturgical bridge over the last 50 years. Some currents, I suspect, find their source in the heart of Christ. Other trends, perhaps, don’t carry the volume of grace as fully as our Pontifex would wish. But such mixed blessings are not the unique possession of today’s Missal, now 50 years old, but are also the domain of any and every chapter of the Church’s liturgical books. This most recent installment of the Church’s much longer liturgical story began with Sacrosanctum Concilium on December 4, 1963. After promulgating this first of the Council’s 16 documents, the Latin Church’s liturgical books were reformed and revised until, at last, parts of the Missal were ready for use on November 30, 1969. The six years between 1963 and 1969 were hardly a calm sea upon which the Barque of Peter would revise her liturgy. In looking back at that span of time, Pope Benedict XVI invoked St. Basil the Great and his comparison of life in the post-Nicaean Church of the 4th century: “he compares her situation to a naval battle in the darkness of the storm, saying among other things: ‘The raucous shouting of those who through disagreement rise up against one another, the incomprehensible chatter, the confused din of uninterrupted clamoring, has now filled almost the whole of the Church, falsifying through excess or failure the right doctrine of the faith…’” (December 22, 2005 address to the Roman Curia). During the years leading up to the new Missal, difficult sailing was the order of the day. For example, during this time the secular culture endured the height of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, student riots in Europe and America, shootings at Kent State University, and the street brawl between police and protesters occurring outside the Chicago Democratic Convention. In the Church, the period is most remembered for Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, on the natural regulation of birth. The Missal emerged from truly troubling times. Since then, the first complete and approved Englishlanguage edition was published in July 1974—only to be followed by the promulgation of the second Latin edition of the Novus Ordo Missal the following year, in March 1975. Other liturgical books for the remaining sacraments and sacramentals also began to be used. Pope John Paul II, who had been a Council Father, became the third of 1978’s three popes, and over the course of his 27-year papacy steered the Church toward greater ecclesial and liturgical stability, authentic ritual reform, and ongoing renewal. But even here, liturgy wars and translation battles were pitched and frequent. Assisting Pope John Paul as aide de camp was his trusted prefect for the Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. As Pope Benedict XVI, Ratzinger encouraged the Church to view the post-Conciliar years—including her liturgy—with the long view of tradition. Only when seen in the context of the Church’s longer life and history could the liturgy be understood after the mind of the Council and according to its authentic spirit. His 2001 book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, remains essential reading for any who wish to understand the liturgy after the mind of the Church—yesterday and today. To further cement the sense of tradition among the faithful regarding the liturgy, in 2007, Benedict issued his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which declared that

Pope Benedict XVI invoked St. Basil’s image of a pitched and raucous naval battle when describing the post-conciliar years. Paul VI’s Roman Missal was born, in part, of these troubled seas. Still, Peter’s Barque, with Christ as its captain, continues to re-order the dis-ordered world through today’s Missal. Will it calm the troubled waters of Church and world in the future?

the Missal of 1962 was free to be celebrated by every priest in the world. By encouraging through this document a more regular use of the usus antiquior, Benedict XVI hoped that the post-conciliar Missal might learn a few things from her older sister, especially the Mass of 1962’s sacrality, which had been too often lacking in the reformed rites. But perhaps Benedict’s most important achievement in the liturgy during his pontificate was the new translation of the Mass of Paul VI. The Third Edition of the Roman Missal in English, promulgated in 2011, was guided in its translation by the mature and authentic principles of the Vatican’s instruction on translation, Liturgiam Authenticam. The post-conciliar liturgical narrative took another turn under Pope Francis, whose motu proprio Magnum Principium returned the onus of approving liturgical texts to the local body of bishops. This same trend of Roman decentralization appears to be the case in other matters, too, as the recently-completed Amazon Synod and its deference to local cultural features suggests. In short, the liturgical script over the past 50 years has proceeded with remarkable twists and turns, included Popes of differing liturgical perspectives, and presented liturgical celebrations that adhered with varying degrees of fidelity to the Council. Yet, despite the good, the bad, and the ugly in the liturgical life since 1969, the Church’s books, at least, appear to have achieved a certain stability. In addition to the Missal’s anniversary, Adoremus is also marking a milestone of its own. Adoremus Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, celebrating its silver anniversary this year, was founded a quarter of a century ago in June 1995 by Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio,

founder and editor of Ignatius Press, Father Jerry Pokorsky, a priest and pastor serving in the Diocese of Arlington, VA, and the late Helen Hull Hitchcock, a writer and editor (inter alia) of tremendous talent. It has played its own small part in fostering authentic liturgical renewal— and plans to continue doing so for years to come. Enjoy Joseph O’Brien’s story on the first 25 years of Adoremus, a story that in many ways is yours, too. What will the next 50 years of praying the Missal of Paul VI bring? Will it be marked with more tumultuous times—“incomprehensible chatter, the confused din of uninterrupted clamoring”? Or will it flower and grow as Pope John Paul II hoped it would: “The seed was sown; it has known the rigors of winter, but the seed has sprouted, and become a tree. It is a matter of the organic growth of a tree becoming ever stronger the deeper it sinks its roots into the soil of tradition” (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 23). If the Missal of Paul VI is to flourish and grow, it will not do so on its own, any more than an uncultivated plant reaches perfection—or a ship reaches its port— without the help of many hands—and God’s grace. Indeed, only by God’s design and the faithful, joyful, and tireless work of the Church and her members will the Roman Missal lead us to holiness and, in the end, God himself. Thanks be to God for the good fruits of the Second Vatican Council found in today’s Roman Missal, now 50 years old! And thanks, too, for all those in the Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, who have made Adoremus a success over these last 25 years. May Christ the Great Bridge-builder be pleased with our labors, and nourish our work for years to come.

50 Years Ago: On Welcoming with Joy and Partaking with One Heart in the New Liturgical Order By Pope Paul VI Address to a Wednesday General Audience, November 19, 1969


eloved Sons and Daughters! We wish to draw your attention to an event that is about to take place in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, something that will be required in the dioceses of Italy beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, which this year [1969] falls on November 30: that is, the introduction into the Liturgy of the new rite of the Mass. The Mass will be celebrated in a form somewhat different from that to which we have been accustomed since the time of the Council of Trent and St. Pius V, four centuries ago. The change is somewhat surprising, extraordinary, since the Mass is regarded as a traditional and untouchable expression of our religious worship and of the authenticity of our faith. We may ask ourselves: How could such a change ever come about? And what is the nature of the change? What consequences will it have for

those who assist at Holy Mass? The answers to these and other questions stirred up by such a singular novelty will be shared and widely repeated in all the churches, all the religious publications, and all the schools in which Christian doctrine is taught. We exhort you to pay close attention, seeking to reach a greater clarity and depth in understanding the stupendous and mysterious reality of the Mass. In the meantime, with this brief and elementary discourse we will seek to resolve the initial, spontaneous difficulties that are prompted in your minds by such a change, in relation to three questions that it has caused to arise in our spirits. Why a change in the rite of the Mass? Whatever can be the reason for such a change? Response: It is the express will of the Ecumenical Council just celebrated. In the words of the Council: “The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more Continued from 50 YEARS AGO on page 11


Father Pokorsky’s work with CREDO and his experience in business and finances prior to being ordained a priest, along with Helen Hull Hitchcock’s talent as a writer and editor, provided Adoremus with its financial and editorial backbone. Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, the third of Adoremus’s founders, noted with a laugh, “You could say I was the pioneer and Father Pokorsky and Helen were the settlers!”

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020 inger, whom the Jesuit would visit once a year in Rome. “It really crystalized for me during the time that Cardinal Ratzinger was writing his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, from 1990 to 1999,” he said. During one of his visits with the cardinal, Father Fessio said, “I asked him what he was doing and he mentioned this book. Of course, it piqued my interest in what he was going to say in the book because he was a prelate with such a strong interest in the liturgy.” After returning home and being further inspired by a presentation on the reform of the liturgy given at a conference in Colorado Springs, CO, by Father Brian Harrison, O.S.—the same presentation which would become in edited form the page-one article of Adoremus’s first issue—Father Fessio wrote a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger, dated April 19, 1995, “to ask your counsel on something which has been developing in my own mind for the past two or three years. Generally, it has to do with the reform of the Roman Liturgy, and more precisely with a ‘reform of the reform.’” The Jesuit related to the cardinal how he had received “letters and phone calls from people who are distraught with the liturgies they are subjected to in their parishes,” but, he adds, they “are not just complaining about the state of the liturgy, but are asking what, if anything, can be done for the sake of future generations in the Church.” In the same letter, he sketched out an idea for a liturgical journal of sorts which eventually emerged as the Adoremus Bulletin. “One thought that occurred to me,” Father Fessio

rience in business and finances prior to being ordained a priest—and Mrs. Hitchcock’s talent as a writer and editor provided Adoremus with its financial and editorial backbone. Both also had experience in liturgical matters. “CREDO was a society of priests dedicated to the faithful translation of the liturgy,” Father Pokorsky said. “At the time, I coordinated the organization. We had over 2,000 priest members, and we advocated accurate liturgical translations and the recovery of the sacral vocabulary of the Mass.”

