Annual Meeting 2009


Hyatt Baltimore, Maryland

January 2, 2009

Executive Committee:  Kathleen Harmon, Keith Pecklers, Richard McCarron


Summary of Opening Morning Session

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 am by Kathleen Harmon and opened with prayer lead by Richard McCarron.

The topic for the morning session was, “The Relevance of Theosis to Liturgical Formation and Catechesis,” moderated by Kathleen Harmon.

The first presentation was by Gerard Austin, OP. He reviewed the terminology and traced his own “awakening” to the concept of theosis as a key to understanding the fruit of sacramental action, beginning with Yves Congar and Godfried Diekmann. Austin offered some theological reflection on the relation of theosis to Christology and Trinitarian theology, stressing that union with Christ leads to sharing in God’s Trinitarian life. Austin offered members some annotation on the bibliography he provided. Austin concluded by emphasizing the richness and potential the concept has for preaching and teaching and called for a more sustained conversation with systematic theologians in the future.

Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS, delivered the second presentation on the topic. Zimmerman noted the trend to return to the spirituality of an earlier age. With this trend comes a shift in accent in catechesis that starts with a negative theological anthropology—a sinner needing to overcome one’s sinfulness—rather than a more positive one, namely being a member of the Body of Christ by baptism. Zimmerman highlighted how the concept of theosis has expanded her theological reflection on the relation of liturgy to the paschal mystery. She touched on some distinctive features of theosis, emphasizing its Trinitarian character. She concluded that theosis offers a corrective to growing trends both in terms of spirituality and the understanding of participation in liturgy. It can also help address the sense of a loss of mystery in celebration. By linking kenosis and theosis, the connection between liturgy and life can be better integrated.

The academy divided into small groups at 9:45 for lively discussion of the two presentations. At 10:15, the academy came together for plenary discussion.

The group broke for coffee at 10:30.

from Bishops’ Committee for Divine Worship (BCDW)
and the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

At 11:00 am, CAL received reports from the BCDW and ICEL in a session moderated by Keith Pecklers.

BCDW Report

Anthony Sherman presented the report from the BCDW. He highlighted several points in his written report submitted in December and updated the academy on recent developments. With regard to the translation of the Missale Romanum 2002 (MR), Sherman noted the major break through with the approval of the Proper of Seasons. Hundreds of changes were received. He noted that the CDWDS in Rome was pleased that the Church in the United States was taking the process seriously but urged them to move things along to get the work done. Some 200 changes to the Proper of Seasons were made, and it has been submitted for recognitio to the CDWDS.

The current timeline would have the final gray book in the summer of 2010. With regard to expediting the process, first, the approval of the Revised Grail Psalter (RGP) could make the work on the antiphons quicker, in the sense that the bishops could bring the antiphons of the missal in conjunction with the RGP rather than translate each antiphon from scratch. (The RGP has been sent to Rome for recognitio. Given the CDWDS’s previous endorsement of it in the Kenyan Bishops’ revision of their breviary and Lectionary, the process should go fairly smoothly. Work is still being done on the issues of copyright of the RGP.) There is a new prefect, which could mean change from the previous working agreements. Second, the preliminary and concluding material in the MR could be dealt with separately. Rome would update that, perhaps allow the American adaptations to be preserved in an appendix, rather than insist they be put in the relevant paragraph in the Missal itself. It is possible the U.S. vote on the final texts could be 2009.

Publishers have already informed the BCDW that they will need a year from the reception of the recognitio to bring the text to publication. There have been conflicting dates among English-speaking conferences as to when the new translations will be introduced.

Questions from the floor asked if the RGP would eventually be used for the Lectionary (in the US, yes; and the ICPEL has accepted the RGP). When the RGP will be incorporated into specific ritual books is another matter. With regard to RGP’s copyright, the bishops will not buy out the rights to make it free use. Royalties will go to the Grail. The RGP will not be released publically until the recognitio is received.


Paul Turner presented the written report on ICEL’s work. He noted his role as secretary and that he has voice but no vote. He highlighted the role of Anthony Ruff in the preparation of music for the Missal. ICEL has been in collaboration with the Leeds Group to develop catechetical materials for the implementation of the Missal. The Leeds Group is independent of ICEL, but enjoys a working relationship in view of Bishop Roche’s being the ordinary of Leeds. They are producing a five-part DVD. While much attention has been given to the Leed’s materials, there will be many others and the impression is that the market will be competitive.

