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.