Monday, June 27, 2016

Liturgical Catechesis Should Make Jesus in the Eucharist as attractive as... BACON!

I had a chuckle or two over this funny post this morning about a mythical parish (St. Simon the Sulfite) attracting people to Mass by serving bacon at after-Mass hospitality.  

But then I thought about it. Our goal should be to make people want Jesus in the Eucharist as much as they want bacon. Really.

Many people will go out of their way for bacon. People also testify to their love for bacon all over the internet by sharing pictures, recipes and other signs of bacon-joy.  We don't see much of that kind of passion for Jesus, whom we consume in the Eucharist at every Mass.

The goal of liturgical catechesis should be to change that from a blasé attitude to one of intense longing that echoes the longing of the psalmist:

We've got work to do.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 8: Liturgical Catechesis - An Apprenticeship

JAMES PAULEY: "Liturgical Catechesis: an Apprenticeship in Mystery and Mission"

Cultural shifts in US affect how we do catechesis.  
Jim Beckman in Becoming a Psrish of Intentional Disciples  proposes small group ministry

"Apprenticeship" in the Decree on Missionary Activity
"The catechumenate is not a mere expounding of doctrines and precepts, but a  training period in the whole Christian life, and an apprenticeship duty drawn out, during which disciples are joined to Christ their teacher." [14] 

Characteristics of an Apprenticing Relationship:
  • We put ourselves under the direction of someone who has mastered/is mastering the craft
  • Objective: learning a new way of seeing and learning new abilities
  • Learning happens through the experience of sustained presence with the other.

Three Related Concepts: 
  1. Pope Francis has freqently mentioned "Spiritual Accompaniment"  (EG 169-170)
  2. GDC 47 "Slow Stages" of Evangelization  - Before relationship with God is proposed there needs to be a sustained conversation
  3. Sherry Weddell's Forming Intentional Disciples: Thresholds of Conversion. - We need to study the person... And tailor our approach based on who they are. 

How  Would "Apprenticeship" Inspire our Catechetical Approaches?
  • The Content of Faith would e communicated in a genuinely personal way
  • All that is taught would e oriented to how it may be lived
  • Time would be set apart to allow for responsiveness, dialog and mentoring
  • Participants would learn a new way of seeing and a new way of living

Sophia Cavelleti allows time for silence... 
Apprenticeship model is most germane to liturgical catechesis because the liturgy is a place of encounter with God. 

See CCC 1624 on marriage role of Holy Spirit...  

If catechist is teaching in impersonal way, the richness  will be missing

Four Necessary Skills Needed to Live a Rich Sacramental Life
  1. The ability to disengage from distractions and attune ourselves to God in the sacramental action  - How do we help people disengage and attune to God? How the catechist starts the session is crucially important.
  2. The ability to "see" and "receive" and "give" in a sacramental way  - Seeing in a sacramental way gives us the ability to unite ourselves to see the invisible in the visible (Sohia Cavaletti) we need to help people to see the invisible. Then, we need authentic witnesses
  3. The ability to unit the mind and heart to the language of the liturgy  (is this even possible today - is it too much to expect? Children can. See Sophia Cavalletti Religious Potential of the Child, p. 43 
  4. The ability to be responsive to the gift God gives so that a change is effected in how we live

3 challenges to doing this.  From 2013 institute of church life survey

  1. Lack of trained personnelL
  2. Insufficient intentional disciples
  3. Catechesis takes place in larger groups

Maybe we start out small...