“When Helen knew that Liturgiam Authenticam was due to be posted one night on the Vatican website, she stayed up checking the site until it was posted.” Likewise, he said, Mrs. Hitchcock founded WFF to “promote the authentic view of women in the Church and the culture. She was a fierce opponent of feminism and saw the ideological threat posed by so-called ‘inclusive language’ in the liturgy.” Helen Hull Hitchcock According to Benofy, Helen did not contribute only as an editor and writer; she wanted to use the Adoremus Society and its Bulletin as a way for the faithful to voice

Troubled Waters It is perhaps no accident that Adoremus first began publishing in the month and year that the Novus Ordo was itself celebrating 25 years as the liturgy most familiar to the Western Church. Adoremus was founded to promote authentic Catholic liturgy—and its contributors found their work cut out for them in the problems associated with the new Mass. Promulgated on November 30, 1969, the Mass of Paul VI had begun to stumble almost from the moment it came out of the gate. By 1995, that shaky start had become a crisis for many Catholics who, knowing the liturgy had better to offer than what they were witnessing in their own parishes, were searching for answers to many of the questions they had about the Church’s liturgy, and especially the greatest part of the liturgy, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As this writer had reported in a December 1 story about the 50th anniversary of the new Mass for the National Catholic Register, according to Monsignor Gerard O’Connor, director of the Office for Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Portland, OR, and the author of The Archdiocesan Liturgical Handbook for Portland, the new Mass was received with mixed reviews: “There were two sides to this story,” said Monsignor O’Connor in the Register story, regarding how the Mass was received among the faithful. “One side would say, ‘It was great.’” The other side was left confused, Msgr. O’Connor added, noting, “To a certain extent, what we did, dropping the Latin, turning the priest to face the people and using table altars instead of high altars, we certainly did look more Protestant than ever before, and that became a problem for some people.” And it was a problem that Fathers Fessio and Pokorsky and Mrs. Hitchcock (with the support of her husband, renowned Catholic writer and historian, James Hitchcock) sought to remedy. The inaugural November 1995 issue included a Q&A on the Society’s (and the Bulletin’s) purpose and goals, which quoted Pope Benedict XVI (at the time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) from his 1981 book Feast of Faith to explain its goals: “Christian liturgy is cosmic liturgy, as Saint Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians,” Ratzinger writes. “It must never renounce this dignity, however attractive it may seem to work with small groups and construct homemade liturgies. What is exciting about Christian liturgy is that it lifts us up out of our narrow sphere and lets us share in the truth. The aim of all liturgical renewal must be to bring to light this liberating greatness.” With Cardinal Ratzinger’s words serving as a guidepost to the strange land of liturgy run amuck, Adoremus sought to press the issue by helping the faithful see just how exciting the liturgy—as the Church intended it— could be. Founded in Faith According to Father Fessio, the idea for Adoremus took shape after a conversation he had with Cardinal Ratz-


Continued from ADOREMUS AT 25, page 1 who is Jesus Christ especially as he is encountered in the liturgy.

Adoremus’s founding was inspired directly by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as well as his liturgical writings. Explaining its mission “to rediscover and restore the beauty, the holiness, and the power of the Church’s rich liturgical tradition while remaining faithful to an organic, living process of renewal,” Adoremus invokes Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1981 book Feast of Faith: “What is exciting about Christian liturgy is that it lifts us up out of our narrow sphere and lets us share in the truth. The aim of all liturgical renewal must be to bring to light this liberating greatness.”

writes, “was that Ignatius Press might begin publishing a journal of liturgical renewal—not directed specifically at experts, but for all interested Catholics, without excluding specialists.” More generally, Father Fessio sought Cardinal Ratzinger’s advice in his letter on whether it was appropriate to begin “a new liturgical movement,” but he was particularly interested in the cardinal’s opinion about a new publication dedicated to liturgical renewal. He was encouraged by its prospects, in part, because John Paul II had recently promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in 1992. “Now that the Catechism is here, and with that as a base, I wonder if I should make a commitment of my own time and energy…towards promoting genuine liturgical renewal.” According to Father Fessio, Cardinal Ratzinger’s response was both positive and encouraging. Cardinal Ratzinger “wrote back a letter within a month,” Father Fessio told Adoremus, “and he said, basically, ‘Yes, I agree we need that kind of movement… and I think the time is ripe for the kind of journal you are describing.” But if Father Fessio brought the idea for the project to the fore, he said that Father Pokorsky and Mrs. Hitchcock brought invaluable experience to make the project a success. “You could say I was the pioneer and Father Pokorsky and Helen were the settlers!” he noted with a laugh. Father Pokorsky’s work with CREDO—and his expe-

their concerns about the liturgy to their bishops. “Helen was well aware that, although much could be done to encourage better celebrations by publications like Adoremus, any official revisions in the liturgical books depended on the Bishops’ Conference,” Benofy said. “So, in addition to publishing the Bulletin, [the Adoremus Society] supplied as much background information as possible on proposed innovations in the liturgy, translation, etc. to bishops who were trying to improve the proposed translation and adaptations. Helen called this ‘Holding up the arms of Moses.’” According to Father Pokorsky, Mrs. Hitchcock also wanted the Adoremus Society to be a force for good among priests. “Helen had an admirable and sincere respect for the priesthood,” he told Adoremus. “She also had a mature Catholic understanding of the distinction between the priests and laity. Helen truly wanted priests to understand their dignity as servants of the liturgy and mediators in Christ. But she would not be intimidated by the clericalism that presumed to violate liturgical norms for various purposes.” Mrs. Hitchcock was well situated as Adoremus’s editor because of her talents and her passion for pursuing the truth and seeking to share it with others, said Father Fessio, adding that her base of operations was a sight to see. The Hitchcocks “have a nice four-story house in St. Louis,” he said, “but in the basement, Helen and Jim


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020 had the most complete system of records on anyone of any importance in the U.S.” In her role as an activist in Catholic ecclesial politics, Father Fessio added, “she had documents, letters, articles, essays, reports on bishops and priests, and lay movements, and she was the repository of the most complete intelligence on the Church in the U.S. of anyone, I believe, in the whole country.” “She did a yeoman ’s job in helping bishops who had questions, putting people in contact with each other, and being aware of things,” he added. “There wasn’t anything that happened that she didn’t know about.” As editor and a writer for Adoremus, Father Pokorsky said, Mrs. Hitchcock produced news and analysis that was as impeccable as it was indisputable. “If Helen wrote or reviewed it, fairness and accuracy were guaranteed,” he said. “She was uncommonly formidable, and I cannot remember a single instance where anybody challenged her facts.” But even the greatest editors can make a slip of the blue pencil every now and then, Father Pokorsky added. “I can think of only one mistake that got through under the radar,” he said. “But it wasn’t Helen’s fault. In email correspondence, she playfully identified the architect of a rather prominent Soviet-style, costly, church-related structure as ‘Hugh Cheatim Hall.’ (‘You cheated them all.’ Get it?) The typist didn’t recognize the joke, and we published the issue with the picture of the building with a humorous ID of the edifice. Helen (like all of us) thought the mistake was hilarious. But we received no complaints.” Politics of Translation If there was one central concern that Mrs. Hitchcock had while helming Adoremus, it was the question of an accurate and sacral translation of the liturgy into English. This concern began long before her involvement with Adoremus, though, said Father Pokorsky, noting that she served as editor of The Politics of Prayer (Ignatius Press, 1993), “a compendium of essays by various authors, describing the theological distortions inherent in imposing the feminist language on the sacred liturgy. It remains an essential historical record of the terms of the debate.” But with Mrs. Hitchcock and her army of contributors itching for a fight, it wasn’t long before Adoremus entered the fray. For, while Adoremus sought to bring clarity to all aspects of the liturgy in the years after its founding, among the many challenges that the liturgy faced during those early years, Father Pokorsky told Adoremus, the “translation wars”—the struggle to produce an accurate and sacred English translation of the Mass—proved one of the most formidable. “In the 1990s, we fought for an accurate translation more or less expecting to fail,” he said. “But we—or at least I—wanted to say to future generations, that at least we tried.” According to Benofy, Mrs. Hitchcock worked tirelessly on the frontlines of that battle and she was among the first journalists in the U.S. to spread the word when the Vatican issued the 2001 document that many hoped would—and in fact did—resolve many of the issues surrounding the translation of the liturgy—the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam (“On the Use of Vernacular Languages in the

Editor's note: we're introducing a new feature in this issue, a Readers’ Quiz, to test your own knowledge and, we hope, supplement your own understanding of some aspect of the liturgy. In this, our first Quiz, we’ll test your general knowledge of the post-conciliar Missal in its 50th year of use. Answers to this quiz are printed on the bottom of page 11. Good luck!

Publication of the Books of the Roman Liturgy”). “When Helen knew that Liturgiam Authenticam was due to be posted one night on the Vatican website, she stayed up checking the site until it was posted,” Benofy recalled. “Then she read the whole document and immediately wrote a commentary and posted it on the Adoremus website. She wanted a positive reaction to be available as soon as possible. And it was, as I recall, about the earliest commentary available.”

“Adoremus’s part in ensuring proper translations of the liturgy shows that the publication has more than justified its existence.” Less than three months after the instruction’s promulgation, on June 15, 2001, Adoremus ran an article on its website featuring responses from Catholic and secular news sources to Liturgiam Authenticam, prefaced by an unsigned editorial that Mrs. Hitchcock no doubt had a hand in crafting: “Initial responses to the Holy See’s strong statement on liturgical translation were varied and revealing. Although Liturgiam Authenticam has been called a ‘victory for conservatives,’ this is not a political struggle for control (‘conservative’ Vatican vs. ‘liberal’ Bishops) as some insistently portray it. The comments that follow, gleaned from both secular and Catholic press accounts, though their viewpoints are diverse, reveal surprising agreement on the key importance of translation in the transmission of thought, of ideas. Lex orandi, lex credendi.” “The dispute over translation is about ideas in this case,” the editorial continues, “the core teachings of the Catholic Church. Liturgiam Authenticam makes it clear that Scriptural and liturgical translations affect the very heart of the Catholic faith itself; and that the words used to express that faith matter deeply. What underlies the conflict over liturgical translation is, finally, authentic vs. inauthentic belief.” According to Father Pokorsky, the instruction had a direct bearing on the 2010 revised translation of the Mass in English. “In the early 1990s, liturgical authorities planned for the release of a new translation by 1995,” he said. “But the translation wars resulted in a 15-year delay. So the new English translation of the Latin typical edition (by a reformed ICEL) was promulgated in 2010. For the most part, the new translation was free from most of the ideological accretions the old ICEL proposed in the 1990s.” While the victory ultimately belonged to God and his Church as a whole, Father Pokorsky sees that Adoremus’s part in ensuring proper translations of the liturgy shows that the publication has more than justified its existence. “I’m pleasantly surprised we effectively won the translation wars,” he said. “The victory means that a few thoughtful, orthodox, and organized Catholics can be very effective in making positive contributions to the Church today.”

Roman Missal Quiz


The Roman Missal (in general) 1. Which 20th century pope was the first to mention a revision of the Roman Missal? a. Pius X (1903-1914). b. Benedict XV (1914-1922). c. Pius XII (1939-1958). d. John XXIII (1958-1963). 2. What is the difference between a Missal and a Sacramentary? 3. True or False: The Missal of St. Paul VI downplays the sacrificial nature of the Mass. 4. Which liturgical minister is presumed in the first post-conciliar Missal (1969), but no longer present in today’s third edition (2002)? 5. What was “the aim to be considered before all else” in the reform of the Missal?

6. Which Missal—the Tridentine or the Novus Ordo—was compiled by a special group of experts? 7. Parts of the first Latin edition of the Missale Romanum of St. Paul VI were available to use on November 30, 1969. When was the first Englishlanguage Sacramentary available for use? 8. True or False: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal describes the new Missal’s break with the Tridentine Missal and the larger tradition.

