“Prayer Without Ceasing”
October 9–11, 2019
50th Anniversary National Meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions
Close to 200 liturgists, speakers, and their guests gathered to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC), celebrating the accomplishments of the organization and looking toward the future of the liturgy in the United States. One thing made clear in the course of the gathering: The liturgy, ever ancient and ever new, continues to nourish, form, compel and transform the faithful.
The three-day event focused on the FDLC’s past, present, and future. An opening rite included a procession of mementos of the FDLC’s history as well as items from the Second Vatican Council — a chalice presented to the bishops by Saint Pope John XXIII and an original workbook from a Council session in which the bishops debated the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963).
Day 1: October 9
On the first day, attendees recalled the history of the liturgical movement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, revisited impact of the Second Vatican Council, and reviewed the history of the Federation itself — a collaboration of diocesan commissions which was formed by the United States Bishops in 1969 in order to provide formation on all the revised liturgical texts promulgated after the Council. Presenters included such liturgical luminaries as Rev. Ed Foley and Bishop Carl Mengeling (who was present as a page at the Council).
Opening Rite and Welcome (Fr. Jim Bessert)
Plenary Address: Global Flows and the Liturgical Movement: An “Outside” Persepective (Rev. Edward Foley, Capuchin)
Plenary Address: “Five Decades of Formation: The Federation at Fifty” History of the FDLC (Rita A. Thiron, Executive Director)
Day 2: October 10
On the second day, delegates studied trends of growth, challenges, opportunities, and pastoral practice among American Catholics, based on research presented by Rev. Thomas Gaunt, S.J., of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). Six diocesan leaders served as panelists who offered their own insights into specific multi-cultural, pastoral, and academic realities, including clergy and lay formation.
Plenary Panelist: Liturgical Formation in Seminaries Today (Rev. Leon Strieder, SLD)
Plenary Panelist: The Future of Liturgical Formation in the Academy: A Knotty Problem (Dr. Timothy O’Malley)
Day 3: October 11
On the third day, delegates heard from noted liturgist and sociologist Rev. Ricky Manalo and pondered how the next generation of Catholics might perceive the liturgy and how cultural demographics will impact the languages with which it is celebrated. Recent graduates in Liturgical Studies offered their own perceptions of the future of pastoral praxis and liturgical formation.
Plenary Response Panelist: The Future Has Already Begun (Panelist: Victoria Zibell)
Service of Remembrance