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Liturgy in the Spiritual Formation of Future Priests Edward J. Richard, M.S., and Daniel G. Van Slyke My dear brothers,1 Today, I am speaking to you as the Director of Worship of Kenrick School of Theology. I have been exercising this role for several years now, but it must be acknowledged that I have little formal training in liturgical matters. I am not a liturgical or sacramental theologian. To the extent that my field of moral theology traditionally addressed the matter of observance of liturgical norms, in some way my field encompassed the proper exercise of the rubrics and directives of the missal and other sacramental books. As a student I was very interested in learning about the liturgy, and I continue to read as much as I can in order to develop my understanding. In my experience at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, I have found the administration and faculty to be desirous of accomplishing the wishes of the Church in regard to liturgy. In my fourteen years as a teacher here, I have never known anyone of influence in this institution to promote disobedience to any of the liturgical norms. At times, the observation is made that liturgies at Kenrick do not reflect the liturgical life in the average parish. It is true that our Masses are solemn in the sense that we use the pipe organ and chant, we use the things the Church tells us to use without addition, we do not like gimmicks and fads. At times, we might be accused of being too solemn, but that charge hardly would be taken seriously if we did not live in a climate that witnesses frequent departure from the liturgical norms in many places. In the hallway by the classrooms in the eastern side of KenrickGlennon Seminary is the picture of a longtime faculty member, Sr Zoe Glenski, D.C. Sister Zoe died in 2006, after having served thrity-five 1 Edward J. Richard, M.S., Vice-Rector and Director of Worship at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Saint Louis, MO, delivered this address to the Kenrick-Glennon community at the opening of the 2010-2011 academic year. In collaboration with Fr. Richard, Daniel G. Van Slyke, Associate Professor of Church History at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, revised the text to prepare it for publication. Antiphon 15.2 (2011): 172-184 173 Liturgy in the Spiritual Formation of Future Priests years here, and having taught about half the priests in the Archdiocese of St Louis and a proportionate number across the dioceses of the Midwest. Sister Zoe’s discipline was early Church history. When asked what she taught at the seminary, she would respond, “I teach men, through the medium of history.” In speaking of the Second Vatican Council, Sr Zoe often said that it would take the Church one-hundred years to implement the council. As a student of hers, I was somewhat doubtful, in part because I was ignorant of such things. Yet my doubt was occasioned still more by an unwillingness to accept the truth of Sr Zoe’s claim. “If this is what God wants,” I thought, “why will I be dead when it happens? How is that fair?” Even later, I refused to accept it. As a professor, I am constantly looking for signs of renewal, for springtime, you might say, which certainly does exist. Yet I have come to accept that Sister Zoe was not only being truthful, but maybe even optimistic. To cite one example, in the more than forty years that have passed since the council, we still have no suitable synthetic treatment of moral theology. Moreover, we have had scarcely enough time to catch a breath when it comes to today’s subject, the sacred liturgy. I am not suggesting that it should be otherwise, but this does drive us to put into perspective what we are experiencing today and what you will be experiencing in the future as seminarians and priests. It is important, however, to recognize that the Church, in her authentic teaching, always presents to us in the Holy Mass the same thing Christ gave us at the Last Supper.2 When we adopt the mind of the...


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