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Bishops Launch Missal Formation Web Site — and Health Care Reform Section

In August, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) added two new resources to their web site, one on Missal formation and the other on health care reform.

Missal Formation

The Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW) introduced a Roman Missal formation web site on August 21.

According to a Catholic News Service report, the new site will educate Catholics about the forthcoming English translation of the new Roman Missal. The site (www.usccb.org/romanmissal) includes background material on the process of development of liturgical texts, sample texts from the Missal, a glossary of terms and answers to frequently asked questions.

Content will be added regularly over the next several months. The BCDW hopes the site will be a central resource for those preparing to implement the new text.

“In the years since Vatican II we have learned a lot about the use of the vernacular in the liturgy and the new texts reflect this new understanding”, said Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, in a welcome-to-the-site video. Bishop Serratelli is chairman of the BCDW.

“The new texts are understandable, dignified and accurate”, said Bishop Serratelli, “They not only strive to make the meaning of the text accessible for the listener, but they also strive to unearth the biblical and theological richness of the Latin text.”

The CNS report said that “after more than five years of consultation, study and reflection, the bishops are expected to conclude their review and approval of the final portion of the translated texts at the end of this year. Final approval (recognitio) of the text from the Holy See for the complete translation will be the last step before the publication of the texts for use in the liturgy”.

Bishop Serratelli considers this time before final approval as an opportunity to learn and prepare for the new Missal translation. “We have a great opportunity during this period not only to learn about the changes, not only to learn about the revised texts, but also to deepen our own understanding of the Liturgy itself”, he said. “We encourage priests, deacons, religious, liturgical ministers, all the faithful to avail themselves of the information that we are making available.”

In May 2002, the Vatican published the Latin text of the Third Edition of the Missale Romanum. Since 2003, the bishops of the English-speaking world have been working to prepare an English translation of the Roman Missal.

Health Care Reform

On August 14, the USCCB launched a web page promoting its support of “truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity”.

The page, www.usccb.org/healthcare, includes letters from bishops to Congress, videos, facts and statistics, frequently asked questions, and links for contacting members of Congress.

Letters to Congress include an August 11 letter by Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, criticizing abortion provisions in the House version of health care legislation and a July 17 letter from Bishop William Murphy, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, outlining the bishops’ concerns and priorities for health care reform as a whole.

The new health care site will feature videos of USCCB policy staff discussing the bishops’ position on health care. Kathy Saile, director of the Office of Domestic Social Development, outlines the general position and concerns. Richard Doerflinger, associate director of Pro-Life Activities, describes how abortion relates to the health care reform debate.

The page also contains facts and statistics about Catholic health care in the United States, which includes 624 Catholic hospitals, 164 home health agencies, and 41 hospice organizations.

— Source: USCCB, Catholic News Service

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FCS 2009 Convention

“The Thought of Joseph Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI” is the theme of the 32nd Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, to take place September 25-27 at Providence Marriott Downtown hotel, Providence, Rhode Island.

Among the speakers presenting addresses are Father James Schall, SJ; Father John Michael McDermott, SJ; Father Vincent Twomey, SVD; Tracy Rowland; Scott Hahn; and a panel “Benedict XVI, the Mass and the Liturgy”, with James and Helen Hitchcock and Father Joseph Fessio, SJ.

For more information and registration, go to the FCS web site: www.catholicscholars.org.

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Benefit Gala for Canons Regular of St. John Cantius

The Annual Benefit for the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is Sunday, September 27, at the University Club of Chicago. The order is based at St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago.

This event is the order’s primary opportunity to raise the funds needed to educate the SJC seminarians, and for the restoration of the convent to be their future canonry. The Canons are looking for donated items for a silent and live auction, as the community begin its 11th year of existence in serving the Church. The price per ticket is $500.

For more information contact Delphine Michalik – 312-421-0936; Fr. Bart Juncer, SJC, Fr. James Isaacson, SJC, or Fr. Brendan Gibson, SJC – 312-243-7373.

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Chant Workshop for Deacons

There will be a workshop for permanent and transitional deacons Monday September 21, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at the Carmelite Monastery chapel, 1400 66th Avenue, in Philadelphia.

The workshop will offer a review of altar rubrics, basic training in Latin pronunciation and the chants sung by deacons at Mass.

Assisting are Reverend Dennis Gill of the Office for Worship and Dr. Lucy Carroll, monastery organist. RSVP to lucycarroll@att.net.

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