Annual Meeting 2010


Hyatt Milwaukee, Wisconsin

January 7, 2010

Executive Committee: Keith Pecklers, Richard McCarron, Joanne Pierce


Prayer: Richard McCarron

Program: Chair: Keith Pecklers

Business Meeting: Chair: Joanne Pierce


The annual meeting opened at 9:09 with an opening prayer led by Richard McCarron.

Keith Pecklers welcomed the assembly. He reported that the new Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, regretted not be able to attend the meeting. Members of the Executive Committee had dinner with him the evening before and report that he conveys his greetings and wishes of support. Listecki noted that this is a critical time in the liturgical life of the church, and the bishops depend on the academy to give advice and guidance. On behalf of CAL, the members expressed to the archbishop our willingness to collaborate.

In the planning for the Milwaukee meeting, the executive committee intended an exchange with bishops to engage that collaboration. After the rough road of the translation process and the continuing tensions and concerns, we thought it would be helpful to meet and find a way forward. Due to the inclement weather, Bishop Blase Cupich was unable to attend. Due to the funeral of a close friend, Bishop George Murry, SJ, was unable to attend. We are grateful to Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, of Corner Brook and Labrador, who worked many years with ICEL, for his presence. Professor John Baldovin, SJ, graciously agreed to join in and lead us in plenary discussion.

Crosby’s Presentation

Crosby shared his experience as the CCCB representative to ICEL. Crosby identified four areas of his presentation: his work on ICEL as CCCB representative; the process that ICEL has just completed; some examples of the current translation; and the attitude of mind and heart we as leaders should cultivate to aid the reception of the new translation.

After a brief review of the history of ICEL and its composition, Crosby noted two new developments. First, English has for many regions become the “new Latin.” Therefore very careful attention needs to be given to the English translations. Second, the work of translation is now guided by Liturgiam Authenticam and the Ratio Translationis. The focus of ICEL’s work has been on the Missale Romanum 2002, and this translation has taken much time and given great care and attention. In the beginning, the comments received from the eleven episcopal conferences were numerous and elicited intense work. As the process continued, the comments became fewer. ICEL has also been sending copies of the translation to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome and to Vox Clara for their suggestions for improvements. It was thought that this would faciliate the recognitio process because the contentious issues would have been surfaced and addressed.

Why bother about the changes? The Church’s central task is to worship God, and attention to the language we use is not a trifling task. Crosby recalled the words of Bishop Roche concerning the importance of catholicity and tradition.

Crosby offered some examples of the new translation, where richer imager has been recovered and the resonance of the language of Scripture more clearly expressed. Any change, Crosby noted, is disconcerting, but it can be an opportunity to review practices and attend to the process of implementation. There is no perfect liturgy, and the current translation is an effort to improve our liturgy. We need humility and reverence. Change will take time. We are not just reading, but praying these texts. We can use the implementation as an occasion to teach about the liturgy. He encouraged an attitude of openness to be ready to receive, to pray carefully, to celebrate joyfully, to explain when necessary, so that through the words of our liturgy we may come to experience of Christ’s presence.

John Baldovin responded to Crosby. He stressed the conviction that we receive the liturgy as a gift as well as recognize the human role in celebration. The change is a great opportunity for deeper catechesis for liturgy, doing a better job that we did over the past forty years. Baldovin asked if we can step back from the translations and ask questions about the strategy and principles of translation that are represented in the shift from dynamic equivalence to formal correspondence. We needed to work on a new translation, but LA is too strict in terms of how original vocabulary and syntax are to be handled in the target language. The result is an awkwardness that impedes the flow of English. The problem is with the principles, not ICEL.

Baldovin also raised the question of the status of original texts. In 1973, alternative opening prayers were provided. In 1997 the approved text had elegant prayers. In 2010 we need to be careful not to make the MR into an idol. Is the euchology of the MR, editio tertia, sufficient? There is a possibility provided in LA 106-107 for new compositions. Time has been a factor, but the bishops should take this into consideration. In the long run, most people may pay very little attention to the changes. We need to recall what is central to our faith (Romans 12:1). Worship does not exist for itself; liturgy serves the ultimate purpose of bring the world back to God.

Pecklers invited Msgr Anthony Sherman to offer an update on catechesis for the implementation of the new translation. Sherman noted a strategy of both remote and proximate catechesis. The Website is to help move people along the process. Once the recognitio is given, proximate catechesis will begin. It will require at least a year for implementation after the recognitio is received. The FDLC also offers a number of resources. A second tier of resources will be made available. The Leeds group also offers a multimedia package. USCCB Publishing has resources in the pipeline that will be geared to every conceivable group. The BCDW will offer a series of workshops in some 20 venues. The target is priests and diocesan folk involved with the implementation. Revd William Burke from Ottawa noted the Canadian bishops’ efforts to look at the theology of the GIRM, of the assembly, and of the liturgical act. Workshops and DVD will be offered. The strategy is to explain the richness of what we have.