Organic Opportunities Today for Apprenticeship:
  1. It remains a deep conviction within our tradition that parents are the primary educators of their children... - Challenge to help parents apprentice the sacramental life.. Need homes where faith is lived organically
  2. A vitally important element of our ecclesial vision is that adult evangelization and catechesis  is "the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as thoat of old age." (GDC 275)...   We must pour our efforts into evangelizing adults 
  3. We can invest deeply in the mentoring roles that are already clearly defined... - Invest in mentoring roles sponsor, godparent...
  4. We recognize that the year after receiving a sacrament is a sensitive period... - The neophyte years is important. In marriage, the 1st year establishes behaviors
  5. The practice of spiritual direction is an already familiar model...   Spiritual direction is an apprenticeship model
  6. Opportunities may be found in catechetical sessions as they are currently structured...  Build time for mentoring into catechetical sessions 
  7. Many of the Saints [our mentors] apprenticed others in the Christian life...  If the task is beyond our strength,   like St. Therese, turn to God

Our catechesis should be rooted in respect for the mystery of God and the person.

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 7: Preaching - Relational Evangelization

KARLA BELLINGER:  "Liturgical Preaching and Evangelization"

YOU matter. YOU are the way. Pope Francis embodies this. Jesus was like that too. This is a theological statement. Yet we wonder if any word WE say matters. Do our words matter?

When the Holy Spirit asks say yes!  You matter, words matter, liturgical words matter!

Many people have deep feelings about preaching.

Name one word that comes to mind about Sunday preaching: (mine is "Forgettable")

Is preaching epiphenominological?  (i.e., Does it cause something to happen to the listener?) Too many people say "I come for the Eucharist not for the preaching." The homily is the 21st century hair shirt!

Priests and deacons think: Is anyone listening? 
Those in the pews think: Are you talking to me?  

Preaching is a relationship... When we don't have the connection there is a gap. Deep feelings on both sides... A conversation we are not having.

Study: 94% of those who gave feedback gave it to preachers they liked.  Only one in four catechetical leaders would pass a comment they heard on to a preacher... Zero would do it if the feedback was negative in nature.

Preaching is relational.

We need: new methods, new ardor, new expression

Andrew Greely said 1 out of 6 are preaching well.  CARA study says 1 out of 6 people in the pews is active. The target audience is the other 5.

Preachers should aim at those who only come once a year... If preacher yells at them or the music is bad, why would they ever come back?

For evangelization the homily that speaks to the inner circle does not work.

7-10 minutes can make or break a parish for a visitor.

The homily matters to the relationships in the church.  Connection and authenticity. Be real. Young people: don't talk AT us. Talk TO us.
Go deeper!

The focus should be on How can our people get an "A" in life? Let's call on the Holy Spirit to help us do this.

Q & A 
What does going deeper mean?   The spirituality of the listener and the preacher's content both matter.

Preachers need to get out among the non-active to listen.

What would a seminary formation in authenticity look like?  Like vinyl siding: paint scratches off aluminum siding. Vinyl siding is the same on the inside as on the outside.

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 6: Music - Connecting Experience

FR. ANTHONY RUFF "What does Church Music Have to do With My Life? Music and the New Evangelization"

The Problem
Young people think organized religion is not for good and that rituals of the church are meaningless. Inherited structure is meaningless. 
But his students are curious open and searching for meaning. They are often surprised that the rituals of the church can have meaning. It's news to them that liturgy is participation in salvation history.

Why is it a surprise that the rites are saving? Poor catechesis?

What happens in the Eucharistic prayer?  EVERYTHING

Christian Symbol and Ritual Bernard Cooke and Gary Macy starts with human experience... Very Rahnerian. He uses it to teach, because students today need that approach.

Five aspects of Ritual:
  1. Hermeneutic of experience
  2. Maturation
  3. Presence
  4. Service
  5. Friendship

Rahner  Foundations of Christian Faith all experience is open to God
vs. Von Balthaasar Intentions A very Critical Intorduction (Kilby)  beauty aesthetic acknowledging the beauty of revelation

Rahnerian starting point is a better approach in the Church today rather than zealots with an attitude that church teaching is good and the world is evil

Book he uses is Patrick T McCormick, A Banqueter's Guide to the All-Night Soup Kitchen of the Kingdom of God.  Students don't see any of this as spirituality. No connection between social justice and spirituality. Spirituality, in reality,  is an entire world view.