The texts of the Ordo Missae that received recognitio are posted on the USCCB website. There was some confusion and discussion on ICEL that two conferences—Canada and Australia—who were preparing their own submissions received the recognitio at the same time the U.S. did without their asking for it. There were hundreds of changes made in the recognitio process. Many requests made by the bishops were accepted, but not all. In particular, the proposed alternate translation of the post-sanctus of EP IV was explicity rejected. The status of the alternate memorial acclamation “Christ Has Died” is still up in the air.

Emendations have been made to the MR and released in 2008. The more substantial changes are the exclusion of the EP for Masses with Children from the vernacular and future editions of the MR. (They were in a separate appendix for study purposes, not intended to be used in Latin.) It is most likely that we will continue to use the translations we have now until they are published separately, even after the release of the new translations of the Missal. The inclusion of bishops in the EP other than the ordinary has been deleted, and there are three new dismissal formulae.

Questions included the format of music in the vernacular edition (5 lines, notes with no stems); movement of the sign of peace (the consultation requested by Rome has been reported and the decision is left to the Holy Father).

Sherman noted that questions of the alternate memorial acclamation, the placement of the sprinkling, the expanded options for form 3 of the penitential rite, are part of the separate petition for American adaptations, not part of the approval of the translation.

Minutes of Business Meeting

The business meeting was called to order at 11:30.

The first matter of business was the election of a new member to the executive committee. The candidates were introduced, and the nominations were closed. The business continued during the voting and counting of the ballots. Joanne M. Pierce was elected to the executive committee for a three-year term. Thanks to those who agreed to stand for office and Kathleen for her work.

The minutes of 2008 were accepted without corrections and approved unanimously.

Kathleen Harmon delivered the report of the Executive Committee. The only item concerned CAL’s new status as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. As part of the documentation for this process, CAL now has an official, external legal document for the the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, known as its bylaws. Legal counsel recommended that in view of the new document, CAL should change the name of its existing internal bylaws to “procedures” to avoid any confusion. The EC accepted this recommendation.

Robert Daly submitted the treasurer’s report. Financial condition is sound.

Voting on amendments to the CAL Constitution and Procedures followed. These proposed changes had been sent out to the membership as agreed at the 2008 meeting. Only one query had been received concerning the constitutional change. The wording was ambiguous: with whom dues were to be kept up-to-date (CAL, NAAL?). The proposal on the floor from last meeting was a “yearly $10 nominal dues to CAL” to help track membership. Objection was raised from the floor that the intention of the original foundation was to keep CAL simple. Also, in light of fundraising efforts, making some profit from dues was not necessarily attractive. A motion to table the vote on the change was made, seconded, and approved unanimously.

The first of the changes to the procedures was presented. A query was raised about who can present a statement for CAL’s action, which resulted in rehash of the issues covered at the 2008 meeting. A question was raised if this were a pressing issue, to which the EC responded no. Motion to table the voting was made, seconded, and carried with all in favor (2 abstentions).

The EC will revisit the amendments and prepare them again for next year. The need for the members of the Academy to follow through on their agreement to review any business posted in advance of the meeting was emphasized.

Richard McCarron announced the small groups that would gather to discuss CAL projects. These included (1) work on a companion volume to the IGMR commentary to take up a commentary on the Ordo Missae (presented by Ed Foley) (2) a follow up group on catechetical initiatives (moderated by Joyce Zimmerman) and (3) exploration of a parish study of the reception and implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium in view of its 50th anniversary, brought by member of CAL members who had attended a symposium in Chicago in December 2008 (moderated by John Baldovin and Philip Horrigan).

CAL broke for lunch at 12:00 noon.

CAL reconvened at 1:36 pm to discuss direction for its future deliberations. Topics that came up included:

  • Inviting Bishop Blase Cupich (Rapid City) to the next meeting to further the dialog between bishops and CAL especially as we move toward discussion on catechesis in relation to the new Missal.

  • From Austin's and Zimmerman's presentations in the morning, a follow-up on the Trinity.

  • Continuing the discussion on liturgical education. Michael Woods raised the question of how we can best help undergraduates to understand the liturgy as there appears to be a significant level of "liturgical illiteracy" among many of them. This led to wider discussion about CAL can assist in fostering greater "liturgical literacy" among Roman Catholics in general.

