Gil has been on the faculty of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he has spent his academic life preparing women and men for ministry in the Spirit of Vatican II. Gil is also important as a founder—a founding member of the faculty of CTU (one of two that are left) and the founder of the Institute for Liturgical Consultants at CTU, a twenty year institute that gathered architects and liturgists in the common cause of shaping a worthy space for worship. It is this topic Gil most frequently addresses in workshops and lectures across the country and it is one very close to his heart. You will hear more of this interest in his response tonight, titled “Reflections on the Place of Worship.” It is fitting that we, the academy, honor Gil’s teaching—fifty years worth—his “method” and all the diversity that grew from it. At NAAL, he is known and loved by many as the founding convener of the hermeneutics group and as NAAL’s president in 1993. But I believe that the academy’s reason for selecting Gil is not only this lifetime of education, teaching, and lecturing, but the academy wanted to honor Gil for his fifteen years of work with ICEL, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy—anonymous work, I might add. John Page wrote me: Gil’s chief accomplishment? Admitting my bias, the Missal that never was, the revised ICEL Sacramentary of 1998. Gil’s heart, mind, and spirit, his whole being, are in those pages. A decade and half effort of scholarship, generosity, long hours in Chicago and Washington, and all with the prayer of God’s holy people to the fore, never Gil Ostdiek, who was honored to be a major part of the great work, but always carried it on without any sense of being puffed up or self congratulatory.5 Peter Finn wrote me: It is no exaggeration to say that in the many years Gil served ICEL and through it the wider Church in English speaking world, he acted with tireless devotion, with great competence and scholarship, and with genuine humility.6 Margaret Mary Kelleher echoed these remarks in her comments at this afternoon’s plenary session. And Kathleen Hughes says further: His life has been shaped by his Franciscan charism. He is one of the simplest and most self-effacing persons I have ever met. Those of us who worked for ICEL were always aware that all our labors were anonymous . . . and would not advance our careers. [Gil served] on the Translation and Revisions Committee . . . slow, tedious work and little can be attributed to individuals. But his gift was . . . excellent Latin and at the same time a keen sense of the musicality, the poetic. Never was a prayer discussed that it wasn’t prayed aloud first and often it was Gil who could spot the awkward phrase, etc. Perhaps the key to Gil’s life is that he is a hopeless 2 on the enneagram—“I am helpful.” He really lives that out, gladly putting his own work aside to help a colleague or a student, proofread a text 30 NAAL Proceedings
Published on Oct 8, 2014
Published on Oct 8, 2014
The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...