Max Johnson Awarded at 2022 NAAL Annual Meeting

NAAL 2022 Berakah AddressAs my colleague Mark Roosien recently reported, at their early-January meeting the North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) bestowed on Maxwell E. Johnson the Berakah Award.

Since 1976, NAAL has conferred the award annually on “a member of the Academy to honor distinguished contribution to the professional work of liturgy.” With the pandemic having forced NAAL to cancel its 2021 Annual Meeting, Max’s Berakah Award bears the unusual date of 2021-2022.

Here I offer a photo montage, with a bit of narrative, to complement Mark’s thorough, if not touching, description of the event honoring his former professor.

NAAL 2022 Berakah Award
President Gennifer Brooks, Recipient Max Johnson, Citation-Writer Melinda Quivik


Maxwell Johnson, professor at the University of Notre Dame and a former president of the NAAL, is a prolific scholar of the origins and development of early Christian liturgy. But the award citation, composed by Melinda Quivik (herself a former NAAL president) with calligraphy by Judy Dodds (St. Paul, MN),  bespeaks a fuller litany of qualities the Academy appreciates in him:

NAAL 2022 Berakah Introduction



Stephanos Alexopoulos, professor of liturgy at the Catholic University of America, gave an introduction of the Berakah laureate worthy of his colleague and former professor’s erudition and wit.




On those and multiple other counts, Max did not disappoint in delivering his Berakah Response. Through autobiographical narrative he provided a practical-theological history of the scholarly and ecumenical, but always in service of the prayerful and pastoral, developments in liturgical studies over the past several decades.

NAAL 2022 Berakah Banquet SceneThe understandably smaller than usual number of NAAL members and visitors at this year’s Annual Meeting in Kansas City spread out at tables across the banquet hall. While COVID precautions prevented the planned entertainment by Max’s blues band, the Oblates of Blues, the pleasure and joy of all in attendance was undiminished.







8 responses to “Max Johnson Awarded at 2022 NAAL Annual Meeting”

  1. Maxwell Johnson Avatar
    Maxwell Johnson

    Thanks for your kind words, Bruce!

    1. Bob Pierson Avatar
      Bob Pierson

      congratulations, Max!! You really deserve this award!

  2. Timothy Brunk Avatar
    Timothy Brunk

    Congratulations, Max!

  3. Michael Bechard Avatar
    Michael Bechard

    I loved my time with Max while at ND. His thinking and scholarship has shaped my own and better equipped me to serve God’s people.

  4. Katharine E. Harmon Avatar
    Katharine E. Harmon

    So many congratulations! I wish I could have been there!

    1. Rhoda Schuler Avatar

      Thank you, Max, for mentoring me through both my M.A. in liturgical studies (SJU, Dec 1994) and Th.D from Luther Seminary. Twenty years tomorrow (February 15, 2002) you were present (and asking the best questions) as a reader for the public defense of my dissertation.
      Rhoda Schuler

  5. Elaine Schroeder, OSB Avatar
    Elaine Schroeder, OSB

    Wow, Max! We at St. Benedict’s Monastery are proud of you!
    Thank you for your gifts to education, churches and the world.
    Stay well.

  6. Dr.Cajetan Coelho Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Hearty congratulations to Max Johnson.

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