The Mission Continues After Mrs. Hitchcock’s death in 2014, Adoremus’s executive committee tapped Christopher Carstens to take over the work begun 25 years ago. According to Father Pokorsky, the new blood at Adoremus is upholding the legacy that Mrs. Hitchcock left upon her death. “Chris Carstens, the new editor, is doing a great job in keeping the body and soul of Adoremus together,” he said. “I particularly appreciate his ability to identify new young writers and expanding competent and orthodox interest in the liturgy.” Today, the challenges facing the liturgy may be of a different sort, but Adoremus’s overall mission contributes to addressing those challenges, said Benofy. “In essence, the needs are still the same: a reverent and beautiful liturgy,” she said. “Also proper liturgical catechesis so the people understand the purpose of the liturgy and why reverence and beauty are necessary.“ For a quarter of a century, Adoremus has been providing thoughtful and faithful reflection on the liturgy, and Father Fessio said there has been much progress in bringing about the restoration of the liturgy which the publication was founded to help achieve.

“A few thoughtful, orthodox, and organized Catholics can be very effective in making positive contributions to the Church today.” “In the last 25 years, there have been a lot of positive steps and improvement in the liturgy,” he said. “One reason for that is the ebullience for change—here, there, and everywhere—has died down. We also have a whole new generation of priests who are John Paul II and Benedict XVI priests, and—especially in the last 10 to 20 years—a large number are well versed in liturgy. We have bishops who are more liturgically oriented as well.” The liturgy seems in much better shape today, Father Pokorsky acknowledged; yet, it is paramount that the faithful continue to learn about—and learn to love—the liturgy. “There is a continuing need to rediscover the ‘spirit of the liturgy’ in every generation,” he said. “There is much work to be done, especially in the formation of seminarians who sometimes find it difficult to appreciate what a ‘normal’ liturgy means.” “The laity also needs encouragement to ‘pray always and never lose heart,’” he added. “The Mass is the source and summit of our existence, for experts and non-experts alike.” As for the original mission of Adoremus, begun with that first issue of November 1995, Father Fessio said, it hasn’t changed one iota from then to now. “Until we really achieve what the Second Vatican Council intended,” Father Fessio said, “and we have a liturgy that is contemporary and sacred, rooted in tradition and fulfilling the fundamental desires of the Council, Adoremus Bulletin needs to continually work toward that end.”

9. Which of the following lines is NOT from the post-conciliar Missal? a. “ No Catholic would now deny a sacred rite celebrated in Latin to be legitimate and efficacious.” b. “ The liturgical norms of the Council of Trent have certainly been completed and perfected in many particulars by those of the Second Vatican Council.” c. “ Pastors of souls should take liberties to adapt the ritual wherever necessary to the sensibilities of participants.”

d. “ The nature of the ministerial Priesthood proper to the Bishop and the Priest, who offer the Sacrifice in the person of Christ and who preside over the gathering of the holy people, shines forth in the form of the rite itself, on account of the more prominent place and function given to the Priest.”

10. Which council does the General Instruction of the Roman Missal cite when directing that “at each Mass the faithful present should communicate not only by spiritual desire but also by sacramental reception of the Eucharist”? a. Council of Nicaea (325) b. Council of Trent (1545-1563) c. Council of Pistoia (1786) d. Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)

See answers at the bottom of page 11.


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020

“The Church Stands or Falls with the Liturgy”: Benedict XVI’s Vision for Church Renewal

By Father Daniel Cardó Editor’s Note: This article is based on Father Daniel CardÓ’s first address as the Benedict XVI Chair for Liturgical Studies at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, which he delivered on September 5, 2019.

Time and Place for God The key point here is the priority of God and, therefore, the problem of faith. Believers, and the world, need a real encounter with God. And that happens, or it is meant to happen, first and foremost, in the sacred liturgy, which as the Council teaches us, is the source and summit of our life and mission (Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) 10), the one action not surpassed in efficacy by any other action (SC 9), no matter how pressing or popular. If we do not encounter God in the liturgy because of an improper celebration that becomes an obstacle for the faith of believers, then the Church falls. And notice that improper could mean the extremes of casual and irreverent celebrations, as well as the merely aesthetic concern for gestures or fabrics. The proper celebration of the liturgy must make God transparent to everyone. And this divine transparency comes from faith. And faith comes from this divine transparency. In the few occasions when the Pope Emeritus has said something from his retirement, he has come back to this idea: faith is at the root of everything. He offered recently a lucid analysis on the sex abuse crisis in which he wondered how these things could have happened, particularly the abuse of minors. “Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God…. Only where faith no longer determines the actions of man are such offenses possible.”3 The amount of criticism he received for his “naive” reflection was both surprising and predictable. On another occasion, he spoke again saying that the critiques of his analysis only confirm his point: long essays in opposition to his reflections and offering other causes for the crisis revealed yet again the main problem, the absence of God, whose name or whose scriptures were simply absent in the theological writings of his critics.4 God himself is the priority, now more than ever. A renewal of faith is the main urgency for the Church. Of



t is difficult to be indifferent to the ecclesial crisis we have been experiencing in recent times. Pain, confusion, questions, and insecurities have been strongly present in different but real ways in all of us. Yes, the Church is, as Ratzinger said, “a company always in reform,” in the sense that there is always need for deeper purification; but the specific crisis we have been experiencing indicates a more complicated reality. And so here we are: facing complex problems, criticized more than ever by the media and academia and even ourselves, with many unanswered questions. But we are here: we want something good, something different—we want to follow Christ, and hope for a new springtime in the Church. In this context, I want to propose a reflection on the centrality of the sacred liturgy for the renewal of the Church. I do this fully aware that for many people, many good people, this might sound like a case of being obsessed with rearranging the furniture when your house is on fire. Should we spend our time and energies talking about liturgy when there are so many urgencies, so many problems to fix, decisions to make, changes to implement? Isn’t “good liturgy” a luxury, something that might be nice once the real work has been done, something that will come out of the hard labor we have to do now? Who would expect that the care of the liturgy would be the first priority among the pressing works of a chancery, a parish, or a seminary? Benedict XVI has a different view. Almost two years ago, writing a preface for the Russian translation of his Collected Works on the liturgy, he stated: “The deepest cause of the crisis that has upset the Church lies in the obscuring of the priority of God in the liturgy.” How so? He explains: “The Church’s existence lives from proper celebration of the liturgy and…the Church is in danger when the primacy of God no longer appears in the liturgy nor consequently in life.”1 It is important to notice one adjective in this sentence: Benedict is not simply saying that the Church lives from the celebration of the liturgy, but from the proper celebration of the liturgy. It is not only about, to put it simplistically, if priests are “saying Mass,” but also about how those Masses—and other liturgical actions—are being celebrated. Similarly, in the words that I used for the title of this lecture, he said: “The Church stands or falls with the Liturgy. The true celebration of the sacred liturgy is at the center of any renewal of the Church.”2 Any renewal, the renewal that we so honestly desire, has its center in the true celebration of the liturgy. The Church, truly, stands or falls with the liturgy. Why?

“The Church’s existence lives from proper celebration of the liturgy,” Pope Benedict XVI says, and “the Church is in danger when the primacy of God no longer appears in the liturgy nor consequently in life.”

course, there are other urgencies, there are complicated problems to handle, and we can only be grateful to those among us who have been working hard to respond to crises of unforeseen dimensions, such as doctrinal confusion, sexual abuse, and financial corruption. But, precisely out of gratitude, we need to move forward, knowing that the solutions for specific crises are not always equal to the keys for a long and lasting renewal of the Church. This renewal arises from faith, from the real encounter with the living God who comes to us, first and foremost, in the true celebration of the liturgy. Nothing is more important, nothing is more urgent.

Unlocking Liturgical Renewal How can we move ahead on this path of renewal? The testimony and teachings of Benedict XVI can offer important keys for us today. His example is still fresh in our memories: in his years as Supreme Pontiff he established the proper celebration of the liturgy as a real priority, promoting more reverence, silence, adoration, solemnity, beauty, tradition, and leaving us an important body of mystagogical homilies that will be remembered for a long time. But this is not only something from the past. Someone told me of a lay professor who was invited to a small and intimate Sunday Mass at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery (Pope

“Renewal arises from faith, from the real encounter with the living God who comes to us, first and foremost, in the true celebration of the liturgy.” Benedict’s residence) a year ago or so, offered by the Pope Emeritus. Even in his 90’s, in front of a handful of people, the fragile Benedict had written down a beautiful homily for this, humanly speaking, unimportant occasion. But when faith is real, and God is the priority, no Mass is unimportant. His teachings are abundant, and can be found in Theology of the Liturgy, Volume XI of his Collected Works—the first of the 16 volumes he requested to be published, thus showing, as far as Benedict XVI is concerned, yet again, that there is nothing more important than the liturgy. Based on his writings, I will propose three keys for a fruitful liturgical renewal. Renewal in Continuity One of the greatest gifts from Benedict’s liturgical teachings is balance, and particularly, a rich vision of necessary renewal in true continuity with tradition. As we know, liturgy often becomes a visceral source of controversy. Because of this, even great institutions and authors in the Church explicitly choose to completely avoid the topic of the liturgy in their discussions and works. But, is this the answer? Is the desire to avoid the “liturgy wars” enough

