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 Sandra Dooley on 8/19/2011 1:08 PM
I have mentioned previously that at my parish, St. Margaret Mary, we have been observing a Year of the Eucharist. The observance started on the First Sunday of Advent last year and will end on this year’s Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 20. One of the purposes of this observance has been to catechize people on the Mass as well as provide a systematic preparation for the implementation of the new translation of The Roman Missal.

This past week I had an interesting and somewhat discouraging conversation with a woman in my water aerobics class at the YMCA. She mentioned that she comes to Saturday water classes and I commented that I was not able to do so because I am presenting workshops on The Roman Missal most of the Saturdays between now and Thanksgiving. She went on to say she wished she could find out more about the Mass and would like to help her grandson learn about the Mass also, but there is nothing provided for them in terms of books or information. As we talked, I learned...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/12/2011 1:30 PM
The musicians at my parish have already begun introducing people to some of the new music we will be singing in the coming months. Now that our diocesan Bishop has given permission (encouraged us, actually) to begin singing new Mass parts in September, our musicians have developed a very comprehensive plan that began a couple weeks ago and continues through the next year and beyond.

The first new Mass setting has been chosen (Steve Janco’s Mass of Wisdom) and we will be singing it for most of the coming year, beginning in September.

Two weeks ago I heard the small group of cantors at the 9:30 Mass singing a Communion Antiphon that had a very familiar text. I realized that it is the text of one of the new Memorial Acclamations. Last weekend, those of us in the assembly learned the text and the music and we sang it as an antiphon to the Psalm that was chanted during the Communion Procession. This coming weekend we will begin hearing the Sanctus...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/5/2011 12:13 PM
Last week I began a series of workshops on The Roman Missal to be offered at various parishes around the diocese. The diocesan liturgy office has asked me to give these workshops in place of the mornings of reflection required for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to renew their mandate (something which must be done every two years). The workshop took place at a parish on the east coast of Florida. In addition to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, other ministers and members of the parish were also invited, and there was also a fair representation of people from other parishes.

One of the things I try to do early on in these workshops is to get a sense of what people know and how they are feeling about the upcoming changes. It seemed that most of the people in attendance had heard about the changes, although they didn’t know too many details, and they came to the workshop wanting to learn more. No one was really angry about the changes (I asked!) but some very valid concerns were expressed—about...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/5/2011 12:11 PM
As I reflect on my experience at the NPM convention in mid-July, one thing that strikes me is the attitude of most people toward the new translation of The Roman Missal. There was a positive attitude toward the changes. Now that the work of translation is finished (at least for this time around) and we have a date of implementation in the very near future, most people seem eager to move forward and to work toward the implementation in a positive way.  This is the same type of “evolution” I noticed with the FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) a few years ago. When directors of diocesan worship offices were first made aware of the upcoming changes, there was a lot of resistance and grumbling (from myself included) but over the course of about three years the general attitude changed and we were able to begin moving forward and making plans for implementation. The phrase “time heals all wounds” comes to mind—not in the sense that we have been wounded, but in the sense that there will be a certain...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/5/2011 12:10 PM
Last week I attended the annual convention of the NPM (National Pastoral Musicians). It was a great event, held in Louisville, KY. The hospitality of the local committee was outstanding, and we had many opportunities during the week to learn about the new translation of the Roman Missal and to “Sing A New Song” (the theme of the convention) along with well over 3000 other pastoral musicians and liturgists.

Keynote speakers were Msgr. Ray East, Msgr. Kevin Irwin, Paul Ford, Dolly Sokol and Jerry Galipeau. Each keynote speaker had something valuable to offer, and I share with you now a few “gems” from my notes that may be of help to all of us preparing for the implementation. There is a countdown clock on the USCCB web site, but for those us whose bishops have authorized the teaching of new Mass settings beginning in September—the time of implementation begins even sooner!

From Monsignor East: Mary’s “yes” changed the world. Our “yes” to the changes in the words of the Mass will bring about a renewal...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/5/2011 12:09 PM
A friend of mine sent me a copy of an article he wrote several years ago about liturgical renewal. In the article, he spoke of the changes that took place after the Second Vatican Council and how, for many priests and others involved in liturgy, the time of renewal after the Council was a time of transfiguration. The analogy seemed fitting when you remember the difficult journey of the disciples from resurrection to transfiguration.  Significantly; however, was the conclusion of the article, in which he reminded the reader that, in all cases, “good liturgy fosters and nourishes faith and poor liturgy destroys it.” He went on to say: “Changes will occur, so catechesis about liturgical changes must be a top priority.”

I think this is something we need to remember as we approach the actual implementation of the revision of The Roman Missal. Catechizing about the changes in the words we pray at Mass is so important. Without catechesis we run the risk of damaging the faith of the people we serve. How many people...
By Sandra Dooley on 8/5/2011 12:08 PM

I was on vacation last week in Alaska—traveling on a tour bus with about 50 other people. We saw some incredibly beautiful scenery! At one point during one of our bus rides I noticed the woman in the seat in front of me reading from a small devotional book by a Catholic publisher, so at our next stop I decided to strike up a conversation with her and ask what she knows about the revision of The Roman Missal. She and her husband are from a parish in Michigan. Their pastor left several months ago and only recently were they been assigned a new pastor, so a lot of things have been left hanging in the parish, including any preparation for the upcoming changes to the words we pray at Mass. She said people in the parish have been hearing from others that changes are coming, but they do not know what the changes are or when they will become effective. She expressed her concern that parishioners will be caught by surprise and many will be upset when the changes are sprung upon the parish without any advance notice...