Liturgical Institute Graduates Largest Class Yet As Cardinal George Confers Degrees at University Commencement
At its May 5, 2012 commencement exercises, the ecclesiastical and academic faculties of the University of St. Mary of the Lake conferred diplomas on eleven Liturgical Institute graduates. Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Chancellor of the University and founder of the Liturgical Institute, personally presented diplomas to each graduate. Held in the Cardinal Mundelein Auditorium, the ceremony included an address by former Mundelein Seminary faculty member, Sr. Kathleen Mulchay.
With eleven graduates comprised of six Master’s degrees, four Licentiates and one Doctorate, the 2012 class represents the Institute’s largest graduation class to date.
Newly-minted doctor Fr. Joseph Lionel earned his degree by defending his dissertation entitled Continuity in Liturgical Renewal: A Critical Analysis of the Prefaces for the Five Sundays of Lent in the Missale Romanum 1570 and 2002 and the Foundations in Scripture. He is now a faculty member of St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, India.
Among the graduates earning the degree of Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Fr. Geoffrey Kerslake, Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada, brought together theology and architecture in a thesis entitled The Influence of Dionysius the Areopagite on Abbot Suger: Are Dionysian Themes Reflected by Design or By Accident in the Abbey Church of St.-Denis? Fr. John-Mark Missio, now a seminary professor in the Archdiocese of Toronto, Canada, investigated the requests of Pope Pius X to define sacred music as holy, excellent in form and universal. Entitled Pope Pius X and the Attempt to Define Sacred Music, his thesis made recommendations for the current day by studying the “inner nature” of music as a means for determining its proper form.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Fr. Manuel Razo made a study of the origins of the Eucharist in a thesis entitled The Jewish Background of the Eucharist, comparing the writings of Odo Casel, Anton Baumstark and Louis Bouyer. Lastly, Mr. Owen Vyner, presented a thesis entitled The Contribution of the Sacrament of Penance to a Conjugal Spirituality: The Signification of Marriage and the Body in the Thought of Dietrich von Hildebrand and John Paul II. Vyner’s work was considered so excellent as to be presented in the Institute’s Hillenbrand Lecture Series.
Mr. Joseph Wagner earned his Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) degree with a thesis centered on the relationship of individual transformation within the worship of the Mystical Body by studying the modern Liturgical Movement and the theology of Joseph Ratzinger and Alexander Schmemann. Joe has since begun studying for the priesthood at Mundelein Seminary. His classmate, Fr. Romanus Nwaru, entitled his thesis Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: Exploring an Ancient Maxim, taking a fresh look at this well-known phrase.
The Cardinal also awarded four Master of Arts in Liturgy degrees, first to Dr. Claudia Dado, whose project, The Liturgy of the Hours: A Model to Implement the Prayer of the Church in the Parish, resulted in the regular prayer of the Divine Office in her local parish. Fr. John Baptist Nguyen, op, a Dominican priest from Calgary, Canada, was asked by his local ordinary to address the alarming statistics that over 60% of the high school students in his local Catholic high school were not confirmed. His master’s project, entitled Journey of Faith to Encounter Christ in the Sacraments of Initiation: A New Implementation for High School Students, was developed to address this pastoral need.
Father Don Bosco Selvaraj, a priest from India, chose to approach the question of the Sacrament of Reconciliation within the context of the several major religions operating in his diocese. Calling his project Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation Today in the Context of the Diocese of Kumbakonam, India, this multicultural approach addressed notions of sin and forgiveness in Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Lastly, Mr. Evan Stricklin, who works at a Catholic parish in New Jersey, developed an educational program for the implementation of the third edition of the Roman Missal, calling his project Glorify the Lord by Your Life: Discovering Active Participation in the Mass by Way of the New Roman Missal.
Our liturgical Institute graduates are now serving the Church around the nation and the world, bringing the Institute’s unique blend of fidelity, joy and prayerful preparation to the people of God. Congratulations to our 2012 graduates!