reason to ignore the source and summit of our life and mission? A better approach seems to be found in a balanced understanding of liturgical reform, and its place in the concrete life of the Church. And for this, we need to understand tradition, a word that makes some people nervous. Benedict said that tradition is like a river: a living reality, always coming from the source, and always in development.5 It has to remain the same, and it has to move. The Liturgical Movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, in its original insight, promoted a necessary renewal along these lines, and the Second Vatican Council saw that renewal as a “pneumatic event,” producing then in Sacrosanctum Concilium, “the right inner equilibrium” among the different aspects of the ongoing liturgical reform.6 The Second Vatican Council, and the liturgical developments that followed it, ought to be interpreted through the “hermeneutic of continuity.”7 The Council itself brought about a renewal that was necessary and balanced. But, says Ratzinger, “in the implementation of the conciliar mandate it was easy for the balance of the conciliar document to be disrupted one-sidedly in a specific direction.”8 While the reforms implemented after the Council are clearly obligatory, “they are not simply identical with the Council.” Therefore, to be open to a revision of today’s liturgy, and to believe that there are things in need of reform, doesn’t mean being an opponent of the Council. In fact, because of this need for revision, it is necessary to always go back to the actual words of the Council.9 If anyone believes in progress, then it will surely make no sense to believe that progress froze forever in the 70’s. The river of tradition continues to move, and renewal has to be present in the liturgy today as well. Active Participation Another important key for a true renewal of the liturgy in the light of the documents of the Council is that of active participation.10 Sacrosanctum Concilium indicated that “in the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else” (SC 14). In The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ratzinger lamented the fact that “unfortunately, the word was very quickly misunderstood to mean something external, entailing a need for general activity, as if as many people as possible, as often as possible, should be visibly engaged in action.”11 We all have seen, and still see in our parishes, the distorted understanding of active participation as “doing things.” This reality is connected to a vision of the liturgy centered on ourselves: our preferences, opinions, and needs. Ratzinger criticizes what he calls “a new view” of liturgical celebrations in which “the basic concepts…are creativity, freedom, celebration and community.”12 For him, this perspective is based on an “anthropocentric error”: a liturgy “constructed entirely for men…, concerned with winning people over or keeping them happy and satisfying their demands.”13 The liturgy would not be first and foremost the action of glorifying God and sanctifying his people, but a human activity, centered in the community, which finds its own ways of celebrating its faith. The Eucharist, in this context, would be seen basically as a communal meal, and not as the ritual renewal of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice. But, Benedict is also clear on the proper communal emphasis in today’s liturgy: “the Eucharist cannot adequately be described by the term ‘meal’”14 —“to speak of the Eucharist as the community meal is to cheapen it, for its price was the death of Christ.”15 When an assembly sees the Eucharist only as a meal, it becomes “a closed circle that is no longer aware of the explosive Trinitarian dynamism that gives the Eucharist its greatness.”16 In light of such insularity, how can we recover the greatness of the Eucharist, and the greatness of the whole liturgical life of the Church? One of Benedict’s most insightful contributions is his idea of the sacrifice of the Word. As we know, at times our celebrations can be a little “wordy,” as if everything had to be explained. But it is not hard to see that, as Ratzinger says, engaging in talk is not the same as speaking a word. And Christian liturgy is the liturgy of the Word, the logike latreia, the worship according to the Logos. This does not mean that the liturgy of the word is the center of our celebrations, but that Christ, the Word made flesh, is the main agent of the liturgy, working through his words. During a Wednesday catechesis in 2012, Pope Benedict commented on St. Benedict’s indication that our minds must concord with our voices when we pray. He said that in human life thoughts come first, and then the words. But “in the liturgy, the opposite is true, words come first. God has given us the word and the sacred liturgy offers us words; we must enter into the words, into their meaning

man comes into contact with God, mere speech is not enough;”20 the experience of love moves us to sing, as he says in reference to Augustine’s famous cantare amantis est. Second, it is essential to distinguish between religious and liturgical music. They are both valid and important, but also different. Liturgical music, as explained by the Council of Trent, and later by St. Pius X, the Second Vatican Council, and St. John Paul II, finds its standard in Gregorian chant and classical polyphony. As such, “not every kind of music can have a place in Christian worship. It has its standards, and that standard is the Logos.”21 The priority in liturgical music comes from the Word: the melodies beautifully conform to the texts of the liturgy. This leads us to our last point. In the years following the Council some influential authors made a drastic distinction between “esoteric” and “utility” music. “Esoteric” music, they said, is the beautiful treasure of the Church’s liturgical tradition that should not be performed in the context of the liturgy, where we should only perform “utility” music, that is, music which is so simple that everyone can participate in it. These ideas have penetrated and dominated the life of parishes worldwide. Ratzinger laments about this: “one thing has become clear in recent years: the retreat into utility has not made the liturgy more open: it has only impoverished it.”22 Let me quote a longer passage about this: “A Church which only makes use of ‘utility’ music,” Benedict writes, “has fallen for what is, in fact, useless. She too becomes ineffectual. For her mission is a far higher one. The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable. Next to the saints, the art which the Church


and receive them within us, we must attune ourselves to these words; in this way we become children of God.”17 The words of the liturgy, taken from Scripture and Tradition, precede our thoughts, our feelings, our dispositions, and are meant to shape our ways of thinking, praying, feeling, and acting. The more we enter into those words, the more we worship according to the Word. And this leads us to the core of true participation: to take part in the action of Christ, which is a sacrifice of the heart. Just as Israel understood that the sacrifice pleasing to God was a contrite heart, so Jesus transfigured the Passover prayers and gave them “a heart that opens the locked door; this heart is his love…, [for] Jesus Christ transformed his death into verbal form—into a prayer—and, in so doing, changed the world.”18 The more we pray with the words of the liturgy, which is the prayer of Christ, the more we participate in his offering. This is an important key for us, who celebrate and preside over liturgical celebrations; this is a decisive key as well for our people. We need to help them to enter into the words of the liturgy, and offer a sacrifice of the heart. That will lead them to truly, consciously, and actively participate in the richness of the sacred liturgy. The Way of Beauty A final key for liturgical renewal is beauty. This is another complicated point, not only because of the difficulty of going beyond subjective preferences in regards to beauty, but also because at times it seems that some are afraid of true beauty in the Church. The dull average of much modern architecture, ritual, and music in many parishes might have created a false sense of security in keeping things

The words of the liturgy, whether those of the Liturgy of the Word or those of the Mass’s other texts, precede our thoughts, our feelings, our dispositions, and are meant to shape our ways of thinking, praying, feeling, and acting. The more we enter into those words, the more we worship according to the Word.

“average.” Beauty seems secondary, when not simply irrelevant or disruptive. Haven’t we all found some comfort in saying, after a poor celebration of the Mass, or one done with irreverence or plain abuses, that at least the “words of consecration” were said? Is that all that matters? Of course, we know the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist will be there even if the rites of the Mass are performed in a sloppy way, as long as the consecratory words are said validly, but when a believer has to struggle to go beyond what he sees and hears in order to keep his faith, one has to admire that perseverance. And when a young person goes to Mass and finds mediocre music and poor preaching, and nothing of what he experiences inspires him, if his faith is not strong, then we shouldn’t be surprised that only 7 percent of millennials raised in the Church still practice their faith, or as a recent Pew Study has shown, only 31 percent of Catholics believe in the real presence. The solution to this situation is not, contrary to what prominent commentators have said, simply to review our catechetical methods. What we are witnessing is the fruit of poorly celebrated liturgies. The solution is, as Benedict insists, a true celebration of the liturgy, which demands beauty. In his 2007 exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, Benedict wrote that “the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty: it is veritatis splendor” (35). Because “in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendor at their source, [the care for beauty in the liturgy] is no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God’s love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us” (SCar 35). The liturgy has to offer true beauty. “The encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes.”19 Benedict XVI has offered many reflections on different aspects of liturgical beauty, such as architecture, ritual, vestment, and others. Let us only mention three quick points about music. First, music is necessary: “When

has produced is the only real ‘apologia’ for her history. The Church is to transform, improve, humanize the world, but how can she do that if at the same time she turns her back on beauty, which is so closely allied to love? The Church must maintain high standards; she must be a place where beauty can be at home.”23 This is another concrete way to promote liturgical renewal: to be bold and aim higher; to not resign ourselves to the status quo, to what has been done for decades. We know that it does not work! We should not be afraid to promote beauty, according to the musical tradition of the Church, which the Council describes as “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (SC 112). This is a significant statement: no other art is greater than music, and in it we should be able to find the beauty of Christ, who himself “becomes the choir director who teaches us the new song and gives the Church the tone and the way in which she can praise God appropriately and blend into the heavenly liturgy.”24 How as Much as Why The renewal of the liturgy is truly at the core of the renewal of the Church, for it is the main way to restore faith and promote the priority of God. The sacred liturgy is, indeed, the source and summit of our life and mission. Not only because in it we find strength, consolation, and grace, but also because in it we receive atonement for our sins. This is particularly true in regard to the Eucharist, as we say in a prayer contained in the oldest Roman sacramentary: “whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated, the work of our redemption is accomplished.” In the Eucharist we receive more than inspiration and comfort: we are ever more redeemed. This is why Benedict XVI has called for a new liturgical movement, “a movement toward the liturgy and toward the right way of celebrating the liturgy.”25 The how, the



Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020

Nietzsche said once about Christians: “They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer: and his disciples would have to look more redeemed!” The faithful, joyful, and beautiful celebration of the sacred liturgy radiates the Redeemer and our redemption in him.

true, proper, and right celebration of the liturgy is at the center of the renewal of the Church. There is nothing more important, or more urgent we can do for the Church, or indeed for the world. Nietzsche said once about Christians: “They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer: and his disciples would have to look more redeemed!”26 May we assume the renewal of the liturgy in our parishes, singing better songs, celebrating with greater beauty and love, and therefore looking more redeemed, as our first task in these difficult times, as our first service to the Church and to the world, for, as Benedict said to the youth gathered in New York, “the Church’s liturgy is a ministry of hope for humanity.”27 Father Daniel Cardó was born in Lima, Peru, in 1975. A member of the society of apostolic life, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, he was ordained to the priesthood in 2006, and in 2010 was appointed to Holy Name Parish in Denver. In 2015, he received his Doctorate from Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England, and holds the Benedict XVI Chair for Liturgical Studies at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. He is also visiting professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver. He is the author of The Cross and the Eucharist in Early Christianity: A Theological and Liturgical Investigation (Cambridge University Press, January 2019), and of What Does it Mean to Believe? Faith in the Thought of Joseph Ratzinger (Emmaus Academic, forthcoming). 1. 2. Joseph Ratzinger, Preface to Die Heilige Liturgie, quoted by Roberto de Mattei, “Reflections on the Liturgical Reform” in Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger, ed. Alcuin Reid (Farnborough: Saint Michael’s Abbey Press, 2003), 141. 3. 4. 5. See Benedict XVI, “Address to Participants in the Congress Promoted by the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm on the 50th Anniversary of Foundation,” Friday May 6, 2011. Found in documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110506_sant-anselmo.html 6. See Joseph Ratzinger, “Fortieth Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” in Theology of the Liturgy: The Sacramental Foundation of Christian Existence, ed. Michael J. Miller, vol. XI of Joseph Ratzinger, Collected Works (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014), 575. 7. See Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 3. 8. Joseph Ratzinger, “Fortieth Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI:575. 9. See Ibid., 575-576. 10. For a thorough review of the usage and evolution of this concept see Daniel Van Slyke, “Actuosa Participatio from Pius X to Benedict XVI: Grace and Gregorian Chant,” in Antiphon 29.2 (2019): 101-144. 11. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI:106. 12. Joseph Ratzinger, “On the Structure of the Liturgical Celebration,” in Collected Works, XI:319. 13. Joseph Ratzinger, “Eucharist and Mission,” in Collected Works, XI:332. 14. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI:78. 15. Joseph Ratzinger, “On the Structure of the Liturgical Celebration,” in Collected Works, XI:322. 16. Joseph Ratzinger, “On the Question of the Orientation of the Celebration,” in Collected Works, XI:390. 17. 18. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Eucharist—Heart of the Church,” in Collected Works, XI:265. See also “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI:106-110. 19. Joseph Ratzinger, Encounter with CL 2002, in congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20020824_ratzinger-clrimini_en.html 20. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI:88. 21. Ibid., 94. 22. See Joseph Ratzinger, “On the Theological Basis of Church Music,” in Collected Works, XI: 421-424. 23. Ibid., 440-441. 24. Joseph Ratzinger, “Theology of Church Music,” in Collected Works, XI: 497. 25. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” in Collected Works, XI: 4. 26. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ed. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Penguin, 1982), 204. 27. Benedict XVI, Meeting with Young People and Seminarians in New York, 2008, in hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080419_st-joseph-seminary.html


