New Executive Director of ICEL

A new General Secretary has been appointed to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). He is Fr Andrew Menke, a priest of the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, who has been executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship since the beginning of 2017 and who relinquished his post this summer.

The prior General Secretary or Executive Director of ICEL was Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, ordained as a priest for Westminster diocese, who had had a varied career as an assistant priest, hospital chaplain and chaplain to Harrow, one of England’s premier “public schools”, also flirting with life as an Oratorian and influenced by the traditionalist Abbey of St Mary Magdalen at Le Barroux, not far from Avignon in Provence, France. He had started life as a musician, and trained at Trinity College and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Fr Wadsworth was appointed to ICEL in 2009. At the time, this was seen as a bizarre appointment in that the man assigned to be responsible for English liturgical texts around the world was known to celebrate almost exclusively in the Latin Tridentine Rite. In 2013 he was given permission to found a new Oratory at a parish in Washington, DC.

Fr Andrew Menke has a different pedigree. After eleven years of priestly ministry and further studies, he was called to Rome in 2010 to serve as an official in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. During his time in Rome he obtained a licence in liturgy from the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy. After almost five years he returned to the US in 2015 and was appointed Associate Director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship, succeeding Fr Michael Flynn as Director in 2017.

7 thoughts on “New Executive Director of ICEL

  1. Fr Menke may have a “different pedigree” from Mgr Wadsworth, but it is good to know that these differences do not prevent them from joining together when the occasion demands. In the video below (which dates from 2018), Mgr Wadsworth is one of the commentators and Fr Menke’s presence is referenced at 2hours, 42minutes and 14 seconds in.

    1. Ah yes, guilt by the association of participating in the public worship of God according to an approved rite. Absolutely shocking, Father.

      Did someone notate this time stamp in case something should ever come of the Rev’d Fr Menke?

  2. Mr. Inwood writes that Monsignor Wadsworth has been “flirting” with Oratorian life, but that characterization doesn’t seem really adequate. Monsignor has been a member of the Oratory-in-formation in Washington since Cdl. Wuerl founded it ten years ago. He is incardinated in the Archdiocese of Washington and has served as the Moderator of the community. Shouldn’t that comment be corrected in some way?

    1. Msgr Wadsworth’s own words: “After two years as a priest, spent in the business of a full-time hospital chaplaincy and living in a parish which had maintained a good liturgical tradition based on a sung Latin Mass on Sunday, I asked Cardinal Hume for permission to try my vocation at the Birmingham Oratory, the community founded by Blessed John Henry Newman in the mid-nineteenth century. The Cardinal agreed and granted me two years’ leave of absence for the Oratorian novitiate.”

      1. I was present when he spoke those words. That was ten years ago, which perhaps confirms how some of the comments in the post above seem out of date.

        Thank you for responding. All the best.

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