Parishes in Diocese of Madison are well prepared for new Roman Missal Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011 -- 12:00 AM
The new English translation of the Roman Missal will be used in Catholic parishes starting on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

MADISON -- After almost two years of preparation, parishes in the Diocese of Madison are ready for the launch of the new Roman Missal on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27.

The diocesan Office of Worship started its preparation in January of 2010 and began an “intense effort” of preparing pastors and liturgical leaders in the fall of 2010, said Dr. Patrick Gorman, director of the office.

Workshops were then held for parish musicians in January of 2011. “From May to August, we concentrated on people in the pew,” said Gorman. “We had over 1,000 people attend our workshops.”

He said in general the response has been “very positive.” “Although change can be difficult,” Gorman said, “we’ve taken this as an opportunity. How often do we have an opportunity to talk about the liturgy?”

He noted that the purpose of the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on the liturgy was to “change human hearts,” adding, “It’s for all of us about conversion and praying more deeply. It’s about understanding why we do what we do.”

Switching to the new English translation of the Roman Missal has offered Catholics the opportunity to learn more about the Mass and participate more fully.

Gorman predicts that by Ash Wednesday, most people will know the new Mass from memory.

Priests have challenge

He noted that priests have a bigger challenge. “Their prayer texts change more. A lot of them are studying hard so they will be able to lead their people in prayer.”

Gorman said he’s noticed a shift from some initial disappointment to acceptance and to enthusiasm. “People are looking forward to it and they’re ready for it,” he said. “It’s a sign of the Spirit taking us through it.”

He said most parishes have a plan in place and are ready for the change. It has helped that musical settings for some parts of the Mass were introduced in parishes beginning in September.

Dr. Patrick Gorman
Selecting Mass setting

The Diocese of Madison decided not to select one Mass setting for all parishes. The diocese did let parishes know that the “Mass of the Resurrection” by Randall DeBruyn (Oregon Catholic Press) will be used at the Cathedral Parish, and about half the parishes have selected that Mass.

The second most popular Mass setting appears to be the “Mass of Renewal” by William Gokelman and David Kauffman, voted the winner of a Mass setting competition sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

“Our musical resources are so different from parish to parish,” observed Gorman. “We thought it was better to leave it to the parishes to decide.”

The diocese encouraged neighboring parishes to work together in catechesis and to consult with each other in selecting the Mass setting. That way people attending Mass in an area would be more familiar with the responses.

One area that cooperated with each other was the Reedsburg cluster (Sacred Heart, Reedsburg; Holy Family, LaValle; St. Boniface, Lime Ridge; and St. Patrick, Loreto).

The cluster also invited musicians from St. Joseph Parish in Baraboo and St. Cecilia Parish in Wisconsin Dells to meet to review Mass settings and select a common Mass for the cluster.

They chose Dan Schutte’s “Mass of Christ the Savior.”

Sacred Heart, Reedsburg

Sacred Heart liturgist Mary Williams said her parish has spent almost seven months preparing for the Missal launch.  The parish held a series of seven one-hour presentations on the Mass on the first Sunday of every month from October 2010 to April 2011.

The parish also ran a series of 12 weeks of bulletin announcements about the changes.

Fr. Tom Monaghan, pastor, also did five weeks of short catechesis after Communion at all weekend Masses from October 23 to November 20.

The parish began using the new sung Mass parts in September of 2011. “It’s gotten a really good reception,” said Williams.

She said the parish has kept the preparation for the new Missal upbeat, adding, “We’re really glad we did it. There were parts of the Mass where people didn’t really know why they did what they did. We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about our preparation.”

St. Maria Goretti, Madison

Likewise, St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison has done a lot to prepare for the Missal launch, according to Sr. Denise Herr-

mann, CSA, pastoral associate and director of liturgy and RCIA.

“We started planning in February of 2011 and held staff inservices in March,” she said.

The parish invited Gorman to speak to school teachers, catechists, and youth ministers. Sister Denise spoke to parishioners, including young adults.

Parish priests gave homilies. In the fall, the parish’s two deacons offered a four-part Sunday night video series called A Biblical Walk through the Mass by Edward Sri (Ascension Press).

St. Maria Goretti also used the United States Conference of Catholic  Bishops (USCCB) inserts on parts of the Mass and the new translation. They kept a link to the USCCB resources on the parish Web site.

The parish started using the new music parts of the Mass (“Glory to God” from the “Mass of Redemption” and other parts from the “Mass of the Resurrection”) in September.

The parish has pew cards and an insert for the Mass parts. “I think people are more and more comfortable with it,” said Sister Denise. “We’re ready for go.”

St. Clement, Lancaster

Fr. William J. Seipp, pastor of St. Clement Parish in Lancaster, was ordained to the priesthood in 1963. He can remember the switch from Latin to the English vernacular that happened in 1970. “That was a slow process,” he recalled.

The new English translation will be more of a challenge for the clergy, he admits. While he knew the Mass by heart, he will now have to prepare ahead of time and follow in the book.

“It will be a challenge for everyone, but people will have to focus more on what’s going on at Mass, and that’s good,” said Father Seipp.

He said his parishioners have done “very well” on all the parts of the Mass they’ve learned so far. “We will gradually educate people as we move through it,” he said.

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