Mundelein Liturgical Institute, 10 Years

The Liturgical Institute at Mundelein is celebrating its 10th anniversary. I’m here for the festivities because I was a founding faculty member. I was even involved, however modestly, in a bit of the plotting with Msgr. M. Francis Mannion to get the Institute off the ground. Now the Institute is ably led, after some ups and downs, by Fr. Douglas Martis. Back in Fall 2001, I was flying to Chicago every Friday to teach the liturgical music course. It’s most interesting to be back.

The Institute has grown and come into its own. Lots of students – and lots of Roman collars and habits. One gathers that this is the place Bishops trust, and it is here that they send their young priests to prepare for work in the diocesan office. Supporters say that the Institute’s “by the book” and “by the catechism” philosophy is just what the Church needs. Detractors raise questions, fairly or unfairly, about the quality and level of critical thinking.

Tonight at the banquet, Institute alum Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup NM will be honored. The Spiritus liturgiae award will also be given out. (I think that means “Holy Spirit of the Liturgy” – I’m waiting for the Church to reveal new and improved ways of translating Latin accurately.) Msgr. James Moroney is the recipient of the award. Msgr. Moroney – is there anything you’d like me to ask him?



  1. Is this blog meant to be taken seriously? These veiled accusations and snarky comments that masquerade as impartial blog posts seem to me a bit ingenuous. I know personally that LI students are given great latitude in creative thinking– I have not attended but asked several professors for their syllabi to read on my own. The courses have readings beyond the Catechism, by the way, including Rahner as well as Balthasar, Bouyer as well as Virgil Michel, Ratzinger as well as Chapungco. One finds new creative thinking there that other programs simply wouldn’t touch because it is out of line with left-wing orthodoxy. One further note– spiritus liturgiae I believe references “spirit of the liturgy” a la Guardini.

  2. How hilarious that James Moroney is teaching a course on liturgical inculturation, according to Adam Bartlett’s link above. He is not qualified to be doing this.

    In fact how hilarious that he is teaching at all. He has no liturgical degree or diploma, because he did not complete his courses. This is easily verifiable: just ask around. All he has is experience: experience of betraying what he stood for when he was a member of FDLC, and experience of bullying bishops (which is why he isn’t going to become one himself).

    And this is the man who is reputedly rewriting the Roman Missal all by himself. Hah!

    1. This appears to me to be shameless slander beneath the dignity of any blog that claims to be Christian. May I suggest it be removed?

      1. The comment has been edited to remove elements of personal attack, while retaining the opinion of the original comment. The person refered to writes of himself that “[h]e pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Liturgy Institute at Saint Anselmo’s, and the Catholic University of America,” which appears to corroborate the claims in the original comment.

  3. Don Anthony – appreciate some of the lectures being linked to. Moroney’s first lecture is actually very good – he outlines the various boundaries of liturgical adaptation, inculturation, syncretism (dirty word), and others. Obviously, in a first lecture he does not outline or interpret how he would apply these principles. I do note that he starts with SC (passed by over 2,000 bishops) and progresses to 1994 and 2001, LA, without really describing the difference between a document from a pastoral council and the work of a few individuals with the signature of a dying pope.

    So, no final graduate degree; no specialty in linguistics; in translation; in poetry or composition. Yet, he may be responsible for our new Roman Missal?

    Finally, sorry but given that Cardinal George founded this institute roughly at the same time that he delivered the termination of the original ICEL Committee – I have serious doubts about its mission and goals.

  4. Well aware of its mission statement. Many parishes, universities, even the Roman Catholic Church has mission statements – they are only worth something if they are fully implemented.

    Please look at the summer faculty and compare to the list of noted, experienced contributors to PrayTell – do you see any of them on this blog site. How many of them have published recognized liturgical works? How many have composed pastoral music? Except for the architectural space professor – they all are lightweights e.g. MA from Univ. of Dallas (geez). The secret is – what have they produced? Let’s look at how Cardinal George dismantled the prior LTP and Office of Worship in the archdiocese of Chicago and the prior faculty at Mundelein – that is an interesting story and has parallels with how the original ICEL was termed and how last November, George handled the final vote on the Roman Missal by the USCCB. Serious questions that go well beyond whether this translation or any translation is good, proper, etc. Our very ecclesiology is at stake and the concepts of subsidiarity and collegiality have been thrown out the window.

  5. Re: Moroney’s qualifications above:

    Since when does an STL in Liturgical Theology from CUA mean a person is unqualified to teach in a Master’s program in liturgical studies? Monsignor Moroney has an STL (or at least he says publicly that he does), so unless Pollack has some proof that Moroney is lying, he should not be slandering his credentials. Nor should Fr. Ruff support unsubstantiated claims. And, by the way, “just ask around” is not a credible source.

  6. Sorry to disappoint anyone, but I have an STB from the Gregorian University (1979) and an STL in liturgical theology from CUA (1991).

    1. Apologies to my friend Jim Moroney that false information was put up by commenters on this site.
      Thanks to Msgr. Moroney for the clarification.
      Fr. Anthony

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *