Kevin Irwin receives FDLC’s McManus Award

The Federation of Diocesan Liturgy Commissions has given the Frederick R. McManus Award to Msgr. Kevin Irwin. The FDLC’s press release states:

Kevin Irwin

The FDLC’s highest honor, the prestigious Frederick R. McManus Award, was presented to Msgr. Kevin Irwin of the Catholic University of America in recognition of his outstanding contributions to liturgical scholarship and ministerial formation. In his typically eloquent remarks, Msgr. Irwin urged all to recover the essential link between liturgy and justice – a renewed concern for the poor, a recommitment to unity and peace instead of rubrical debates, and an “unfussy” approach to liturgical celebrations which commissions us all to bear witness to Christ’s Gospel and “to share in the very life of God.”


Past recipients of this award include Msgr. McManus, Fr. Godfrey Diekmann OSB, John Page, Ade Bethune, Aidan Kavanagh OSB, Liturgy Training Publications, Bishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Bishop Donald Trautman, Sr. Kathleen Hughes RSCJ, Bob Rambusch, Nathan Mitchell, Fr. Robert Taft SJ, Richard Proulx, Fr. Kevin Seasoltz OSB, Mary Frances Reza, Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB, Msgr. Tony Sherman, and Fr. Paul Turner.

Congratulations, Msgr. Irwin!

U.S. National Statutes for the Catechumenate: Update

At the October national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Illinois, Bishop Mark Seitz (bishop of El Paso TX, alum of St. John’s School of Theology-Seminary) gave reassurance that the U.S. adaptations for the RCIA are not endangered.

To back up a bit: In 1986, the U.S. bishops decreed that the National Statutes for the Catechumenate should govern the catechumenate in the U.S. (The National Statutes can be found in Appendix III of the RCIA Ritual Book.)

These statutes decree, among other things, that

  • the catechumenate should extend for at least one year (6);
  • the program for the newly-baptized should extend a year after their baptism, including at least monthly meetings of the neophytes (24);
  • it is preferable that reception into full communion not take place at the Easter Vigil (33);
  • the term “convert” is reserved strictly for those converting from unbelief and is never used of baptized Christians of other traditions becoming Catholic (2);
  • those already baptized in another tradition should not be treated as or called catechumens (30);
  • for those received into full communion the priest is obliged to confirm them, and they may not be admitted to eucharist before confirmation.

Bishop Seitz said this to the FDLC assembly:

RCIA is not a flash in the pan, because the Christian life is not a flash in the pan…

I understand that there may be some concerns among some individuals that our U.S. adaptations for the RCIA may not be renewed. Let me speak to that briefly. As far as my understanding goes, those concerns are without foundation, and what is more, the U.S. bishops believe firmly in the RCIA model that we have in the United States are are eager to see it ocntinue. Your help in reviewing the National Statutes for the Catechumenate and other aspects of the Rite itself is an important part of ensuring that the good work being done with the RCIA in our country will continue. Thank you in advance for your engagement and consultation during these days. We want to hear your voices on this topic, and I personally look forward to engaging with you over it in the coming days.

From: Newsletter of the Committee on Divine Worship of the USCCB, October 2014, p. 38.


Piero Marini on Vatican II at FDLC

Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and longtime MC under John Paul II, and Benedict XVI at first, spoke to the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Erie, PA this past week. Piero Marini is much-discussed in the news these days – Pray Tell has reported here, here, and here.

Over at Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray, Jerry Galipeau reports on Marini’s FDLC keynote.