A LITURGICAL ACADEMY IN THE SERVICE OF VATICAN II

April 3, 2010 at 9:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

(Speech delivered at the launching of the Philippine Academy for Liturgical Research on March 8, 2010, at the Arzobispado de Manila.)

For twenty-five years Filipino liturgists, majority of who were trained at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome , have been sharing their expertise in the yearly update of the directors of diocesan liturgy commissions. Nearly the same liturgists have been generously offering assistance as lecturers at Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay since its establishment twenty years ago. I wish to recall that the institute was established in that last remaining portion of paradise in the Philippines through the inspired initiative and efforts of His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who was then Bishop of Malaybalay.

When the Graduate School of Liturgy was instituted in San Beda College as an academic offshoot of the institute in Malaybalay, liturgists from the academe did not hesitate to collaborate in the scholarly formation of future liturgists in the Philippines and other parts of Asia . These academically trained liturgists also sustain the National Liturgy Conference, which is held yearly in Manila with the aim of promoting the liturgy of Vatican II, especially among lay leaders. Dome of the aforementioned liturgists are also active in the Asian Liturgy Forum that is hosted yearly by its nation members. Needless to say these liturgists are engaged as formators, professors, and directors of liturgy in their respective dioceses and communities.

In both the academe and pastoral ministry Filipino liturgists exhibit admirable dedication to the Church in the Philippines and loyalty to Vatican II’s program of liturgical renewal. Formed under the aegis of the Constitution on the Liturgy, they are faithful standard bearers of its principles and criteria of reform whose pivot is active participation.

However, as one can suspect, after graduation the majority of our academically trained liturgists have become absorbed in the task of formation. If they meet each other in conventions, they do not have the leisure to engage in academic discussion. If they meet each other in conventions, they do not have the leisure to engage in academic discussion. Teaching in theological schools encourages continuing research and study, but the burden of other obligations can limit the extent of their scholarly pursuit. Alas some have even shelved their thesis for which they had spent years of discipline research, perhaps with great personal sacrifice.

The Philippine Academy of Liturgical Research was organized to gather Filipino liturgists in order to provide them the much needed opportunity to be among themselves and to revive their academic fervor through scholarly exchange. Every year, for two days, they will share and discuss their thesis, particularly its methodology,  bibliography, and conclusions. Patient scholarly research, often accompanied by emotional stress and personal crisis, attended the writing of their thesis. But all that should be compensated by personal satisfaction of being able to offer to the Church and the academe the fruit of their labor. Their thesis should not gather dust in the shelves of their private libraries. They should not be consigned to oblivion.

The Academy has so far enlisted around thirty members from all over the country. I would like to believe that there are more whom we can still gather. These are Filipinos who are in possession of the academic degree of doctorate, licence, or master in liturgy. It might come across as an elite and exclusive group, but we do not have to apologize for it. Our Filipino liturgists deserve to have an Academy where they can deepen their love and service as trained liturgists through serious research work.

I am in debt of three liturgists that helped in the establishment of the Academy: Fr. Genaro Diwa, who benevolently accepted the position of president and convenor, Dean Josefina Manabat, and Fr. Virgilio Hernandez. I cannot adequately thank the Leitourgos of the Archdiocese of Manila, His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, for his support of the Academy.

Mabuhay Philippine Academy of Liturgical Research! Ad multos et proficuos annos!

That in all things God may be glorified.

Fr. Anscar J. Chupungco, OSB

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