Vol. XVIII, No. 6
News and Views
“Defending Human Dignity” was the theme of the Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA) tenth annual conference held July 6-8 at Queens College in Melbourne, Australia. The conference was attended by 230 students and alumni, including numerous priests and religious.
Dominican Father Aidan Nichols, the acclaimed British theologian and author, was the keynote speaker. A former Anglican with a deep interest the Christian east, Father Nichols has written many books, including Looking at the Liturgy and Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism (Ignatius Press).
Other speakers included Dr. Tracey Rowland of the John Paul II Institute of Marriage and Family, The Hon. Kevin Andrews, MP, and Dr. Matthew Tan of Campion College in Sydney.
The ACSA conferences aim to cultivate strong faith in young people by providing inspiring liturgies to encourage participation in the sacraments, by inviting thought-provoking speakers, and by promoting fellowship. The group’s liturgical guidelines say that ACSA “desires to have its liturgies celebrated with dignity and in accordance with the mind of the Church, particularly under the light of the Second Vatican Council’s document Sacrosanctum Concilium.”
The conference liturgies consisted of daily celebrations of Mass and the Divine Office, and an all-night vigil of Eucharistic adoration. Father Nichols celebrated Mass at the Newman College chapel; and the closing Mass of the conference was celebrated by Father Gregory Jordan, SJ, ACSA’s national chaplain, at Queen’s College chapel. (Both colleges are residential colleges of the University of Melbourne.)
ACSA is affiliated with Pax Romana and the International Movement of Catholic Students, and enjoys the support of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
ACSA web site: catholicstudents.org.au
Melbourne archdiocesan web site: cam.org.au/News-and-Events/News-and-Events/Melbourne-News/Article/12508/acsa-conference-comes-to-melbourne
More than 200 Catholic musicians, clergy, and laity gathered in Salt Lake City June 25-July 1, to sing, teach, study, and learn about sacred music. They were attending the 22nd Sacred Music Colloquium sponsored by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA), focused on the Church’s tradition of sacred music for the liturgy.
Activities of the six-day colloquium, held at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, included lectures, rehearsals, and daily sung liturgies in both Latin and English.
Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), was the keynote speaker at the colloquium. His address, “The Reform of the Roman Rite,” was a commentary on Pope Benedict’s thought on the liturgical reform following the Second Vatican Council.
“There is much to be done” on the path to liturgical renewal, he said, “and happily a week like this one is a prophetic sign of the new liturgical road map — where we are going and how we are going to do it!” His address is accessible on the CMAA web site. (chantcafe.com/2012/06/msgr-wadsworths-speech-to-cmaa.html)
In his homily at Mass on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Monsignor Wadsworth said, “In a week in which there has been much to dazzle the eye as there has been much to delight the ear, it would be very easy to think that ours is a religion that confuses sensory overload with an authentic experience of God. That, of course, would be very wrong and would reduce all that we hold dear and know to be true to the level of the most appalling idolatry — we would have truly made God in our own image and likeness and we would be guilty of bowing down before that which is the work of our own hands.” However, he continued, “we are redeemed from all this” through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which “rescues us from all this and so much more in our human frailty that would so easily deceive and mislead us in our interaction with the Divine Mystery.”
William Mahrt, emeritus professor of music at Stanford University, president of the CMAA, and author of The Musical Shape of the Liturgy (CMAA 2011), gave an address, “Vespers: Its Place in Liturgical Life,” and presented polyphonic vespers during the liturgy, featuring the works of Orlando di Lasso.
Horst Buchholz, director of music for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, organist at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, and vice-president of the CMAA, conducted the choir at the June 29 Mass; and his wife, Cecelia Nam, a distinguished vocalist who teaches at Eastern Michigan University, guided sessions in vocal technique in singing polyphonic music.
Gregory Glenn, director of liturgy and music at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, explained the school’s motto, Caritas Christi urget nos, “The love of Christ compels us,” and how commitment to achieving excellence — not just at special events, but as part of the life of the real parishes —is now so urgent. Mr. Glenn is director of the renowned Madeleine Choir School, an elementary school that prepares children to engage the culture within the Catholic intellectual, artistic, moral, and religious tradition. The school’s acclaimed choir also sang at the colloquium.
Wilko Brouwers, conductor of the Monteverdi Choir in the Netherlands, composer, organist, and teacher of chant, lectured on “Style and Interpretation in Chant Performance,” and conducted portions of Claudio Monteverdi’s Messa a quattro voci da Cappella (1650) at the colloquium’s closing liturgy July 1.
Other faculty for Colloquium XXII included Father Guy Nicholls, Birmingham Oratory; Charles Cole, Westminster Cathedral and Brompton Oratory; Arlene Oost-Zinner, CMAA programs director; Jeffrey Ostrowski, Corpus Christi Watershed; Kurt Poterack, Christendom College; Edward Schaefer, University of Florida; Susan Treacy, Ave Maria University; and Paul Weber, Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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