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020

The Catholic Church and the College Campus: A Study in Culture

By Patrick Callahan What is Christian culture? It is essentially the Mass. —John Senior, The Restoration of Christian Culture

Let us take these seven characteristics of the particular Church and compare them with the Universal Church as the testing points for the work of inculturation on campus. Belief As a Classics professor, I have occasionally led college students on study trips to Rome. I love to walk students through the Christian basilicas and places of worship, as well as touring the forum with its secular basilicas, where the ancient Romans practiced law. I invite students to see that the pagan and Catholic basilica share more than a name, despite apparent dissimilarities of use. The first thing that strikes them is the structural likeness between these basilicas. We compare, for example, the central nave and side aisles of the secular with the Christian. At the Roman Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, we note where the large statue of the emperor sat enthroned in the apse signifying his jurisdiction over all the law cases heard in the basilica. A few blocks away at the Basilica of San Clemente, we see Christ, artistically rendered in a glorious mosaic, actually present in the tabernacle, replacing the emperor in the apse. And this insight, in turn, leads to a discussion of the legal drama of the liturgy and the eschatology of the sanctuary when we understand that Christ sits

Deep and meaningful inculturation cannot be confined only within a campus’s chapel walls. Sacramentals, such as Eucharistic processions and benedictions (here at the University of Kansas), carry God’s grace onto campus. If the Mass is the heart of Christian culture, the sacramentals serve as capillaries relating all things back to its life-sustaining grace.

enthroned in the same spot where the Roman judge would preside. But in late antiquity another building, besides the Christian basilica, took the floor plan of the Roman basilica as its model: the school and its classrooms. In a culture where rhetoric had pride of place among the liberal arts, the law court naturally would have been the model for the classroom. To the Christian worshipper in Late Antiquity, the pedagogic nature of the liturgy would have been apparent not only in the Liturgy of the Word but even in the very architecture which housed the liturgy. Ancient pedagogy reveals the liturgy in ways rarely considered today: for example, the role of the priest reciting and explicating text, the response and repetition of key phrases, and yes, even the importance of music.


1. Belief 2. Sacramentals 3. Daily Prayer 4. Sunday and the Rhythm of the Week 5. Easter and the Liturgical Cycle 6. Penance and Fasting 7. Sacraments



s college students return to campus this month, it is timely to consider the application of the Church’s 1994 document on inculturation, Varietates Legitimae, on the college campus. But first we must recognize the difficulty of applying the idea of inculturation to the university. Whatever connections the university has in its history to either the Academy or its equivalents in Alexandria, Pergamum, and beyond Antiquity, the modern university system was born out of Christian culture. And thus we find ourselves discussing the restoration of Christian culture to the modern university as a product of that same Christian culture. The crisis of inculturation on the modern campus is not so much Paul on the Areopagus, preaching to the uninitiated, but the Prodigal Son in the pigsty, who should— and knows that he can—know better. Of course, this is not meant to impugn all American universities and colleges. Again, to return to the root image of culture, we cycle through the various stages of the story of the Prodigal at different times. The danger of writing anything about the culture of the 4,298 institutions of higher education in this country and the 17 million undergraduates they serve (to say nothing of the graduate students, faculty, staff, and administration) is that we lose any sense of a particular culture.1 After all, how can we possibly consider Harvard, Thomas Aquinas College, Johnson County Community College, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, U.C. Santa Barbara, and Loyola University Chicago as all sharing a single culture and therefore all subject to the same method of inculturation as envisioned by the Church? Instead, each college exhibits a particular subculture that is ordered to the larger culture, i.e., the Church. Fortunately, what Varietates Legitimae did give us is a clear guide to discerning the criteria for inculturating a particular community to the universal Church. As the document notes, “every particular Church must be united with the universal Church not only in belief and sacramentals, but also in those practices received through the Church as part of the uninterrupted apostolic tradition. This includes, for example, daily prayer, sanctification of Sunday and the rhythm of the week, the celebration of Easter and the unfolding of the mystery of Christ throughout the liturgical year, the practice of penance and fasting, the sacraments of Christian initiation, the celebration of the memorial of the Lord and the relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the eucharistic liturgy, the forgiveness of sins, the ordained ministry, marriage and the anointing of the sick” (VL 26). We can reduce all this to seven points of contact between the Church particular with all its subcultures, including the college campus, and the Church Universal:

When we recover this sense of liturgical culture within the university, we see that perhaps more important than a theology faculty that has received the Mandatum is a priest who is an icon of Christ the Teacher.

I mention this as a way of understanding the cultural link between Christian culture and university culture. We must go deeper than rote recitation of theology as the uniting discipline that keeps the university from dissolving into the modern secular “multi-versity.” As great a treasure as St. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University is, there’s more to the idea of a university than its academic and scholarly pursuits: we also have the liturgy. When we recover this sense of liturgical culture within the university, we see that perhaps more important than a theology faculty that has received the Mandatum is a priest who is an icon of Christ the Teacher. The value of the Catholic liturgy as a solution to the malaise affecting nearly every university’s campus culture cannot be overstated, and the likelihood of its success as a solution is compounded by the fact that the liturgy can and does take place in every university chapel, church, parish, or Newman Center. When we consider that nearly 90 percent of Catholic college students in America attend non-Catholic colleges, we should also consider the problems of formal education in the faith.

But I reserve this for our conclusion.

Sacramentals Unlike the sacraments, the sacramentals are not limited in number; traditionally, we have been able to categorize them under the following rubric: orans (prayer), tinctus (use of holy water and oils), edens (consuming blessed foods), confessus (the Confiteor), dans (alms), and benedicens (apostolic blessings and blessing of objects). Some are actions, such as the giving of alms or the recitation of the Confiteor. Others are oriented towards things, such as the eating of blessed foods or the blessing of candles, ashes, etc. While we have largely retained the sacramentals used by particular persons in the context of the Church, such as the blessing of one’s self with holy water upon entering the college chapel, we see a neglect of the larger use of sacramentals outside the confines of the church or chapel among college students, a neglect that matches that occurring in the ordinary American parish. I recall, for example, how our parish priest, a native of the Kerala state of India, when he came to bless our house, was surprised at the presence of crucifixes, icons, and holy water in our prayer space since he did not ordinarily find these in American homes. Sacramentals present a physical means of carrying God’s grace onto campus. Deep and meaningful inculturation cannot be confined only within the chapel walls. The Mass, as source and summit, in a real way is the very essence of Christian culture. But the use, wearing, and practice of sacramentals in the dorm, in the classroom, and on the quad serve as a way to orient and align the college culture to Christian culture. If the Mass is the heart of Christian culture, the sacramentals serve as capillaries relating all things back to its life-sustaining grace. Daily Prayer Etymologically, culture has its roots in the Proto-IndoEuropean word meaning “to turn.” A culture of prayer has a daily, weekly, and yearly rhythm. In the words of FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students), are we equipping students with a plan or rhythm of life? My experience as a student at Catholic institutions of higher education and instructor at secular universities is that we often underestimate the willingness and ability of the average college student to begin the day in prayer. But on a campus with a team of FOCUS missionaries, I have often seen students follow the example of these young men and women by beginning their day with morning prayer and a holy hour. These campuses have already made great progress in inculturation when classes become integrated between morning prayer and afternoon Mass. In addition, chaplains should consider the particulars of their campus. For example, at my current institution, a majority of students work their way through college to mitigate the size of their student loans. By 2 pm, the campus has half-cleared out as students leave for their afternoon jobs. Where a local parish might have an 8 am daily Mass, you will find our chaplain vesting at 8 pm for Mass as students finish work and prepare for a late night of studying.

Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020 Sunday and Rhythm of the Week As many universities become more vocational and less linked to the liberal arts, the formal pursuit of schooling in its etymology sense (σχολή—schola—“spare time, leisure”) becomes less and less justifiable, especially if that pursuit is spent in late Sunday nights writing papers and studying.2 We can either help students reclaim a sense of their studies as schola or we can offer programming that can make students shift their priorities, for example, by offering social events such as Sunday Suppers or dances. The former honors the culture of the Church and the culture of the college; however, the latter accedes to an invasive culture and becomes a sort of dual parasite. That is, Sunday evening social events that mimic non-Catholic culture in order to draw in students can become detrimental both to the intellectual culture of campus and the spiritual culture of the local Church. The Church will never throw a better kegger than the fraternity, host a better rock concert than the student government, or put on a sporting event bigger than college football. However, the Church can offer authentic friendship in Christ, beautifully reverent liturgies, and the means of eternal Salvation. Josef Pieper, in his best-known work, Leisure: The Basis of Culture, would agree that what is at stake in our approach to inculturation of Sunday leisure on the college campus is the integrity of Christian culture. To say that the Church’s culture, her liturgy, and her ministries are antithetical to a student’s studies is ahistorical at best. Such a simplistic and underwhelming understanding of religious belief is the kind of inculturation that Varietates Legitimae warns against. Instead we might look at Varietates Legitimae’s citation of the encounter between the Jewish world and Greek wisdom (VL 9) as a counter-example. There, the Greeks benefited from knowledge of the true God, and Scripture became enriched through the cultural achievement of the Greeks.

