University of Notre DameUniversity of Notre Dame

McGrath Institute for Church Life

Notre Dame Center for Liturgy

Seminar Descriptions

2014 Seminars

Beginning in 2014, we will have seminars on themes related to our general topic for the year.  The purpose of these seminars is to provide a more specialized study of themes relevant to specific ministers.  Each of our seminars will have the feel of a graduate level classroom with readings that will be made available in the March before the Symposium.  Symposium attendees will be asked to sign up for seminars when they register with the Notre Dame Conference Center.   Descriptions of the seminars are below.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as Healing the Imagination of the Church


Mary Mirrione, National Director, National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based method of Christian faith formation intended for children ages 3-12 but with powerful implications for adults as well.  In this seminar, we will look at how this Catechesis uses the parable method and the method of signs with both children and adults in the service of healing.  On the first day we will focus on three aspects of the CGS that have facilitated profound healing:  the announcement of the Word, the reading of the signs of liturgy, and the healing nature of beautiful handwork.  On the second day we will offer samples of presentations done in each of these areas, particularly focusing on the Parables of Mercy found in Luke's chapter 15 and the Rite of Penance.

The seminar would be particularly valuable for anyone who is asked to communicate the Christian message in a public setting: catechist, college campus minister, or liturgical homilist.


Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Aedificandi:  Building Liturgical Architecture



Duncan Stroik, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame

Denis McNamara, Assistant Director and Professor, Liturgical Institute, University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

This seminar will explore sacred architecture as an integral element of the celebration of the liturgy.  The first half will focus on the foundational theology of sacred art and architecture, with its roots in the synagogue and the Temple of Jerusalem, its signification as an image of the Mystical Body, and its fulfillment in the Heavenly City described in the Book of Revelation. 

The second half will apply those principles to the process of building a church, addressing such issues as appropriate design, hiring an architect, budget, and other challenges of construction.


Liturgical Music and Evangelization


Fr. Michael Driscoll, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.”

Within the broader focus of the 2014 Symposium dealing with Liturgy as Healing, we will explore the evangelizing function of music. Sacred song where melody is wedded to text, particularly biblical texts, has the power to bring the Good News into the deepest realms of the human mind and heart, into the psyche and the soul. Since the general theme of the symposium gives particular attention to the rites of penance and the pastoral care of the sick, we will examine how music plays a role in bringing sinners to penitence and in preparing the sick and the dying for healing and acceptance of death. On day one after a general discussion of the evangelizing function of music, we will turn to the penitential use of music, taking into consideration the seven penitential psalms. On the second day, we will look at the healing aspect of music in regards to the care of the sick and the dying, looking at the monastic use of psalms and hymns since the Middle Ages. 

Liturgical Asceticism


David Fagerberg, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

To heal the soul from the passions the ancient church developed a structured discipline.  Although the word "discipline" may sound harsh to our ears, they thought of it as a kind of training and formation.  In fact, that is the word: askesis.  Affecting both body and soul, the full person reached a kind of healthy integration which was called purity of heart.  This session will consider how that the ascetical discipline is not only for monks, but for all the baptized because it capacitates them for full liturgical celebration.  With purity of heart, a healed soul can enter fully into the Eucharist.


The Rites of Healing


Fr. Michael Wurtz, C.S.C., Ph.D. Candidate, Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant' Anselmo

This seminar will examine the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, and ministry to those who grieve in the context of the rites surrounding a funeral.  Each of these will provide the opportunity to understand the prominent theologies conveyed by the rites, their legitimate options based on settings and needs, and common practical tensions in their applications.

By the study of these rites, their texts, and various commentaries, participants may gain a renewed appreciaion for the Church's ministry to those who seek healing.


The Healing Kerygma


Timothy O'Malley, Director, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, University of Notre Dame

In this seminar, we explore the function of medicinal imagery often alluded to in the practice of patristic homiletics.   On the first day, we will treat how preaching can be understood as a healing event.   We will use examples from three classic homilies in the Christian tradition.  On the second day, we will apply these principles to the art of contemporary preaching and catechesis.  

The seminar would be particularly valuable for anyone who is asked to communicate the Christian message in a public setting:  catechist, college campus minister, or liturgical homilist.