How is it meaningful?
Does it relate to spirituality?
Does it relate to my life?

We need a realistic piety around texts we sing

Do the texts of the songs line up with our longings?

Or, are they epiphenomenological?  (Do the texts cause the longings?)  Or are the songs overly cut off from the real world?  Do we balance our faith and doubt?

We don't want to be pious in a sloppy way.  No need for a layer of lace and holy water 

Instead, we need to respect artistic ability and musical impulse. Do musicians have to be disciples? Sing to the Lord 39  says yes, but we should expect them to be human and not to be perfect.

The Appropriate use of Tradition

SC 112 we need a Thesaurus Musicae Sacrae 

Overly traditional impulse comes from a sense that what we have is  not working. It's not all bad... 
Idealization of chant and stylistic Euro-centrism ignore the culture people come from.

Some agendas  more chant, fewer hymns...

The reform of the reform starts with Musical tradition and points to the liturgy... Is backwards. We should start with liturgy and work toward musical tradition

Alcuin Clark T&T Clark Companion to Liturgy.   Critique 
nothing positive about congregational singing or participation

Musical traditionalism attempts to make music meaningful. Escapist. Misreading of hermeneutic of continuity

We can indeed have a preferential option for tradition in Vatican II 

We need a hybrid hermeneutic for interpreting SC chapter 6. 
Theological dynamic,culturally sensitive rite plus a solid musical tradition 

Music-Makiing as embodied Spirituality: 
Sacred Music divinizes us by humanizing us.

Great tradition of music making in the church as humanizing got subverted In The 18th and 19th century when we first had concerts.  "Concert culture"

Before 19th century most music making was without any written page 


We need:
  • More comfort with our bodies and voices
  • Greater relationality in our ensemble music- making -see Voice Care Network website
  • Naturalness in proclamation of texts
  • Comfort with rhythm and dance
  • Relationality in engagement of assembly - cantor eye contact...
  • Affirmation of musical professionalism - Greater musical skills enable us to be more human
Multicultural music  we need openness to all culture

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 5: Ritual - How Do We Form People in a Visual Culture

KIMBERLY BELCHER: "Ritual Formation and Evangelization"

 History,  ritual and formation in the liturgical movement

1. Narrative of the past 
2. Explains one aspect of the present evolution.  Romanticism

Metzger book History of the Liturgy as example: everything took place before 12th century or between then and Vatican II. Liturgy is something that takes place in old books.  For most people text is not the most important thing about their experience of the liturgy.

Liturgy's boundaries  

Through 20th century boundaries were the 7 sacraments.  Text studies fairly limited.... Jewish texts, etc.  
also Liturgy of the Hours  
Liturgical Year
Rites of Burial
Occasional rites a any public prayer in common

Renewal was limited to input of books and output of books.  That is not sufficient.

Liturgy's meaning
Aidan Kavanaugh Three Days story of baptism romanticized

Paul Bradshaw and Max Johhnson The eucharistic liturgies - deconstructs the romanticism... There was no golden age of the catechumenate...

History and the worshiping subject.  Guardini (1918) on the church as beyond the body of the faithful.  In 1964. He said in the 19th century we moved to qwindividualistic inward act and lost the sense of being a member of the body of Christ 

Some implications of ritual
Traditional -----> pluralistic.    In a traditional worlds there is only one way.. The way you have always done it and your parents etc.  we forget there was evolution

Oral----> Post-literate. Transition to culture not adept at interpreting body language, imagery etc.  but are adept at texts. (Now that is transitioning to a culture of images again.

  • Distinction between public and private eroding
  • Knowledge is embodied  and interpretive
  • Individuals do not live  in stable symbolic communities it contrict their social worlds through pastiche 

Ritual: a system of mutually interpreting human behaviors that function as connected tissues....

