Christopher Carstens

In Encountering the Words of Christ in the Mass, Christopher Carstens reflects upon the third edition of the Roman Missal, giving particular attention to the changes in the Mass texts.

Christopher Carstens holds a B.A. from the Oratory of St. Philip in Toronto, and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas and a M.A. (Liturgical Studies) from The Liturgical Institute. He is currently the Director of the Office of Sacred Worship for the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he serves as Coordinator of Pontifical Liturgies, liturgical coordinator for the Permanent Deacon formation program, and diocesan Director of RCIA. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Liturgical Institute and a frequent presenter in liturgical conferences and parish education. He is a member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and is married with four children. Mr. Carstens is one of the presenters of Mystical Body, Mystical Voice.

Todd WilliamsonIn this blog, Praying, Believing, and Living, D. Todd Williamson discusses the pastoral, spiritual, and ministerial ramifications of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal.  Todd's blog is updated every other week.

Todd Williamson is the current Director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is the author of two editions of Sourcebook for Sundays, Seasons, and Weekdays:The Almanac for Pastoral Liturgy (2007 and 2008, LTP) and has contributed to subsequent editions. He is also co-author of Bringing Catechesis and Liturgy Together: Let the Mystery Lead You! (2002, TwentyThird Publications), and he has written for numerous periodicals (Rite, Pastoral Liturgy, Catechumenate, and Religion Teacher's Journal).

In addition to writing, he is a teacher and national speaker in the areas of liturgy and the sacraments. He is co-host of the monthly radio program, Focus on the Liturgy, which airs on the fourth Wednesday of every month on Relevant Radio 950 AM, in the Chicagoland area.

Todd has been the director of the Office for Divine Worship for eight years. As such, he has dealt with countless pastoral situations in regards to the liturgy. It is from this unique experience that he writes in this blog: breaking open the English texts and making connections to our spiritual and ministerial lives as people of faith.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Sandra Dooley moved to Los Angeles in 1999 after 18 years in Orlando, FL. where she spent 10 years as the liturgy director of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, with emphasis in liturgy. She is an experienced church musician, religious educator and liturgist, and has been a committee member, coordinator and/or speaker at local and national conferences.

In June, 2001, Sandra joined the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as Associate Director. She was Director of the Office from April, 2003 through July, 2009. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) from 2004 until her return to FL in 2009.

Sandy currently serves as the director of liturgy at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, FL, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.


Blog Posts
By Christopher Carstens on 11/24/2010 11:48 AM
In the Penitential Act of the Mass, the Roman Rite gives three options: the Confiteor, a short dialogue between priest and people, and the invocations followed by Kyrie eleison and Christe eleison. In general, what is the purpose of the Penitential Act? What does it mean? And in our sacramental consideration of the Mass’s text, what reality is presented before us when we participate in these words? Taken together, the Introductory Rites have as their purpose that “the faithful who come together as one establish communion and dispose themselves to listen properly to God's word and to celebrate the Eucharist worthily” (GIRM, 46). Our preparation to receive the word of God and to offer ourselves in the Eucharist includes the readying of our ears and our hearts. Our ears? Recall that Adam and Eve’s first sin was one of “not listening.” In Latin, “to listen” is audire, and this is the core of the English word “obedience” (ob-audire, “to hear or listen to”). Satan tempted Eve to be disobedient—dis-ob-audio—and...
By Sandra Dooley on 11/24/2010 11:40 AM
We had a diocesan workshop this past week for priests, deacons, and parish directors of liturgy and music. The morning was spent on the history of the liturgy and a review of significant elements of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. In the afternoon, everyone went to the church where the revised texts of the Mass were read through with a presider and deacon and everyone else in attendance as the assembly. Eucharistic Prayer I was used. Generally speaking, the reaction was positive. I think most, if not all, of the priests and others in attendance realize that it will be beneficial to everyone if the revised words are presented in as positive a light as possible. It was clear to those in attendance that the priest will need to take care when praying the new words. The members of the assembly found themselves listening closely to the words of the priest—and the difference in language was notable. The afternoon exercise points to the importance of giving people a chance to hear the new words and start...
By Sandra Dooley on 11/16/2010 1:51 PM
I recently traveled to California, to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where I used to live and work. I was privileged to attend a meeting of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission, a significant part of which was spent discussing education and formation in the coming year, relative to the revisions of the text of The Roman Missal. A timeline was presented, which included numerous open spaces allowing for individual parishes to adapt to their own parish calendars, and also for the addition of various homily topics related to the Mass and the text revisions. One of the ideas that struck me was that of “rolling out” the elements of the revised translation gradually, over a period of several months, according to the liturgical seasons. How so? It does not mean that for a period of time you will be using some of the old translation and some of the new. Rather, the suggestion was made to begin using the dialogues and acclamations of the revised translation at the beginning of Advent, but delay using other elements...
By Todd Williamson on 11/12/2010 3:01 PM
Last week I posted about the gathering of priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago that took place on Tuesday, October 19. The purpose of the gathering was to hear Father Michael Joncas in preparation to receive and implement the English translation of the third edition of The Roman Missal. As I noted then, it was quite an experience to be part of a gathering of almost 1,200 priests who celebrate the Eucharist in this Archdiocese (attendees were all priests who celebrate the Mass in the Archdiocese--diocesan, religious, externs, etc.). Many of the attendees noted that they’ve never been part of such a large gathering of priests. I think it was an extraordinary experience for them too. I have found myself reflecting on this aspect of that day, ever since. It’s not like the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago don’t gather. Every year there are two days offered for them, as priests of the Archdiocese, to come together, and every three years there is a three-day convocation. At these gatherings there are usually...
By Sandra Dooley on 11/12/2010 11:32 AM
This past week I attended part of the FDLC/BCDW workshop on the revised translation of The Roman Missal. This was the last of 22 workshops being presented around the country. There were about 130 priests, deacons, and liturgists in attendance, mostly from Florida, but several from other parts of the country as far away as California! I was especially conscious of the pervading attitude of the attendees, which seemed to be open and positive. There was no evidence of hostility or strong negativity. The presentations were well done—lots of information given with enthusiasm and a sense of humor. The questions of the participants were both intelligent and thoughtful. It was obvious that those in attendance were there to learn as much as they could to help them lead their parishes through the coming transition. One of the presenters told me that reactions across the country have been mixed: clear hostility in some places, and in others a reticence to express any concerns at all. I strongly believe that the attitude...
By Sandra Dooley on 11/1/2010 3:03 PM
This past week we had a discussion at our parish staff meeting about the revisions of The Roman Missal. I gave a 30-minute presentation on the revised translation, and as part of the discussion I asked for suggestions from staff members as to how we can best catechize the parish community about the Mass and the coming changes. Here are some highlights of our discussion: • Someone pointed out how important it is to let people know that the Mass is not changing. The words we use are changing, not the Mass itself. We will celebrate the same Mystery, with deeper meaning. • Another significant suggestion was that the changes will need to be addressed at Sunday Masses, because no matter how much we do at various parish meetings and no matter how many adult education sessions we offer, there will still be many parishioners who will not hear anything about the changes unless they are addressed at Sunday Mass. • One person suggested strongly, and all agreed, that we need not add meetings or events. We can catechize...