Annual Meeting 2018

Catholic Academy of Liturgy

Hyatt Regency Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

Thursday, 4 January 2018

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

64 attendees

8:30-8:50         Celebration of morning prayer, which was prepared by Alan Hommerding.

9:00-9:02         Welcome by Steve Wilbricht. Steve introduced Alan and announced that Katie Harmon will not be with us due to the birth of her baby girl.

9:02-9:05         Introduction of the panelists: Fr. Terrence Fournier, Bernadette Gasslein, Dr. Christian O’Connell

9:05-10:00       Panel Discussion on Liturgy and Technology in Light of the Canadian Bishops’ Guidelines on Liturgy and Technology

Fr. Terence Fournier reported on the work being done by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in developing a set of national guidelines for the use of technology in the liturgy, including (but not restricted to) such matters as the use of projection screens and tablets and other devices. The bishops found the first draft too negative in tone, and have asked that the work proceed in stating positive liturgical values for guiding the use of technology.

Bernadette Gasslein spoke on the effect that technology has had on us as persons, particularly in its pervasiveness. She shared a story of watching a Good Friday liturgy (not being able to attend due to post-surgical recovery) being streamed, and having an experience of engagement with the cross at veneration. Technology is changing our notions of self, community, and participation. The potential of technology for large dioceses with low/scattered Catholic populations and a priest shortage was also presented.

Christian McConnell also reported on the work of the national guidelines committee, which he has recently joined, working in the area of sacraments. He said the bishops’ guidance was to state “why” liturgical principles may determine the continued use of earlier technologies (printed books vs. computer tablets), rather than merely stating the “why not” of things to be avoided. Also being looked at are consistencies and differences between the ways liturgy and technology form us, and the ways they communicate.

10:00-10:30     Questions and Group Discussion

The allotted time for questions/responses/discussion was easily filled, with a number of CAL members having perspectives to offer to continue the Academy’s focus on technology in liturgy for the 2019 meeting in Denver.

10:30-11:00     Coffee break

11:00-12:30     Catholic Academy of Liturgy Business Meeting

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Executive Team: Katharine Harmon (in absentia), Steve Wilbricht, C.S.C., and Alan Hommerding

11:00               Steve Wilbricht called the meeting to order.

11:05               Michael Driscoll passed the hat for free-will donations to CAL.

11:05               Steve Wilbricht asked the membership to review the minutes from the 2016 meeting.

11:07               Steve Wilbricht asked for a motion to approve the minutes, and they were unanimously approved.

11:00               Steve Wilbricht read the citations for the two candidates for election: Paul Janowiak, S.J. and David Farina                              Turnbloom. David was elected on the first ballot.


1. Webmaster and Treasurer

Webmaster’s report: Michael Driscoll reported that the website is current and up-to-date. The pages dealing with past meetings are an important on-line archive of the activities of the academy. He is working to make the minutes from year to year more detailed and consistent. He asks that whenever a member passes away and if it is not reflected in the necrology, please drop him an email with the name of the person and he will look for the obituary notice and photo for posting.

Treasurer’s report: Michael Driscoll presented the financial statement for 2017 and reported that the academy is solvent with a rainy-day cushion. In addition to the free-will offering made by those in attendance, he thanked the following benefactors of the academy: Marian University, Stonehill College, Liturgy Training Publications (LTP), the Liturgical Press, J. S. Paluch, and the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. He also reported that a few of the members have been especially generous with their gifts and he invited all members to consider remembering the academy in their last will, following the example of Richard Butler.

2. International Commission on English in the Liturgy

Paul Turner reported on the activities of ICEL. The committee has had to struggle with the question of authority, but the committee is optimistic given Pope Francis’ positive attitude toward local conferences being in charge of translations. Projects underway include: R.C.I.A and the initiation of children, the Liturgy of the Hours, a supplement to the Missal and the Liturgy of Hours, the Rite of Penance, Pastoral Care of the Sick. Paul invited for questions and comments.

3. National Liturgy Office (Canada)

Terry Fournier reported on the activities of the National Liturgy Office, noting that the Order of Christian Funerals had to be reprinted. Permission was given to proceed with the Order of Matrimony as well as a study guide. Rite of Exorcisms has gone to publication. Other blessings were given confirmation. The office is hopeful about Funerals Celebrated in the Presence of the Cremains. Ritual for infant baptism will contain rubrics within the rite and not just the introduction. Work has been done to simplify the website of the CCBC. The executive committee approved a new hymnal for Canada; production should proceed in the spring.

4. USCCB/Bishops Committee on Divine Worship (USA)

Steve Wilbricht read a report submitted by Fr. Andrew Menke. The report largely centered around the publication of Spanish resources, those sources which will appear in 2018, and projects that are being prepared for the bishops’ approval.

5. Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC)

Patty Hughes of the FDLC reported on its work in connection with the BCDW. The FDLC has a new website that Patty encouraged people to visit. 14 virtual workshops have been prepared in conjunction with Liturgy Training Publications. CARA is implementing research on the decreasing number of funerals and the issue of lapsed Catholics. She passed out a handout entitled “What’s New? What’s Not?” that looks at the new Spanish Missal and the edition.

 6. New Project Proposal for CAL

Ed Foley reported on a project on the Order of Celebrating Matrimony. The book will be published by Liturgy Training Publications. Vicky Tufano will be the managing editor. 70% of those who are writing for this are married.

7. Ideas for Future Meetings

Ed Foley and Anthony Ruff suggested that the CAL be used for advisory purposes to the bishops as the possibility for broadening the possibility for local translations develops.

8. Open Forum

Alan Hommerding made a plea for more candidates who might stand for election for the troika.

Steve Wilbricht asked for a general reaction to the compressed format of the CAL meeting. The majority of people seemed to think that the time worked well.

9. Final Words of Thanks

Steve Wilbricht thanked Katie Harmon once again for her service to the troika.