Ritual and meanings
  • Meaning is fluid, not fixed
  • Meanings are constructed by practice and reflection over time - we have to go back to it over and over so the ritual can speak to us when time arises
  • Individuals are now capable of subversion-assigning sago a practice a earning opposite that prescribed by authority - confirmation
  • Ritual can be a space for production of meanings rather than having a meaning of its own

Allowing space for questions

Ritual: defying bounds

Ritual is "connective tissue". Can be stretched but retain its connection
  • Liturgy has intrinsic tension between its nearness and distance from the everyday
  • Liturgy promotes connections bwtwymundane experience, private prayer, and social and cultural life

Ritual and renewal

Not just about new books or old books!

Nathan Mitchell is it possible that modern people don't know how to make a ritual act?

We need to learn to dance! We need to give people permission to thrive in the culture the live in that isnverynnegative

Liturgical evangelization:  
Make space to LISTEN
To decolonizing cultures 
To those we minister to
Build up the partial

Foster BODY  practice. Doesn't just happen in the Eucharist.
How does our culture re-learn how to process?

Video of Kenyan dances at papal Mass

Photography as tool to help people reintegrate their lives

  • REFLECT and remember use photos to help the,m remember 
  • SPEAK a common language from our experience

Pictures of 2 churches from Flickr...

Pictures take a sustained gaze to generate theological reflection

We need to get together to generate sustained reflection on our rites -theological reflection in communities. 

Ritual evangelization is to assist people in liturgy, not to assess

Q & A
Doing this together communally builds up an assembly that understands how better to celebrate

In our cultures athletes and musicians understand doing things over and over until we get it right.

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 4: Sociology - the Mobile Culture

MICHAEL MCCALLION: "Liturgy, Sociology and the New Evangelization" 

We have a communal relationship with the liturgy. 
The problem: we have to stay put in order to have community.  We have "collective effervescence" -  too much individualism.
What is the optimal level of social connectedness? 

We need communal relationship with Jesus.  But our first impulse is individualism and we have such mobile lives...   We live de-synchronized with friends and family.
What are the ways we create community in the liturgy?

Common repertoire of liturgical music is important. People in pews appreciate fewer songs. They don't sing if they don't know the songs.
It boils down to "Playing well" with the liturgy.

How do we evaluate if?
We need fewer meetings, more processions.

Pp 129 -133 in Tim I'malleys book. Eucharistic  center - Who's going to do this?  

We need better trained staff, more commitment to develop better liturgy

It's the music... people

The issue is upward social mobility. We move away... Makes it hard to form community.

Q & A:
Disses Rebuilt for breaking up community...
Architecture facilitates or hinders community
Balance -Needs to internalize faith and take it out into the homes personal and communal in balance.

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 3: Popular Culture - What Can We Learn from It?

DORA TOBAR: "Popular Culture and Liturgy in the New Evangelization" 

Popularized cultures in North American church's evangelization scenario:

Secularized Spiritual Culture - more pervasive. Sacred is recognized in society but we in the church fail to recognize it as sacred. We need to make pact with it.
  • Spirituality without form - new age - trying to break free from tradition. Defines itself by contrast with established religiosity. People are thirsty for spiritual experience 
  • Spiritual spontaneity 
  • Search for wholeness and holistic integration with reality
  • Search for personal-existential relationship with the sacred
  • Feminine aspect of humanity and women's leadership 
  • Incarnational-existential relationship with divinity in a new integral cosmology(looking for a new cosmology that makes sense in our reality 
  • Creation-friendly religion (Pope Francis is trying to do this
  • Wholeness rather than an ideal human perfection
  • Integrality without dualism  
  • Inner consciences and discernment rather than hierarchical authority
  • Spirituality and real, concrete stories (religion as experiences of individual people
  • Authenticity before worldly powers
  • Sibling model of brotherhood rather than hierarchical difference 

New spirituality is not collective, but is a personal experience.  

