USML | News

The Liturgical Institute

The Liturgical Institute | News

  • Institute Hosts Conference on Sacred Architecture: “Decoding the Christian Temple” | 11/18/2014




    On September 26th, 2014 the Liturgical Institute welcomed nearly one hundred participants to a day-long conference on the deep meaning of liturgical art and architecture. Using Liturgical Institute faculty members as speakers, the event was entitled “Decoding the Christian Temple: Church Architecture and Its Place in Christian Worship.”

         The term “temple” was used intentionally in the event’s title in order to open discussion of the Biblical notions of architecture, namely, its symbolic significance as bearer of God’s presence and the renewed heaven and earth. Moreover, this rich biblical symbolism was amply demonstrated as present in authoritative Church documents.

         Institute Director Fr. Douglas Martis started off the day with a talk entitled “The Rite for the Dedication of a Church: The Key for Decoding the Christian Temple.” By walking participants through the rite itself, he explained how the theology embedded in the Church’s liturgical books can inform church builders.

         Dr. Denis McNamara followed with a lecture entitled “From Temple to Eschaton: The Church Building As Image of the Mystical Body of Christ.” He noted that members of the Church are called Christ’s body, God’s building and temple of the Spirit. He then investigated how the eschatological notion of “living stones” is symbolized in church architecture and its figural arts.
         Christopher Carstens addressed both specific situations in church building and the theology supporting the Church’s legislation in a talk entitled “Encountering the Mystery: Altar, Ambo, Portal, Font.” He was then joined by Dr. McNamara for a presentation entitled “Thorny Questions: Seating Plans, Tabernacles, Choirs and More” which sought to help church builders make prudent decisions about much-discussed topics in ecclesiastical design.
         Lastly, Dr. McNamara closed the day with a talk he called “From Brown Brick to Radiant Gems: Building the Council’s Heavenly Vision,” in which he discussed the text and larger context of the Second Vatican Council’s chapter on liturgical art. He then explained the immediate post-conciliar architecture and today’s renewal of Catholic tradition.
         As with all Institute conferences, the day was punctuated with sung Liturgy of the Hours and continued conversation at meals. Many thanks to all our guests and speakers!

  • Liturgical Institute Welcomes Blase Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago | 11/18/2014



    On September 20, 2014 Pope Francis named Bishop Blase Cupich as successor to Cardinal Francis George as Archbishop of Chicago. Liturgical Institute Director Fr. Douglas Martis concelebrated the Installation Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, praying along side him, on November 18.

         As founder of the Liturgical Institute, Cardinal George holds a special place in the heart of the Liturgical Institute’s faculty, staff, students and alumni. We thank him for his sharp intellect, generosity of time and interest in our students.
         But the Institute also has another reason to celebrate: the new Archbishop is a sacramental theologian. He holds both a Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology in Sacramental Theology from the Catholic University of America. His doctoral dissertation investigated the theology of Advent in the Roman tradition by comparing its Lectionary readings.
    Archbishop Cupich was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska in 1975, attending St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, before seminary formation in Rome at the Gregorian University and the Pontifical North American College.
         Archbishop Cupich’s pastoral appointments after ordination reveal a breadth of experience: parish priest, high school teacher, diocesan office of worship director, seminary rector and Secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC.
         Interestingly, his time as bishop spans three pontificates: he was named Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota by Pope John Paul II; to Spokane, Washington by Benedict xvi; and to Chicago by Pope Francis. As Pope Francis’ first appointment to a large American archdiocese, this appointment to Chicago was understandably hailed as the first evidence of the “Francis effect” in the United States. When reporters asked him what kind of message Pope Francis was sending in this appointment, Archbishop Cupich replied that the pope has sent a “pastor, not a message.”
         Archbishop Cupich made it a priority to visit the Mundelein Seminary and Liturgical Institute faculty just days after his appointment was made public, making his gentle style evident immediately in his preaching at Mass and warm greetings.
         In many ways, Archbishop Cupich’s famed gentle approach to issues which affect the Church is much like the approach of the Liturgical Institute’s fundamental approach of joyful fidelity to he liturgy. We invite people to study, understand and love the Church’s liturgy. We do our best to help people of differing opinions let the norms of the Church be a point of unity in the context of compassionate pastoral practice.
         The Liturgical Institute offers Archbishop Cupich our heartiest welcome! 


  • Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy Addresses the Liturgical Institute | 7/23/2014


     On July 16, 2014, the Liturgical Institute welcomed the Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy to give an address on the work of ICEL and the status of its many projects. Read more at the Liturgical Institute Facebook page by clicking here

  • Fr. Chris Hellstrom Speaks on Deliverance and Exorcism | 7/1/2014

    Fr. Chris Hellstrom, a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver, spoke at the Liturgical Institute on June 19, 2014 on the topic of deliverance and the Rite of Exorcism. Visit the Liturgical Institute's Facebook page to read more and see photos from the event by clicking here.

  • The Liturgical Institute's 2014 Corpus Christi Procession | 6/30/2014

    The Liturgical Institute celebrated Solemnity Feast of Corpus Christi with a procession through the university's beautiful grounds, stopping for Gospel readings at four station. Read more and see photos on the Liturgical Institute's Facebook entry on the event by clicking here

  • Liturgical Institute Students, Faculty and Staff Serve at Area Soup Kitchen | 6/25/2014

    On June 21st, Liturgical Institute students, faculty and staff purchased, prepared and served dinner at Holy Family Soup Kitchen in Waukegan, Illinois. Nearly 100 meals were served for families and individuals.
    The connection between liturgy and social justice was a central theme of the early 20th-century Liturgical Movement. One day earlier, students in Dr. Denis McNamara’s course on the Liturgical Movement were reading Dorothy Day’s writings on the connection between the sacred Liturgy and love of the poor. The next day they were serving dinner to the poor at Holy Family Soup Kitchen. 

    Here are a few quotes from the namesake of the Institute's publishing imprint and major Liturgical Movement figure, Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand former Rector of Mundelein Seminary:

    "Liturgy is the corporate prayer of the Church, by which divine life streams from the head to the members. Corporate worship is the great need of our times, the cure of our evils, the rallying point of the spiritual forces of the world."

    "We can’t act with Christ as Mass without translating that act into life through the apostolate."

    "Both liturgy and the events of daily life [are] equally occasions for bearing generous and faithful testimony to the fact that God’s merciful justice finds its scope in human history."


  • Chant Specialist Adam Bartlett Joins Liturgical Institute | 6/5/2014

    The Liturgical Institute happily announces the arrival of Institute alumnus and noted chant specialist Adam Bartlett to join the staff of the Liturgical Institute! He will bring his expertise in music and chant to our programs, beginning by being choirmaster for the 2014 Summer Session. He will also help develop the Institute's sacred music programs, teach the "Music and Liturgy" course for the Institute, oversee the music of the Institute's prayer life, and offer chant workshops on campus and around the country. He will also teach the three course sequence of chant classes for seminarians in Mundelein Seminary.

    As some have heard, Adam's title will be "Assistant Director and Faculty Member" and a few people have asked if this means that the current Assistant Director, Denis McNamara, is leaving the Institute. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. McNamara is staying on as always, newly promoted to "Associate Director."

    Welcome Adam!

  • Online Audio Files for the Sacred Triduum | 3/18/2014

    Pray along with the Liturgical Institute from the Mundelein Psalter!

    Want to celebrate Morning and Evening Prayer from the Mundelein Psalter, but need help with the tones and hymns?

    Click here to hear the Mundelein Psalter Triduum online audio files.

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