All posts filed under: Editorials

Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education

What role does the Church’s treasury of sacred music play in contemporary pastoral ministry and religious education? How does one build a sacred music program of excellence which serves as an integral part of the sacred liturgy and is also effective both in drawing souls to Christ and forming people in the Catholic faith? St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, New York, is hosting a national conference March 10-11, 2017 which hopes to encourage discussion of answers to these and other questions. The conference will bring together clergy, seminarians, scholars, musicians, teachers, and Catholic school administrators to consider the place of Gregorian chant and excellent choral music in the life of the Catholic Church in America today. The conference seeks to inspire attendees with ideas for starting or continuing to develop sacred music programs of excellence in Catholic parishes and schools. The conference organizers also hope to encourage discussion about the vitality and necessity of beauty and sacred music in the catechesis and formation of Catholics, as well as in the evangelization of non-Catholics and …

Editorial Musings: Does a Catholic School Evangelize?

Over the next week, the American Church marks its annual commemoration of Catholic Schools Week. The theme in 2017 is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. And we here at Church Life will be marking this week through a variety of posts related to the theology and practice of Catholic education. Dr. Glenn B. Siniscalchi has contributed an essay that will guide our inquiry this week. He notes that magisterial documents describe Catholic higher education as an activity of evangelization. Yet, in a survey to leaders in Catholic higher education, it quickly became obvious to Dr. Siniscalchi that many see the category of evangelization through a lens of suspicion. To these academics, evangelization in Catholic higher education would mean to proselytize, to take away religious liberty, and to substitute indoctrination for intellectual inquiry. In essence, if evangelization is part of a Catholic university’s mission, it would (to these scholars) take away the vocation to be a University. We would have Catholic institutions that trade away excellence for religious identity and security. But, this is …

Fulfilling Fr. Ted’s Vision: The New Church Life

Several years before Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. passed away, he met with the directors of the Institute for Church Life in his office on the 13th floor of Hesburgh Library. In the course of this hour-long meeting, Fr. Ted described to us the original impetus for the establishment of the Institute. He wanted Notre Dame to be not simply a place that carried out excellent theological education at an undergraduate and graduate level but to serve as a resource to the Church in catechesis, in theological education, in liturgical formation, and in leadership development. His hope was that somewhere in the history of the University, a paragraph or two might be devoted to the outreach efforts of the Institute for Church Life. The journal Church Life is a continuation of Fr. Ted’s vision for the ICL. Our website, newly launched this Ash Wednesday, is an opportunity to extend the boundaries of our Institute’s teaching and research to the digital world. The themes of this re-launched periodical, now transformed into a media hub, are integral to …