Hispanic popular piety- characteristics result of centuries of intercultural dialog
  • Is magic - sense that is supra-rational and intuitive 
  • Is symbolic and rich in images (natural and supernatural) people want to touch God
  • Is emotional- exististential
  • Festive-theatrical 
  • Collective and politic religiosity identifies and unites them
  • Is natural cosmic religiosity- follows natural times and moments (bad when their is a new cosmology for new generation)
  • Family rooted tradition transmitted at home by mothers and grandmothers -issues arise when families no longer speak a common language between the generations.

Charismatic Hispanic Movement
  • Spiritual gifts (charisma) available to contemporary and ordinary Christians
  • Preachers -often women- give testimonies, not lectures
  • Music and invocations to pray allow everyone to participate
  • Rich in emotional and existential connection - many bodily expressions are involved
  • Worship is centered on establishing wa personal connection with God

Lot of commonality between these three spiritualities. All are outside the temple, all rely on the Holy Spirit...

Charismatic movement engages more in renewed experience of faith than traditional devotions.

For younger Hispanics raised in modern cosmology,  traditional symbols don't make sense.

See EG 123,  EN  48, AAS 68 popular religiosity 

Popular religiosity has much to teach us, has missionary power.  EG 124

Nw evangelization has - Pope Francis (in common with popular religiosity)
  • Incarnational-sympathetic commitment with human pain 
  • Not message to pass but personal encounter with JC
  • Joy and festive Attitude mark the style 
  • Discerning and openness is pastoral attitude
  • Jesus, with his Holy Spirit is primary agent EG 11.  & 49
  • Starts at intimacy with Holy Family
See SC 40!!!! If people cannot understand the liturgy in their culture, adaptations must be made

Question: Should we do more Liturgical catechesis or should we make liturgical language more accessible to today's people's cultural range of comprehension?

Inculturation is not simply adaptation is dialog that allows people to fully and consciously participate in the liturgy. Pastoral suggestions:
  • Happy popular beauty connect liturgy with heart and soul of the people 
  • Personal-exististential language in preaching is essential
  • Listen to the Spirit

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 2: Liturgy in a Digital World

DANIELLA ZSUSPAN-JEROME: "Digital Media and the Liturgical Capacity of the Christian"

The myth of the Golem (Jewish) symbol of dark side of technology... he was a created monster... Digital technology is our Golem today.  Digital culture has spiritual implications  profound relationship to the liturgy.

Not talking about technology IN the liturgy. EWTN Mass -example: book, glasses, TV camera... We forget these are also forms of human technology.

Techne (Greek) =art, skill or craft
Practical things that extend human capacity - always paired with human action

Technology sometimes has become symbol in the liturgy.  Candle is example. So is microphone headset... it means leadership.

However, objects and tools matter. They make sense in broader cultural context. Multiple meanings "Madonna headset" became a name for the headset mic, for example.

Technology always has a interactive human element.

Digital culture has subcultures, lots of layers.

LENSES to look at technology:
  • Values - innovation participation, ubiquity, collaboration simultaneity, creativity
  • Beliefs - newer is better, belonging matters over content, partipation matters, access is possible
  • Practices - (missed it - sorry)
  • Artifacts- mobile devices with cameras, apps, bio-responsive technology, social media platforms, Internet of Things

Curation - focusing and filtering information to avoid information overload. Individuals choose trusted filters.  The Missal and Lectionary are  examples of curation of texts.

Key question: How do we (re)establish the liturgy as primary curator of meaning?

Connection: we are plugged in all the time and loosely connected to others through information... Belonging to the network.  Continuous partial attention. We are not in the habit of going deep.

How can the liturgy be way to move us from connection to communion?

Self instrumentalization. Data about us is currency of digital age. As data we are means to an end. We are willing to do this as a price for continual connection. Violent communication is one outcome. (We are critical and some people do not care what they say (trolls)

How do we recover encounter instead of instrumentality and primacy of person in communion?

