The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University is one of four
such liturgical institutes in the United States, three sponsored
by major universities: the Notre
Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy,
the Georgetown Center
for Liturgy, and the Center for Liturgy
at Saint Louis University. The fourth Center is the Institute
for Liturgical Ministry, Dayton OH.
The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University came into existence
in Fall of 1993. It was founded by Fr. John Foley, S. J., at
the invitation of Fr. Lawrence Biondi, president of the University.
Motivation for this our work is founded in the following statement
of Vatican Council II:
is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed;
at the same time it is
the fountain from which all
her power flows (from the Catholic Church’s Constitution
on the Sacred Liturgy).
These words form a mandate for the Church, one that is at once
obvious and at the same time unrealized. Catholics would never
argue that the Mass is unimportant to them, in fact they would
insist the opposite. Yet would they claim as their own the
importance that Vatican II gives to liturgy? The Center for Liturgy
as its mission the realization of the Vatican II vision.
Activities of the Center
1. Creation and maintenance of the weekly Center for Liturgy
Sunday Web Site: available, free of charge, at http://liturgy.slu.edu.
Prepares all members of the liturgical assembly for Sunday Mass
by supplying the coming Sunday’s readings, prayers for
contemplation on these readings, aspects of spirituality found
in them, background information on them and the Sunday, and finally,
musical pieces being played by selected parishes in North America
and England. For more about the site, see The Sunday Web Site.
2. Sponsorship of Liturgical Composers Forum: For the first time in history,
published American Liturgical composers are called together annually to meet,
discuss and learn about the craft and form bonds each other as colleagues. The
Center originated these meetings and continues to sponsor them yearly.
3. Partnership in the VOICES Project: Saint Louis University has named the Center
for Liturgy as an important partner in VOICES (VOcation: Interiority, Community,
and Engaged Service). This program pays eight student apprentices as they receive
training in liturgy from the Center and from parishes. VOICES is
a University-wide program, funded by the Lilly Foundation, helping students to
think about their
lives and choices in terms of vocation or personal calling.
4. Eleven Published Studies and One Book from members of the Center for Liturgyduring the last seven years. More than 130 talks, seminars, workshops and major
presentations throughout the country by members of the Center faculty have given
over the past seven and a half years. Also they have worked for and with St.
Louis Liturgists, parishes and with the Archdiocese, and have sponsored city-wide
5. Young Adult Ministry Program: Based on the perception that young adults are
now less interested and engaged in the Catholic Church and its Sunday Mass, the
Center for Liturgy undertook a two-part program: to survey parishes and their
active members as to young adult activities, and to devise a seminar and manual
to teach the meaning of Sunday Mass from five different perspectives. Sponsorship
by the Rascob Foundation.
6. The National Initiative for Young Adults: The Center’s Associate Director
took an important role in a five-year project sponsored by the National Catholic
Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA) and Catholic Campus Ministry Association
(CCMA). Nine volumes resulted from this work, the last three of which contain
liturgical ideas for every Sunday and feast in the three-year Catholic cycle
7. Seminars, retreats, practicum courses for students. Fr. Foley teaches in the
Department of Theological Studies under the title of Distinguished Liturgical
8. Premieres of Collections or Major Liturgical Works by Fr. Foley, together
with numerous repeated performances through the country; and of course liturgical
use of his liturgical hymns from the last twenty-five years.
9. Major Liturgical Music Compositions and Publications by Fr. Foley under sponsorship
of the Center and Saint Louis University: up to ten major music collections written,
recorded and published during the past seven years.