than 15,000 men have participated. While implemented in some parishes, the fraternal focus has been especially popular on college campuses, both at Catholic colleges such as Steubenville and at secular schools via FOCUS. One caveat that I would give to those looking to expand Exodus 90 or any similar programs of prayer and fasting is that these practices often fall into the traps we see among Lenten practices at most parishes. Participants take on the program as a one-time experience rather than a new norm. With portions of Advent and the whole of Lent falling during the academic year, penance and fasting should have a greater place in the inculturation of college campuses. Sacraments Finally, the consideration of the life of the sacraments on the university campus reveals the problems of any so-called culture built firmly around a population that never grows old—at least within the confines of the campus itself. Every spring, seniors graduate to pursue further studies, a vocation, or a career, and every following fall, freshman matriculate to rejuvenate—literally—the student body, once again restoring the balance between maturity and immaturity on campus. Sacraments of service, Matrimony and Holy Orders, are prominent in their absence. Students active in campus churches will often be active in their discernment,


particular needs and its university’s own culture that it must seek to integrate with the universal Church, I see three campus environments where inculturation must flourish. First, there is the faithful Catholic college. In my own small, liberal arts Catholic college, I dangerously presumed that inculturation was achieved. Yet, every year a new crop of students, coming from a pre-existing culture, brought with them much that is toxic and little that is edifying. Much the same is true of larger Catholic institutions, as well. Consequently, we must be ever vigilant in tending the culture of the Catholic university. Next, because the quantity of a culture affects the quality of a culture, the large Catholic university should receive special notice. From my own experience in graduate studies at an expansive Catholic campus, there are deep and serious issues. For example, in an effort to address the prayer needs of non-Catholic students, I have seen Eucharistic chapels, with the Host still in the tabernacle, misused as Zen meditation rooms and Islamic prayer spaces. And yet such universities are large enough that one can almost always find a community that takes Christian culture as a serious matter. While daily Mass at my large Catholic university had a few priests who would invite the congregation around the altar to “concelebrate” with them, we also had large attendance at a weekly Chant Mass in the basement


“The value of the Catholic liturgy as a solution to the malaise affecting nearly every university’s campus culture cannot be overstated.” Easter and Liturgical Year Since students do not attend university for all 365 days of the year, there are important gaps in the liturgical rhythm in the particular Church. Most obvious among these is Christmas and Easter, when most students traditionally return to their home parishes. For faculty and staff who remain, just when other churches are at their best, university chapels find themselves home to makeshift choirs and empty pews. I do not know how to address the problem of inculturating a campus to the celebrations of the Christmas season—a season which virtually goes unacknowledged even by Catholic campuses, since the semester break usually falls around that time. On the other hand, Easter, while perhaps an easier case, comes with its own set of problems. Most troublesome, the secularization of Spring Break over the past decades has meant that many students find themselves without any extended time to travel home for Easter. And yet, attendance on this feast of feasts on the average college campus often pales in comparison to Ash Wednesday, which often is the busiest day for any university chapel. In fact, so curious is the popularity of this kick-off day for Lent that, when it comes to implementing Varietates Legitimae, Ash Wednesday could easily be considered the high holy day of inculturation on the college campus. Yet, when the last of the ashes have been dispensed, every university chaplain must ask himself the reasons students do not come back for Easter.

but these sacraments are not a lived reality for the average college student. Also, unless there is a robust RCIA program, sacraments of initiation have little place in campus culture; but even on those campuses with such a program, baptism and confirmation often remain mainly an Easter-only event. And, except for the occasional tragedy, anointing of the sick and all liturgies for the dead are absent. Despite the recent resurgence of memento mori devotions, especially via Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble and the Pauline Sisters, the modern university, much like Calypso tempting Odysseus, promises a culture that is age-less and death-less. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for the Catholic chaplain. The campus culture has constrained him into practicing a two-sacrament ministry: Penance and Eucharist. He must not allow this to warp his invitation to the full rhythm of the Christian life. And yet, these same two sacraments focus him on Varietates Legitimae’s exhortation to purify and sanctify the local culture (VL19).

Penance and Fasting Of the seven points of inculturation between the particular community and the universal Church, I see none more neglected than the practice of humility—as embodied by penance and mortification—on the college campus. This seems paradoxical when we recall that Ash Wednesday, itself a solemn celebration of humility (from humus, “earth”), takes pride of place among the liturgies that fall during the academic calendar. The only large, active organization for inculturation on this point that occurs to me is Exodus 90.3 For those unfamiliar with Exodus 90, in 2013 Father Brian Doerr and a group of seminarians at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland piloted it as a program of prayer, fasting, and ascetic practices (e.g., cold showers) to overcome technological addictions and grow in fraternity. Exodus 90 has since grown to a program in which more

Three Approaches Such then is the challenge of inculturation and unity when considering the particular character of an American university and its relationship with the universal Church. If this analysis reads like a jeremiad at times, it is because we face much the same lamentable situation as Jeremiah. The university arose as the beautiful fruit of Christian culture. Already a large portion of Catholic college culture, since the Reformation, has been lost to us like the Northern Kingdom of Israel. More recently, when Catholic institutions of higher learning in the U.S sought to declare their “independence” from the Magisterium in the 1967 Land O’Lakes Statement, this document led to some of the most prominent Catholic colleges being dragged into Babylonian exile—where many remain today. While every university chaplaincy will have its own

There are signs of hope for inculturating the modern college and the Universal Church. Discipleship and Christian living have revitalized campuses through dynamic Newman Centers and FOCUS (whose participants are pictured above). The Thomistic Institute (a work of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC) and others have launched Catholic lecture series and intellectual retreats at secular universities. The Newman Idea and particular institutes associated with Newman Centers in Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, New York, and beyond have begun partnering with Catholic colleges to offer accredited courses in Catholic theology and thought to students at state colleges.

chapel. Finally, I come to the most neglected intersection of Catholic culture and higher education: the secular university. As Robert Louis Wilkins wrote in 2008, 80 to 90 percent of Catholic college students attend nonCatholic colleges.4 But there are signs of hope. Discipleship and Christian living have revitalized campuses through FOCUS and dynamic Newman Centers. The Thomistic Institute (a work of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC) and others have launched Catholic lecture series and intellectual retreats at secular universities. The Newman Idea and particular institutes associated with Newman Centers in Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, New York, and beyond have begun partnering with Catholic colleges to offer accredited courses in Catholic theology and thought to students at state colleges. It may be 25 years since the Church issued Varietates Legitimae, but we are only now beginning the process of inculturation on these secular campuses. Patrick Callahan writes from the Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics at Emporia State University, KS. Prior to this he has taught Philosophy at Wichita State University, KS, and directed a Catholic studies program for students at the University of Kansas. As a Classicist, he focuses on ancient scholarship and commentary traditions, textual criticism, and digital editions. He resides in rural Kansas with his wife and five children. 1. These reflect 2017 numbers given by the National Center for Education Statistics. For degree granting institutions, see https://nces. For undergraduate enrollment, see asp. 2. By way of example in the demise of liberal studies: despite a rise in enrollment, one regional state university saw its English enrollment drop over the last decade from 600 majors to around 300 majors and minors combined. 3. 4. “Catholic Scholars, Secular Schools,” First Things (January 2008).


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020


Q contents of the Adoremus Bulletin? A

: What do readers like most about the

: For the first time in too many years, I spent time this past year calling or emailing Adoremus donors and supporters. My principal motive was to thank them (that is, you) for supporting this liturgical apostolate. I also asked what they liked about the Bulletin, what they would like to see more of—or even less of. While answers varied—from particular articles to authors to styles—the readers’ clear favorite was the “Rite Questions” section, where frequently asked questions are answered. One reader remarked, “Many of these questions are the same ones that I have.” Another said he “cuts out the questions and answers and sends them to others who have wondered the same.” Still another reader was glad to say that the FAQ section had practical relevance for how he carried out his liturgical ministry. So, in light of this feedback from readers, I’m happy to say that more than our usual “Rite Questions” will be coming your way in this and in future issues of the Bulletin. Your contributions on this score are truly valuable—so please don’t hesitate to send in your questions to or PO Box 385, La Crosse, WI, 54602. —Christopher Carstens, Editor

“extraordinary ministers Q :ofWhyHolyareCommunion” called “extraordinary”?


: The precision of many liturgical terms has sharpened over the post-Conciliar years. What was once “one in being” is today rendered “consubstantial” in the Creed. Bishops are said now to be “ordained” rather than “consecrated.” The sacrament of “Last Rites” is now more commonly called “Anointing of the Sick.” What’s in a name? In each case, the developed language more accurately reflects the reality to which it refers. The same evolution appears in what are called “extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion,” those laypersons who assist pastors in distributing the Eucharist at Mass. For example, one of the first post-Conciliar documents to mention these ministers, “Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass” from 1973, refers to them as “special ministers of communion.” Later on, in 1980, the Holy See’s “Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery” (Inaestimabile Donum) calls such laity “extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist” (at least in most translations). Later still, in 1997’s Instruction “On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests” (Ecclesia de mysterio), the title became “extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.” This title was confirmed by the Church’s most recent and, at this point, final word on the subject, Redemptionis Sacramentum, “On Certain Matters to be Observed or to be Avoided Regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.” The name of the ministry—“extraordinary minister of Holy Communion”—reflects most accurately the function of the ministry, namely, the distribution of Holy Communion in extraordinary circumstances by one not given this function simply as a consequence of baptism. Names such as “special minister of Holy Communion,” for example, don’t acknowledge the “extraordinary” nature of the occasion or the minister. “Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist,” while acknowledging the extraordinary character of the ministry, could suggest other Eucharistic-related tasks beyond that of distributing Holy Communion, such as exposing or reposing the Blessed Sacrament or even consuming the remaining precious Blood after the faithful have received (which is a task not inherent to the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and requires further permission from the Diocesan Bishop [Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under both Kinds, 52]). But beneath the terminology of “extraordinary” stands a further sacramental truth. The Church’s pastors—bishops, priests, and, as their assistants, deacons—serve as Holy Communion’s “ordinary” ministers. While the faithful do not have it in their baptismal “job description” to distribute Holy Communion, the pastors find such distribution an essential role of ordination. Beyond the theology and legal prescriptions, the etymology of “pastor” makes the point. A “pastor” is one who feeds and nourishes—leads to pasture— and he does so based on the root of the word: pa-. Also built upon this same word for “feed” is panis, “bread”; pantry, the room for the bread; and companion, one who shares bread. In short: pastor and feeding with bread (in this case, the Bread of Life) belong together, and a pastor who doesn’t feed is like a chef who doesn’t cook, a painter who doesn’t paint, or a reader who doesn’t read. The Church’s pastors are the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, while those who assist them are rightly called “extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion” —The Editors

Q : What is a “liturgical spirituality”? A

: In 2003, on the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Pope St. John Paul II asked that “a ‘liturgical spirituality’ be developed that makes people conscious that Christ is the first ‘liturgist’ who never ceases to act in the Church and in the world through the Paschal Mystery continuously celebrated, and who associates the Church with himself, in praise of the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit” (Spiritus et Sponsa, 16). “Spirituality” generally denotes man’s pursuit of God. Motivated by our natural unease with life’s questions—Where did I come from? Why do I suffer? What must I do to be happy? Why must I die?—as well as God’s revelation to us, spirituality seeks God through prayer, sacraments, contemplation, learning, and action. Different “schools” of Christian spirituality have emerged in the Church’s life that emphasize particular paths or aspects of man’s common journey to the one God. Ignatian spirituality, for example, features the daily examen (a prayerful reflection seeking to discern God’s will in one’s life at the end of every day) and a 30-day retreat, and encourages imaginative meditation. Benedictine spirituality lives in community, employs ora et labora (prayer and work), lectio divina (divine reading), and the Divine Office. Opus Dei’s spirituality finds sanctification in the world and workplace, and accounts for the charisms of both clergy and laity. There is one path to God through Christ; but there are different manners by which Christ leads us on this road—spiritualities—which respond to the circumstances, temperaments, and needs of smaller groups and individuals.

