Abbot Rooney to share expertise on liturgy Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Lindsay Becher, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
Abbot Marcel Rooney

MADISON -- Over the past couple of months, Catholics in the diocese and throughout the country have adjusted to using the new translation of the Roman Missal.

During this time of transition, catechesis, or education in the faith, on the Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Holy Communion has been abundant, especially as it has been preached in homilies.

Providentially, at the same time as Catholics are being encouraged to deepen their understanding of the Mass during this transition, the Madison Diocese has been blessed with the arrival of Abbot Marcel Rooney, who has taught on the Sacred Liturgy throughout the world.

Madison’s Bishop Robert C. Morlino invited Abbot Rooney to make himself at home this past summer in the diocese and continue work on the Orate Institute of Sacred Liturgy, Music, and Art, which Abbot Rooney founded.

World-class scholar

Abbot Rooney was born in Nebraska in 1937, made his first profession as a monk of Conception Abbey in 1958, and was ordained a priest in 1963.

Having been educated in philosophy, theology, organ, and musicology, he was well prepared to continue formal studies in Sacred Theology, receiving his Doctorate in Sacred Theology, the highest pontifical degree, from the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy in Rome in 1976.

Throughout his lifetime, he has dedicated himself to deepening Catholics’ understanding of the Sacred Liturgy in a wide variety of roles, including teaching in Rome and consulting with the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Abbot Rooney served as Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Federation from 1996 to 2000. Since retirement from that position, he has been a pastor in Arkansas, deepened his passion for the Sacred Liturgy, and laid the groundwork for the Orate Institute.

Since arriving in Madison, he has made a very positive impression. Dr. Patrick Gorman, director of the Office of Worship, tells that “Abbot Marcel is not only a world-class liturgical and musical scholar, he is an experienced pastor with a kind heart and a keen mind. We are blessed to have him here in our diocese. He welcomes everyone and is willing to share with both experts and novices.”

Advanced courses offered

This winter, Abbot Rooney will share his knowledge and expertise on the liturgy with any interested Catholics from the Madison Diocese. The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is offering three advanced courses on the Sacred Liturgy, taught by Abbot Rooney, on upcoming Saturdays at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, he will teach “Learning, Loving, and Living the Sacred Liturgy of the Catholic Church.” During Lent two additional courses will be offered — “Entering the Heart of Jesus in the Eucharistic Liturgy” (February 28) and “The Re-presentation of the Paschal Mystery in the Liturgies of Holy Week” (March 31).

All are encouraged to attend one, two, or all three of these classes and enjoy time spent with this gifted teacher. To learn more and register for the courses, visit or call 608-821-3160.

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