2021 San Diego

“This House Brings to Light the Mystery of the Church”

Sept. 28–30, 2021
San Diego, Calif.
52nd National Meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions

After two long years of planning, members gathered at our 52nd national meeting in the lovely Diocese of San Diego. Over 125 persons were in attendance and 67 participated virtually. Twelve local leaders attended the Study Day. Bravo to the local committee and to everyone who made it such a memorable event. We experienced fine liturgies, an excellent program, historic destinations, great food, and a large helping of fun!

The meeting focused on the Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar. The presentations and workshops drew their inspiration from the multifaceted Prayer of Dedication. Thank you to our excellent speakers – Fr. Tom Simons, Lesa Truxaw, Sr. Sharon McMillan, Dr. Bob Hurd, and Fr. Gilbert Sunghera. A very special thanks to Father Paul Turner who offered a superb keynote even after stepping in at the last minute when Bishop Garcia’s father fell ill.

Thank you to our Supporters!

We are very grateful to the Sponsors, Exhibitors and Advertisers who are supporting our annual national meeting in San Diego.  Please thank them by patronizing their businesses.

Tuesday, Sept. 28

Panel Discussion on Reinvigorating Parishes after Covid

  • We will look at pandemic-era liturgical practices and a look-forward to methods which might reinvigorate parish life and restore liturgical norms. Experts and diocesan leaders will review new diocesan policies, suggest effective programming and resources, examine pastoral realities, and necessary medical protocols.

Wednesday, Sept. 29 (Study Day)

Plenary I: “May All People be Clothed with the Dignity of Your Children”

  • Rev. Paul Turner of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph: The Prayer of Dedication makes clear that the church building is not only to be a place of worship, but also a place of refuge: “Here, may the poor find mercy, the oppressed attain true freedom, and all people be clothed with the dignity of your children, until they come exultant to the Jerusalem which is above.” What does this say about the nature of our Church and the mandates to our parish mission? What implications does this have for our liturgical celebrations?

Text of Fr. Paul Turner’s speech coming soon

Plenary II: “A Temple Built of Living Stones”

  • Father Thomas Simons of the Diocese of Grand Rapids: “When a church is constructed as a building destined solely and permanently for gathering the People of God and for carrying out sacred functions, it is fitting that it be dedicated to the Lord with a solemn rite, in accordance with the ancient custom of the Church” (ODCA, Chapter II, no. 2). With appreciation and respect for the history of the rite, this session will examine the structure of the Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar and the rich pastoral options it contains.

Text of Fr. Thomas Simons’ speech coming soon

Workshop Session A

  • “Dedicated to the Lord with a Sacred Rite” with Lesa Truxaw of the Diocese of Orange, Calif.: “…For today, your faithful people desire to dedicate to you, solemnly and for all time, this house of prayer…” For the faithful of the Diocese of Orange, that day came on July 17, 2019 — after years of renovation and preparation, Christ Cathedral was dedicated! This workshop will focus on the details of that dedication rite – the multi-cultural expressions which enriched it, the practical considerations which contributed to the beauty of the celebration, and the year of spiritual preparations which preceded it.
  • “Holy is the Temple: Singing the Mystery of the Church” with Bob Hurd: The Order of Dedication of a Church and an Altar draws upon a rich heritage of psalms and hymns. While it provides assigned antiphons and psalmody, it also allows a wide variety of opportunities for “suitable hymns.” How can we choose music which supports the liturgical action and engages the participation of the assembly? Moreover, how will these texts remind us that this church is a place for word and sacrament, ritual and refuge, and the constant praise of almighty God?

Workshop Session B

  • “Let Us Take Part in These Sacred Rites with Loving Devotion” with Sr. Sharon McMillan, SNDdN: “In order that the faithful may fruitfully take part in the Rite of Dedication,… [they] are to be instructed about the various parts of the church and their use, the Order of the Dedication, and the chief liturgical symbols employed in it so that, fully understanding the meaning of the dedication of a church through its rites and prayers, with appropriate help, they may take a conscious, devout, and active part in the sacred action” (ODCA, Chapter II, no. 20). How can we best facilitate such formation? What methods might be employed? How can we best teach parishioners, of every culture and generation, to appreciate the beauty and the importance of the rite? How can we involve many parishioners in its authentic celebration?
  • “Resplendent to Every Eye: Beauty and the Liturgy” with Rev. Gilbert Sunghera, S.J.: The Prayer of Dedication includes this passage: “Exalted is the Church, a City set high on a mountain for all to see, resplendent to every eye with the unfading light of the Lamb, and resounding with the sweet hymn of the Saints. How can the church building reflect and serve the mission of the Church? How do art and architecture contribute to the liturgical act? How can beauty and design –in a variety of cultural expressions – reflect the Author of Creation?

Thursday, Sept. 30

Morning with the BCDW

  • Archbishop Leonard Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford is the current chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship. He will address us virtually. BCDW Secretariat Staff members, Father Andrew Menke (Executive Director) and Father Dustin Dought (Associate Director), will offer updates on the status of the liturgical texts as well as projects and policies of national interest. Here, too, we will entertain your questions in the ballroom and through a moderated chat room.

Business Sessions

  • Members discussed, amended and then voted on the following position statements:
    • 2021-A: Restoring the Cup to the Faithful (🟢 Passed, 72%)
    • 2021-B: OCIA Formation of the Clergy (🟢 Passed, 79%)
    • 2021-C: Post-Covid Worship and Ars Celebrandi (🟢 Passed, 94%)
    • 2021-D: The Importance of the Homily and Preaching Programs (🟢 Passed, 75%)
    • 2021-E: An Online Forum to Discuss Best Practices (🔴 Failed, 6%)


  • The FDLC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Rev. Edward Foley, Capuchin, will be honored with this year’s Frederick R. McManus Award at the San Diego National Meeting. Father Foley is recently retired from Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union where he served as the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality, as a Professor of Liturgy and Music, and as the founding director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program. He holds an MDiv from St. Francis School of Pastoral Ministry (Milwaukee), an MM from the University of Wisconsin, and an MA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. A prolific and award-winning author, his publications appear in nine languages. He has lectured in over sixty Roman Catholic dioceses around the world. Besides exercising practical theology as an educator, he preaches and presides at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago.
  • The 2021 Alleluia Award was presented to Rev. Marty Dobrzynski.

Published by FDLC

Since 1970, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has served the clergy and faithful of the dioceses of the United States by providing leadership, scholarship, and resources to aid in the authentic implementation and celebration of the liturgy.