Open Discussion

Issues raised from the floor included: the function of English in the world today so that we assure what is passed on is closer to the original; the relation of the base

translation to the final version; the need for an interdisciplinary approach and remembering Vatican II; attending to a mystagogy of the Eucharist; whether any further changes are possible in view of rhythm and the words from a musical standpoint; whether the more formal register will leave less room for participation and the implications that would have for the connection of worship and life; importance of a mystagogy that honors the experience of the worshippers; whether there would be a feedback loop;


Business meeting

1. The meeting was convened at 11:00am by Joanne Pierce.

2. The Minutes from 2009 were approved.

3. The new member of the Executive Committee was elected: Michael Driscoll. Thanks to Anne McGuire for agreeing to run.

4. The membership list was circulated for updates.

5. The terms used for our official documents were clarified. We now have an official set of bylaws and articles for our organization as a not-for-profit charitable corporation organized persuant to Massachusetts General Laws. Our internal structures, while referred to as bylaws in the past, will now be called procedures. There is an error in the way our procedures are numbered. These numbers will be corrected.

6. The Treasurer, Robert Daly, submitted his report. To offset our meeting costs, he passed his stylish hat. We are grateful for the monies collected.

7. Edward Foley offered an update on the Ordo Missae commentary project sponsored by CAL. The volume will be published by Liturgical Press. The aim is for publication in summer 2011.

8. Anthony Ruff was invited to offer a few words about the new blog, Pray Tell. He encouraged members to post and to comment (

9. The committee reviewed the plans for the meeting of groups in the afternoon.

10. Anthony Sherman (USCCB CDW) elaborated on his report. The Spanish-language edition of the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium, editio altera, has gone ahead. The Leccionario is undergoing a long editorial process. The Congregation had expressed concerns about the Daily Celebration of the Word, but Cardinal George noted its importance for many dioceses. It is being studied further. Catechesis for the implementation of the missal moves forward and we will see a flurry of publications. The CDW is concerned about the role of the local diocesan bishops and local parish pastors to make sure that everyone is committed to do something about the catechesis and to do so

with a positive spirit. Sherman accepted questions and answers about his report. He noted that they are concerned also about lay formation (with the FDLC) and have consulted the Office for Catechesis and Evangelization. The need for attention to the formation of seminarians and catechesis in the seminaries was noted.

11. Paul Turner’s report on ICEL’s activities was accepted in his absence.

12. There was a recess for the lunch break at 12:00.

Lunch Break

13. The meeting reconvened at 1:30pm to discuss future plans. Discussion in Groups was held from 1:35-2:00.

14. Ideas that surfaced in the plenary that followed: engage the Catholic presses and beef up the website; prepare for the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium; engage with Society for Catholic Liturgy, so we are not parallel groups going our separate ways; attend to the deeper theological dimensions of the liturgy and give attention to preaching; reach out to Hispanic/Latino/a liturgists. People are looking for something deeper; give CAL a life between meetings; make a reconnection with the various groups at work in liturgy and in the translation implementation—seems as if everyone is in his or her own corner; keep full, conscious, active participation as the primary goal; attend to culture, art, architecture, theology of baptism; clarify whom we are trying to dialogue with; create more formal relations with the BCDW; explore web and blogs; should we advocate? Is dialogue possible collectively or can we only act as individuals (issue of position statements); what ecclesiology is at work? where is Vatican II? ; more work with popular media to appeal to young; Be sure we note CAL is present in our popular work and professional publications; don’t discount our presence; how will we deal with the greater and greater absence of people from the Liturgy on Sunday? could we arrange regional meetings to keep CAL alive between meetings? how can we address the disconnect from daily liturgical life in the parish and the academy? Can we learn from the process of Liturgical Consultants—rather than take this as a negative time, plant seeds that can grow when the air is more open, look at deeper realities, work together collectively in think tanks; talk to regular people, make better connections, ask who is missing in the conversations; a liturgical commentary on living; abandon attitude that we are right and they are wrong, recapture catholicism with a small c.

15. The proceedings concluded at 2:30. All members were invited to a reception sponsored by Liturgical Press at 3:30.

Respectfully submitted, Richard E. McCarron