  • Joanne Pierce suggested the idea of a sort of liturgical "Wikipedia" that might be generated by CAL. Larry Madden commented that the Georgetown Center for Liturgy has done some work in this area and would be quite willing to collaborate on such a project. It was then recommended that this be added to the topics to be pursued in one of the 2:00 pm small group meetings.

  • Richard Hilgartner of the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship suggested that there is significant need for ongoing theological reflection on the Missal texts, e.g., the collect, since there is very little quality material available on this at the moment.

    The meeting adjourned at 1:57. The project work began at 2:00, with each ending around 3:00 pm. In view of the plenary discussion after lunch, a group on Internet / Technology resources, moderated by Larry Madden, was formed.

Reports from Small Group Project Work

Ordo Missae Project:

Ed Foley convened the Ordo Missae Project discussion with about a dozen members of CAL present. The work is intended to continue the vision set out in the CAL Commentary on the Institutio Generalis. He presented a working outline of the volume and explained it rationale, scope, and audience. This work would tell the story of the translation of the Ordo Missae, offer historical and theological commentary, and shape future discussion of translation and ritual reform. A further purpose of this volume is to offer an update and advancement of Joseph Jungmann’s Mass of the Roman Rite. Discusssion focused on the audience of the work, the components of the introductory section, the importance of including elements that would be a resource for mystagogy and liturgical preaching. It was resolved that Ed present the project to the EC to seek CAL’s endorsement (according to the same terms as the first volume) as well as investigate other grant resources.

Catechesis Follow-Up:

Twenty members of CAL met on January 2, 2009 for an hour to discuss ways we might contribute to ongoing catechesis on the new Ordo Missae. The hour-long discussion began by group coordinator Joyce Ann Zimmerman briefly summarizing work already begun by the Leeds Group based in England, the website by the National Secretariat for Divine Worship, and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC). Msgr. Anthony Sherman, director of the National Secretariat for Divine Worship, then expanded on Zimmerman’s remarks. The group next brainstormed on what we might contribute either to these projects already under way, or work we might contribute on our own, with a number of ideas surfacing:

• Materials to help diocesan personnel implement the new Ordo Missae
• Materials directed to a mystagogy of Eucharist
• A forum for the Sacramentary (how do we do the “how to”?)
• A new missalette format that would aid the “folks in the pews” to become

familiar with the new texts
• Scope and sequence sheet for catechetical preaching on the liturgy
• Materials on change management and transitioning with an eye to helping

people grieve the “loss” of the familiar Sacramentary/ritual
• Workshops on how do we engage and excite people about best celebrating the


Enthusiasm in the group seemed to lean toward work in change management and grieving and a mystagogy of Eucharist. A paper was passed around for those who wish to pursue working on catechetical materials to sign name and email. Within a week of leaving the Baltimore CAL meeting, Zimmerman will contact the group by email and ask for people to respond to which area they wish to contribute and ask for a volunteer to coordinate each area.

Parish Study Project:

Overall the group was receptive to the idea of exploring a way to get a “picture” of the post-Vatican II church through the lens of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. The idea was formulated with the component:

  • The collection of both data and narrative that would reflect how the life of the church has changed/been affected by the CSL in the last 50 years.

  • An approach to gathering this information that would respect both the need to have reliable data but would also be more than numbers and percentages; i.e., it would be about the real life of the folks in the local church—their feelings, reactions, faith experiences, commitment to—the reforms of the liturgy.

  • The need to put this latter point into a survey instrument and who would be able to best articulate this need to the survey agency

  • The desire to find the right survey agency to do this. Some names mentioned were: Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy; Georgetown Center for Liturgy; CARA; The National Pastoral Life center; and there may be others.

  • The question of funding was raised but nothing determined until the project is more concisely defined

  • A few people agreed to sit on a working committee to explore this further and to make a report to CAL next year.

    The general consensus was that this was a worthwhile project and that it should have a positive spin to it; that it would be useful to counter some of the results that have recently been published that have painted the liturgical life of the church in negative way (e.g., the Pew research); and that the questions of the survey instrument are very important in how they are worded and presented (as well as the scope of the questions and the target audience).

    Internet Discussion:

    A small group got together to brainstorm about Internet development and collaboration There were no further plans made to follow up the free-flowing discussion.