- Essays in Honor of Sister Rose Mcdermott, S.S.J.
This festschrift, compiled by fellow professors of The Catholic University and other colleagues, honors Sister Rose McDermott, S.S.J. on her 75th birthday. This is perhaps the highest honor that can be bestowed on an academic. When one reviews Sister Rose's curriculum vitae and the many laudatio letters, it is clear why this work was undertaken. The volume contains thirteen [End Page 287] original, scholarly and stimulating essays on a wide range of canonical topics. This reviewer will comment on most but not all of the contributions.
Appropriate to the honoree, the majority of articles concern religious law. Kurt Martens outlines the history of a particular form of religious life: the Beguines in Flanders. This was a medieval lay movement significant because women created it for women. Sharon Holland identifies some contemporary questions regarding religious governance and explores their compatibility with the provisions of the Code of Canon Law. Of particular interest is whether the more consultative and collegial decision-making processes in religious institutes are in accord with our norms of law.
There is an essay on the evolution of societies of apostolic life by Philip Brown. After distilling the three distinguishing characteristics of these societies, Brown examines the mission and governance structures of six representative societies. He ends the essay by summarizing the applicable canons in the code. Sean Sheridan reviews select provisions of the Code pertaining to the involvement of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life in Catholic elementary and high schools. This essay includes a useful survey of documents on Catholic education including the current Code of Canon Law.
Because of Sister Rose's research in the area of lay ministry, Thomas Green offers a comparison of laity exercising ministry in church governance as found in the Latin and Eastern codes. After summarizing a theology of ministry, James Coriden addresses five practical issues concerning lay pastoral ministry in today's parish. Coriden argues for the preference of entrusting the care of a parish to a non-priest leader according to canon 517, §2 rather than entrusting several nearby parishes to one priest-pastor.
Robert Kaslyn studies the development of the institute of incardination and analyzes the implications of incardination today: reverence with obedience and remuneration. John Foster examines the third movement of our Eucharistic liturgy: the communion rite. He traces the development of the meaning and discipline of this rite after Vatican II. Foster gives us a careful analysis of the pertinent texts and points out the contradictions found in different normative documents.
There are two essays on the process for marriage nullity. John Beal offers the reader a practical guide for those who wish to lodge a complaint of nullity as well as for tribunals on how to process this remedy against a sentence. Roch Pagé examines the question of what is the truth that the Instruction [End Page 288] Dignitas connubii intended to be discovered in a marital nullity case. He argues that some matrimonial cases do not require the judicial contentious process and, if they did, it might be appropriate to use a process adapted from the oral contentious process similar to the "summary contentious process" found in the Eastern code.
This volume is full of gems. The quality of research and presentation is of the highest caliber. Because it is a festschrift and the first in new series of publications by the Canon Law Faculty of The Catholic University of America, it would be a shame if this work were overlooked. Teachers, practitioners and students of canon law will find much interesting and useful information between these covers. Besides, there is a wonderful frontispiece photo of Sister. Rose with her gentle smile and twinkling eyes!