But common to each spirituality is the “liturgical spirituality” named by the Holy Father. What are its features? As he says, a liturgical spirituality sees Jesus as the primary liturgist: Christ is the liturgy’s principal actor. Second, his principal action in the liturgy is his Paschal Mystery: his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. Third, liturgical spirituality is entirely ecclesial, an action of both the individual cells and the single Body. Fourth, a liturgical spirituality spills over into the world and seeks its divinization and transformation. Finally, such sacred spirituality is animated by the great Animator, the Holy Spirit, and directed along with Christ to praise, adoration, and worship of God the Father. Every baptized Catholic, whatever his or her particular spiritual inclinations, requires a liturgical spirituality. If you would like to learn more about cultivating a liturgical spirituality, consider joining Father Joseph Fessio, founder of Ignatius Press; Dr. Anthony Lilles, Academic Dean of St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, CA; and Adoremus Editor, Christopher Carstens at Adoremus at the Triduum: A Conference on the Spirituality of the Triduum Liturgies, March 14, 2020, in Covina, CA. More information, along with registration details, is available at —The Editors

When a Feast or Solemnity falls on Q :Saturday, which Mass and which Vespers are observed on that evening: that of the Feast or Solemnity, or that of Sunday?


: Consider, for example, the celebration of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed this past November 2, 2019, which occurred on a Saturday. Should Mass on that Saturday evening have celebrated All Souls or the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time? Or, similarly, the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica on November 9, 2019, which also occurred on a Saturday: should Vespers that evening have observed Saturday’s Feast or Sunday’s Ordinary Time? When it comes to calendar questions like these, it can seem more like adjudicating tax law than appropriating the mysteries of salvation. Nevertheless, there is a Christological calculus in the computations. In what is called the “Table of Liturgical Days” from the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and Roman Calendar (UNLYRC), a table that lays out a ranking system for all the days that occur on the Roman Calendar. As one might surmise, the days of the Sacred Triduum come first, followed by Christmas, Epiphany, the Ascension of the Lord, and Pentecost. All liturgical days are ranked according to their relationship to the mystery of Jesus. And as the UNLYRC make clear, if “several celebrations fall on the same day, the one that holds the highest rank according to the Table of Liturgical Days is observed” (UNLYRC 60). Yet, things are not always so clear…. Back to our examples: In the Table of Liturgical Days, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (November 2) ranks higher (no. 3) than a Sunday in Ordinary Time (no. 6). That being the case, the norm given in the UNLYRC would seem to be easily applied: “the one that holds the highest rank according to the Table of Liturgical Days is observed” (UNLYRC 60). Nevertheless, when the Congregation for Divine Worship was asked about such consecutive feasts it replied that, in questions concerning the celebration of Mass, “precedence is always given for a celebration which is observed as a day of obligation [de praecepto], independently of the degree of the two liturgical celebrations occurring” (see “De Calendario Liturgico Exarando pro Anno 1984–1985,” Notitiæ 20 [1984], 603–605). So, for a Saturday evening Mass, the consideration of rankings is superseded by the fact that Sunday is a day of obligation [de precepto], while the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed on Saturday is not. Therefore, the Mass formulary and Lectionary readings of the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time took precedence on the evening of Saturday, November 2, 2019. For the Liturgy of the Hours, by contrast, a strict application of the Table of Liturgical Days would seem to hold that vespers on Saturday evening would use the texts of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed due to its higher rank (see “On the Mass of a Sunday or holyday anticipated on the preceding evening,” Notitiæ 10 (1974): 222–223). However, as the rubric in the Liturgy of the Hours makes clear, even though the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed ranks higher, “the office is taken from the current Sunday in Ordinary Time,” unless Evening Prayer is “celebrated with the people,” in which case Evening Prayer “may be taken from the Office for the Dead” (LH, IV, 1537). A similar scenario holds for Saturday and Sunday, November 9–10, 2019, since the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (November 9) ranks higher (no. 4) than a Sunday in Ordinary Time (no. 6). Again, since Sunday, November 10, 2019, was a day of obligation, the Saturday evening Mass should have been that of the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Evening Prayer, though, should have been that of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (LH, IV, 1614–1619), as the UNLYRC state: “Should on the other hand, Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the current day’s Office and First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the following day be assigned for celebration on the same day, then Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the celebration with the higher rank in the Table of Liturgical Days takes precedence…” (UNLYRC 61). Looking ahead, on Sunday evening, June 28th, 2020, any evening Masses should be of the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time—because it is the day of obligation—while vespers that Sunday evening should be taken from Evening Prayer I of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29th)—because the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul outranks the Sunday of Ordinary Time. With calendar questions like these it is sometimes necessary to go deep into not only the rankings of the particular days, but also into the pastoral application of these classifications. The ethos at work in adjudicating the calendar is the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, which establishes the rationale for celebrating the liturgical year in such a way that the fullness of the Mystery of Christ is reflected in all its facets. Indeed, even the norms that the Congregation for Divine Worship proposed are not held out as the last word on every question, but rather a sure norm of proceeding. That said, the Congregation makes clear that a Conference of Bishops or a diocesan bishop, attending to the pastoral circumstances in play, can determine the practice to be followed (see “De Calendario Liturgico Exarando pro Anno 1984–1985,” Notitiæ 20 [1984], 605). Nonetheless, in every specific case, the aim of the Church’s liturgical year is to unfold “the whole mystery of Christ, from the incarnation and birth until the ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of blessed hope and of the coming of the Lord” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 102). —The Editors


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020

How will this goal be realized in practice? Finally, let us respond to the third question we have posed: What consequences will result from the innovation about which we have been deliberating? The consequences foreseen, or better, desired, are those of a more intelligent, practical, joyful and sanctifying participation of the faithful in the liturgical mystery—that is, in the hearing of the Word of God, alive and resonant through the centuries and in the unfolding story of each individual soul, and in the mystical reality of the sacramental and redeeming sacrifice of Christ. Let us not, then, refer to it as the “new Mass,” but rather as a “new era” in the life of the Church. With our Apostolic Blessing.

What in the Mass has Changed? Another question: In what does the change consist? You will see that it consists in many new ritual instructions which will require, especially in the beginning, a certain amount of attention and care. Personal devotion and a communal sense will make these instructions easy and pleasing to observe. But let us be clear: nothing has changed in the substance of our traditional Mass. Someone might be upset by a certain ceremony, or an attached rubric, as if it were—or as if it concealed—an alteration or a weakening of perennial and authoritatively sanctioned truths of the Catholic Faith; almost as if the equation between the law of prayer, lex orandi, and the law of faith, lex credendi, were compromised. But it is not so. Absolutely not. First of all because a rite and its associated rubrics do not belong per se to the category of a dogmatic definition, but rather can vary in their theological standing according to the liturgical context to which they refer; these words and gestures refer to a lived religious action, one which springs from an ineffable mystery of the Divine presence which is not always realized in an univocal form. This religious action can be analyzed and expressed in logically satisfying doctrinal formulas only by means of a theological critique. Furthermore, the Mass of the new order is and remains—if anything more strongly evident in certain respects—the perennial Mass. The unity between the Lord’s Supper and the sacrifice of the cross, and the re-presentation of the one and of the other in the Mass, is inviolably affirmed and celebrated in the new order as in the preceding one. The Mass is and remains the memorial of Christ’s Last Supper in which the Lord, transforming the bread and wine into his Body and Blood, instituted the sacrifice of the new Testament and willed that that sacrifice—through the power of his Priesthood conferred on the Apostles—

Roman Missal Quiz Answers: 1. Pius X. “As the arrangement of the psaltery has a certain intimate connection with all the divine office and the liturgy, it will be clear to everybody that by what we have here decreed we have taken the first step to the emendation of the Roman breviary and the missal, but for this we shall appoint shortly a special council or commission” (Apostolic Constitution Divino Afflatu, 1911). 2. Historically speaking, a Sacramentary contained only the texts needed by the priest at Mass, and separate books would have held the texts required for readers, cantors, masters of ceremonies, and so forth. Various hybrids of these kinds of books also existed in the centuries before the invention of the printing press. A Missal, on the other hand, includes all the texts of the Mass in a single book, such that a priest could offer Mass alone with just the one book. The current Roman Missal, then, seems closer to a Sacramentary than a Missal. However, the post-Conciliar books conceive of the Lectionary and Graduale Romanum as part of the Missal’s whole, even though these texts are not contained between its covers. (Notice, for example, how the title page of the Lectionary begins, “The Roman Missal: Lectionary for Mass.”) 3. False. The GIRM emphasizes the sacrificial nature of the Mass in its opening paragraphs: “The sacrificial nature of the Mass, solemnly defended by the Council of Trent, because it accords with the universal tradition of the Church, was once more stated by the Second Vatican Council, which pronounced these clear words about the Mass: ‘At the Last Supper, Our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood, by which the Sacrifice of his Cross is perpetuated until he comes again; and till then he entrusts the memorial of his Death and Resurrection to his beloved spouse, the Church.’ What is taught in this way by the Council is consistently expressed in the formulas of the Mass. Moreover, the doctrine which stands out in the following sentence, already notable and concisely expressed


Continued from 50 YEARS AGO, page 3 clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved. “For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary”(Sacrosanctum Concilium, 50).