Liturgy gives us an Incarnational model for culture, including digital culture. see Ad Gentes 10

The incarnation speaks to digital culture. Communion et progressio 11. 

Liturgy embodies culture. Offers context for how incarnation offers model for digital world

Communicating in the manner of the incarnation:

  • Listen First - Mary as open to welcome the Word her fiat is trust choosing a posture of -trust and authenticity 
  • Words  Give Life -  Mary with child in womb - mutual encounter communication - body and presence
  • Self Gift in Love  Christ is perfect communicator. Communication begets communion. Deeper connection  to liturgy
  • Bear the Fruit  - openness to Spirit... faithful and authentic communication Galations 5:22 in the liturgy how do we connect the Word as fruit

What can the liturgy do? What can it not do? What do we want it to do? How can it reveal the pattern of the incarnation? How can it be prophetic?

Q & A
Shallowness of encounter in parish life... Distinction between digital culture and reality is not there

Value of the new. (New is better.)

Relationship between digital culture and the aesthetic....

NEXT NOTES: 3 - "Popular Culture and the New Evangelization"

Notes from the 2016 Notre Dame Symposium 1: Parents Matter

CHRISTIAN SMITH & JUSTIN BARTKUS:  "From Generation to Generation: How American Catholic Parents Today Approach Passing on the Faith to their Children"

Parents are the biggest influence on American teenagers. The predicted religiosity of young adults can be identified by age 15. Parents who attend religious services regularly have teens whose religiosity is stable- high. Other factors don't have quite as much effect. The most powerful factor is parents who talk about faith at home.

Studied 245 parents 73 were Catholic from upper, middle & lower classes. Personal in depth interviews

The household is a culture in miniature a meaning-making project. It is fundamental to children's existential initiation. It is permeable to other cultures - sports, faith, etc.

Parental transmission of faith is a cultural project
Catholicism is a lifelong commitment
Success happens when maturing children see that Catholic commitment = success.
Failure happens when maturing children see that Catholic commitment = failure.

Children must perceive intrinsic value to religious commitment. They easily see inauthenticity when they see gaps in modeling or elevation of other priorities.

Parents are "arch-celebrities" in their household by power of personality practices and way of being - they model & generate culture of household. they are the dominant influence.

Many Catholic parents outsource religion to the parish program.

Interview with mother of 3 teens who is personally devoted to faith.. has the intention to transmit, but her religiosity is thin. So sends them to religious ed.

Any household that intends to transmit faith has to have

  1. narrative of motives
  2. degree of conscious intentionality
  3. parents supplying religious content
  4. enacted interpretation of intended religiosity at key moments in family life

Common motives:

  • Dogmatic
  • Individualistic
  • Morale boost
  • Ethnic -family identity 
  • Formational
  • Moralistic

Many are inarticulate/ineffective

Key question is there gap between motive and commitment?

When parents reflect on their motive there is coherence
Frequent, repetitive and participatory

Religious content takes several forms:

Institutions and programs are secondary to parental modeling.
Failure is not because of bad programming but failure of parental modeling
Effective households reflect inter penetration of church & home
Religious content is not in itself enough

Enacted interpretation:

  • Conversations in household
  • Parental explicitness about transmission
  • Outward manifestation of parental conversion
  • Substantial processing of religious motives in life experiences I the household

Spiritual personality of parents is single most powerful force. Possible only if they intend transmission

Parents and churches both need to understand centrality of parental role. Faith cannot be seen as belonging only to parents.Parents are Gatekeepers, Sponsors, Interpreters of Catholicism to their children

Q & A
Who is the carrier of Catholic faith now? The old carriers in our culture don't carry any more. The challenge is for parent and churches to be reflexive now.

Empower parents to share faith, don't shame them.

NEXT NOTES: 2 - "Digital Media and the Liturgical Capacity of the Christian"