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 12/22/2010 3:20 PM
At the beginning of the Mass, the Penitential Act prepares us to hear the word of God and to respond fully to that word in offering the sacrifice of the Eucharist. The Confiteor—which is the first of three options—assists the Mass’ participants to achieve this goal by bringing a number of realities before us. The Call to Active Participation. Confessing one’s sins at the beginning of the Mass seems to have existed from the start. A first-century order of liturgy, the Didache, speaks of the breaking of bread taking place after “confessing your faults beforehand.” The Confiteor itself appears to have originally been said by the priest in the sacristy before Mass, but later it moved to the “prayers at the foot of the altar” and was said first by the priest and then by the servers. Its current place is in the Introductory Rites of the Mass, and it is said by all. Why? As one theologian put it, because each of us in the Church has work to do, and, consequently, each of us needs to be prepared to carry out that...
By Sandra Dooley on 12/22/2010 3:18 PM
A little over a week ago, I attended a workshop in our diocese presented by my colleague Jerry Galipeau. The workshop was intended for diocesan musicians but, unfortunately, was poorly attended. I suppose a Friday night two weeks before Christmas isn’t the best time to ask musicians to come to a workshop!One of the things that struck me in Jerry’s presentation pertained to the use of chant. In the course of the evening we sang through a simple chant setting of the new text of the Gloria and the Holy, Holy, Holy. I found it lovely and very easy to sing. Unfortunately, the musicians at the parish where I work have a real aversion to chant. My efforts to encourage this type of singing occasionally at parish celebrations have been largely rejected as not being in touch with what the people want. I hope that musicians who have avoided using chant will at least consider using one of the new chant settings becoming available with the new translation. In the USCCB/FDLC workshops that were offered around the country during...
By Sandra Dooley on 12/14/2010 4:30 PM
I am privileged to worship at a large and very active parish that takes seriously the celebration of the Eucharist. For over a year the parish has been engaged in a process of self-evaluation and renewal. A survey was conducted about a year ago, and subsequently, committees and subcommittees were formed to respond to the concerns expressed in the survey and to move the parish forward in its pursuit of its mission and goals. One of the things we have chosen to do is celebrate a Year of the Eucharist in the parish. The purpose of the year, which began on the First Sunday of Advent as we began the new liturgical year, is to provide catechesis and formation on the Eucharist even as we prepare to receive the revised translation of The Roman Missal. This plan is a direct result of indications in the survey that there is a hunger and desire on the part of many parishioners to learn and understand more about what we do when we gather on Sundays. I am on the committee that has developed the plan for the year and...
By Sandra Dooley on 12/8/2010 10:35 AM
I participated in a women’s Advent prayer breakfast last week at my parish. The topic of the presentation was “stillness” and how we can achieve a sense of stillness in our lives in spite of the barriers that are always present. Most of the attendees were women over the age of 50, like myself. In the course of the morning the conversation at my table turned to the revised translation of the Mass prayers that will be implemented less than a year from now. We spoke just briefly about it (and I wasn’t even the one who brought up the subject!). Of the two women with whom I spoke, one is a life-long Catholic who has lived through the changes of Vatican II. The other was not. (I did not have the opportunity to inquire about her background and how she came into the Church.) Rose, the life-long Catholic, had the sense that the changes are minor, although she wondered about the reason for the changes. Christine was also interested in the reasons for the changes. Neither was too concerned about the changes and I suspect...
By Todd Williamson on 12/1/2010 4:50 PM
On November 20, the staff of the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Chicago presented the first of eighteen workshops on the English Translation of The Roman Missal. We will offer a second workshop this coming week. The remainder of these regional offerings will take place from January to June 2011, all in preparation for the implementation of the English translation, which will take place in a little under a year from now—November 27, 2011. These day-long workshops consist of four main presentations: Setting the Context for the English translation of the Third Edition of The Roman Missal; Viewing the Third Edition through the Lens of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy; Exploring the Texts of the English Translation; and Looking at Resources and Suggesting Strategies for Implementation. There is also the opportunity for questions and discussion. The first workshop went very, very well. There were approximately forty participants, largely made up of members of parish staff. The group was...