Just prior to the beginning of the post-conciliar Mass in November 1969, Pope Paul VI asked what was on the minds of many in the Church: How could such a change ever come about? And what is the nature of the change? What consequences will it have for those who assist at Holy Mass? His answers to these questions need to be heard today as much as they did 50 years ago.

be renewed in its identity, but offered in an unbloody and sacramental way, in perennial memory of him, until his final coming (cfr. DE LA TAILLE, Mysterium Fidei, Elucid. IX). If in the new rite you find more clearly placed the relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy proper—the latter being in a sense the fulfillment of the former (cfr. BOUYER)—or if you observe the degree to which the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice reclaims the participation of the assembled faithful, who in the Mass are and fully experience themselves as “Church,” or if you see expressed other marvelous characteristics of our Mass, do not think that this is intended to alter its genuine and traditional essence. Appreciate, rather, the way in which, through this new and diffuse language, the Church wishes to render her liturgical message more effective and to draw near to each of her children and to the whole People of God in a more direct and pastoral manner. in the ancient Sacramentary commonly called the Leonine—‘for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished’—is aptly and exactly expounded in the Eucharistic Prayers; for as in these the Priest enacts the anamnesis, while turned towards God likewise in the name of all the people, he renders thanks and offers the living and holy sacrifice, that is, the Church’s oblation and the sacrificial Victim by whose death God himself willed to reconcile us to himself; and the Priest also prays that the Body and Blood of Christ may be a sacrifice which is acceptable to the Father and which brings salvation to the whole world” (GIRM, 2). 4. S ubdeacon. The first edition of the Roman Missal from 1969 included instructions for the subdeacon. For example, “The subdeacon is ordained to serve at the altar and to assist the priest and deacon. In particular he prepares the altar and the sacred vessels and reads the epistle” (first edition of the GIRM, 65). Pope Paul VI transferred the liturgical duties of the subdeacon to the instituted lector and acolyte in his 1972 motu proprio Ministeria Quaedam: “consequently, the major order of subdiaconate no longer exists in the Latin Church”; the subdiaconate does exist in the Latin Church when she celebrates the Extraordinary Form. 5. F  ull and active participation. “In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14). 6. B  oth. From the Missal of St. Pius V: “We decided to entrust this work [of re-editing the Missal] to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere” (Pope Pius V, Quo Primum). From the Missal of St. Paul VI: “In order that this work [of revising rites and preparing new liturgical books] may be

The original text of Paul VI’s Wednesday audience appears in Italian on the Vatican website. Translation provided by Christopher Ruff for Adoremus.

Editor’s note: We’ve encountered a happy problem with our usual page 11 in this issue, namely, that we don’t have enough space to list and thank the very many donors who have contributed to our last appeal! In addition, for the sake of our donors’ privacy, Adoremus will no longer print each donor’s name, place, and gift amount, although we will continue to publish Memorials and other intentions. Each donor will, of course, continue to receive an acknowledgment letter and continued remembrance each month at the altar.

MEMORIAL FOR Vaudine Biermann

— from Caroline Agassiz-Scheetz Helen H. Hitchcock

— from Carolyn Lemon

TO HONOR Helen Hensleigh - 101 — from Bill Hensleigh Don and Katherine Ricketts — from Gretchen and Jack Reese (Wedding Anniversary)

carried out with the necessary wisdom and prudence, we are establishing a special commission whose principal task will be to implement in the best possible way the prescriptions of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy itself ” (Pope Paul VI, Sacram Liturgiam). 7. The Sacramentary was available for optional use in July 1974, and mandatory use on December 1, 1974. Although a complete, bound copy of the Sacramentary wasn’t available in English until this time, a revised “order of Mass,” including four Eucharistic Prayers and a handful of prefaces, was available in 1970 in English as a 65-page insert to be used with the 1966 Sacramentary. 8. False. To cite but one example from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: “When it set out its instructions for the renewal of the Order of Mass, the Second Vatican Council, using, namely, the same words as did St. Pius V in the Apostolic Constitution Quo primum, by which the Missal of Trent was promulgated in 1570, also ordered, among other things, that a number of rites be restored ‘to the original norm of the holy Fathers.’ From the fact that the same words are used, it can be noted how the two Roman Missals, although four centuries have intervened, embrace one and the same tradition” (6). In paragraphs 6-15, when the GIRM grounds the Missal in the Church’s “Uninterrupted Tradition” (6-9) and its “Accommodation to New Conditions” (10-15), references are made to the Council of Trent, Pope Pius V, and the Missal of 1571 in nearly every paragraph. 9. “Pastors of souls should take liberties to adapt the ritual wherever necessary to the sensibilities of participants” is found nowhere in the Roman Missal. (Option a. is found in GIRM 12; option b. in GIRM 15; option d. in GIRM 4) 10. Council of Trent. See GIRM, 13; also, Ecumenical Council of Trent, Session XXII, Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, chapter 6: Denzinger-Schönmetzer, no. 1747. Even though Christ himself commanded his apostles (and, with them, the Church) to take, eat, and drink, regular reception of Holy Communion has varied in its frequency throughout the ages of the Church. The Council of Trent was one of many councils to encourage worthy and regular Eucharist communion.


Adoremus Bulletin, January 2020 7. Adoremus accepts the liturgical changes approved by appropriate Church authorities since the Council as the legitimate exercise of the Church’s disciplinary authority over the Liturgy. Adoremus seeks a more authentic observance of the liturgical norms approved since the Council.


or 25 years, Adoremus has fostered the sound formation of Catholic laity in matters relating to the Church’s worship consistent with the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and aided Catholics (including priests and seminarians) with reliable information and encouragement. Adoremus provides sound resources to promote a more reverent, beautiful, and holy celebration of the Mass and other forms of worship. Since its founding, Adoremus has held to the following guidelines: Statement of Mission, Goals, and Principles 1. Adoremus Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy is an association of Catholics, established on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1995, to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite. 2. The mission of Adoremus is to rediscover and restore the beauty, the holiness, and the power of the Church’s rich liturgical tradition while remaining faithful to an organic, living process of renewal. The purpose of such a renewal cannot be expressed more eloquently than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s statement in Feast of Faith:

“ Christian Liturgy is cosmic Liturgy, as Saint Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians. It must never renounce this dignity, however attractive it may seem to work with small groups and construct homemade liturgies. What is exciting about Christian Liturgy is that it lifts us up out of our narrow sphere and lets us share in the Truth. The aim of all liturgical renewal must be to bring to light this liberating greatness. (p.75)” 3. Adoremus was inspired to reconsider the liturgical renewal by Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the 25th Anniversary of the Liturgy Constitution (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 1988). The pope was concerned not only with questions of liturgical translation, but also with liturgical renewal as a whole. He wrote: “For the work of translation, as well as for the wider implications of liturgical renewal for whole countries, each episcopal conference was required to establish a national commission and to ensure the collaboration of experts in the various sectors of liturgical science and pastoral practice. The time has come to evaluate this commission, its past activity, both the positive and negative aspects, and the guidelines and the help which it has received from the episcopal

conference regarding its composition and activity. (20)” 4. Adoremus fully and unreservedly accepts the Second Vatican Council as an act of the Church’s supreme Magisterium (teaching authority) guided by the Holy Spirit, and regards its documents as an expression, in our time, of the word of Christ Himself for His Bride, the Church. 5. Adoremus believes the aim of Liturgy is union with Christ in communion with the Church. The experience of the years following Vatican II—declining Mass attendance, dramatic decreases in priestly and religious vocations, diminished belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and in other core doctrines of the Catholic Church, and a widespread loss of the sense of the sacred—makes clear the need for genuine liturgical reform. 6. Adoremus’s guiding principle for authentic liturgical reform is enunciated in Sacrosanctum Concilium: “[T]here must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new form adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing. (23)”

Adoremus at the Triduum: A Conference on the Spirituality of the Triduum Liturgies

Featuring: Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ Dr. Anthony Lilles Christopher Carstens

8. With Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II (cited above), Adoremus believes liturgical changes approved since the Council should be reviewed and measured against a deeper understanding of the Council’s teaching and a hermeneutic of reform and renewal. We believe the Church should reflect carefully on these changes, and evaluate them in the light of the original conciliar texts and of the experience of Catholic faithful since the Council, including changes more in harmony with the authentic renewal of the Liturgy expressed in the Council documents. 9. Adoremus believes that the liturgical reform mandated by the Second Vatican Council cannot be accomplished by a return to the pre-conciliar Liturgy, although it does not oppose the use of the Extraordinary Form according to the discipline begun with Summorum Pontificum. 10. Adoremus encourages cooperative effort and a fruitful exchange of ideas with all faithful Catholics, and seeks to build support for a new liturgical movement. Adoremus provides a forum for many Catholics concerned about the Liturgy and gives voice to their legitimate desires, opinions, and questions, in order to foster greater understanding and appropriation of and actual participation in the Church’s worship.

Adoremus Conference Slated for March 14, 2020


hy is it essential to foster in oneself and one’s family and parishioners a vibrant spiritual life—especially in the liturgy— and especially for the high point of the Church’s liturgical season, the Easter Triduum? Next year’s upcoming Adoremus Conference, held during Lent 2020 at the historic Sacred Heart Chapel in Covina, CA, will answer this and other questions related to the spirituality of the Triduum liturgies. Speakers at the conference include Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, founder and editor of Ignatius Press and founding member of the Adoremus Society; Dr. Anthony Lilles, academic dean of St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, CA, and a specialist in the Church’s mystical traditions; and Christopher Carstens, editor of Adoremus Bulletin, instructor at the Liturgical Institute-University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL, and director of the Office for Sacred Worship in the Diocese of La Crosse, WI. The March 14 event begins at 8:45 am with Morning Prayer and concludes with Mass at 4:15 pm. The conference program kicks off with a keynote introduction by Father Fessio, and Lilles and Carstens will be presenting sessions throughout the day. In his keynote, Father Fessio will speak on “Praying with Jesus,” while Lilles and Carstens will present on “Developing a Liturgy Spirituality,” and then reflect on how that spirituality can be integrated into the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Paschal Vigil, and throughout the Easter season. Cost to attend the conference is $35.00 and includes lunch and amenities. To register, visit the conference page at Virgin Most Powerful Radio’s website: adoremus-conference/.

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Adoremus Bulletin - January 2020  

25 Years Young…. Adoremus Bulletin celebrates 25 years of liturgical renewal this year—and, as Joseph O’Brien reports, it all began in a con...

Adoremus Bulletin - January 2020  

25 Years Young…. Adoremus Bulletin celebrates 25 years of liturgical renewal this year—and, as Joseph O’Brien reports, it all began in a con...