University of Notre DameUniversity of Notre Dame

Institute for Church Life

Notre Dame Center for Liturgy

Leading the Way to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

1959 National Liturgical Week Notre Dame

Mathis also worked long and diligently from 1948-1956. It was at the National Liturgical Week sponsored by the Conference at Notre Dame in 1959, that Mathis made his last major public appearance. Still recuperating from a major heart attack, Mathis was brought to the conference in a wheelchair and could manage only a momentary appearance on stage. There, this small, now frail man standing with Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, who had literally worn himself out for the love of the liturgy without any recognition for so many years, was greeted at last with the standing ovation he so richly deserved.

Six months later, exhausted by what a confrere called "his many years of overtime in the service of the Lord," Michael Ambrose Mathis died on March 10, 1960, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council where a number of the very scholars he had brought to Notre Dame over the years would author the Constitution on the Second Liturgy, promulgated in December 1963, three years after Michael Mathis' death.