Music workshop examines culture-liturgy intersection

“Where Culture and Liturgy Meet” will be the focus of the 18th annual workshop in pastoral music set June 21-22 by the Pastoral Institute at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Workshop leader John Flaherty, director of liturgy and music at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, will open the session Friday, June 21, with a 7-9 p.m. concert in Our Lady’s Chapel. Then he’ll lead sessions in the chapel from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 22, on the conference theme.

Sister Eilish Ryan, longtime director of the institute, said the theme focuses on the idea that “increasingly, we are a global Church. Our parishes are filled with people from all corners of this beautiful and fragile world. We are the ones missioned to shape the prayer of this tapestry of cultures.

“In shaping the prayer of the Catholic faith, it is imperative that we know what the documents have to teach us as we focus on the common ground that unites us. The Eucharistic Liturgy is universal in its poetry, language and form. It is a form that is rooted in human experience — your human experience.”

Ryan said Flaherty has been involved in music and educational ministry for 34 years as an educator, elementary school principal, music director, liturgy director, and composer. He has been a teacher on the elementary, secondary and college levels. Since 1991, he has served as music director and chairman of the liturgy committee for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

Flaherty also has been a contributing writer for Modern Liturgy, Pastoral Music, Our Family and Hosanna magazines. He has served on the editorial boards of Table, Hosanna and Modern Liturgy, and worked extensively with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. At Loyola,  Flaherty teaches in the Center for Religion and Spirituality, and participates on the campus ministry team. He lives in Long Beach, Calif., with his wife, Kathleen and their five children.

Workshop participants, Ryan said, will “learn the principles and decision-making processes that allow a diverse people to gather in prayer while creating an intercultural language of prayer that unites rather than divides.”



Early registration for the Workshop in Pastoral Music is $40 a person or $30 a person for groups of three or more before May 31.

Beginning June 1, the fee is $45 a person or $35 a person for groups of three or more.

People also may register for the Friday concert only, Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon sessions at $15 a session.

To register, send checks payable to the University of the Incarnate Word, to Pastoral Institute, University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209, or call (210) 829-3871.

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