NPM Convention Plenum by Ricky Manalo, CSP: “Interculturating Inculturation”

1:45–2:45 pm ET
Convention Plenum by Ricky Manalo, CSP
“Interculturating Inculturation: Examining the Past, Glimpsing the Future”

Archive of the Convention Plenum:

Since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the relationship between liturgy and culture has continued the dialectical dance between five inter-related arenas: the socio-cultural context, the academic-theological level, the pastoral context, the production of cultural products and resources, and the official level. This plenum offers a review of where we have been and then proposes five “signs of the times” in order to derive a glimpse of the future.


  1. I just finished watching this plenum by Ricky Manalo. I’m glad I waited until I had relaxed and had a chunk of free time to really listen and digest what he had to say. He does an excellent job of stating the challenges of an intercultural body, the realities of the lack of connection between the different cultures in the body, and the call for humility between the cultures that comprise the body. The reality is that what has been the dominant culture can still be found rebelling against the other cultural groups “taking over” the parish. We’ve had a recent exodus from my current parish because there is too much emphasis toward the hispanics. At my old parish, the hispanic members had to learn english songs for mulitcultural celebrations but the english speaking members refused to learn any traditional spanish music. There is still quite an imbalance and I do think the answer is a movement toward cultural humility.

  2. I have just spent one of the most valuable hours of the past several years watching this.

    It is a deep, dazzling, sometimes dizzying presentation, one of the best PowerPoints I have ever seen.

  3. Agree, Paul – +1

    and yet, like Ron Jones, have experienced both the challenges and failures…..don’t accept the old 19th century *national* parish approach but that seems to be the only successful approach at times.

  4. I was fortunate to be at follow up breakout session with Msgr Ray East, Fr Paul Turner and Fr Ed Hislop after Fr Rick Manalo’s plenum. The panel sought to discuss the on-ground relevance of Rick’s talk and translate his presentation into practical tips for parishes with multicultural communities. Msgr Ray East described a 3-stage process for inculturation which stuck. Stage 1 is the “they are coming” stage. An African American community would say “the Spanish are coming” for instance. Fighting over facilities is common in stage 1. i.e. Bickering over a new comer taking someone else’s regular parking spot, blaming the new community for leaving a room dirty etc. People are wary of each other. Stage 2 sees some diversity in community. New people become more involved in church life, parish communities etc. and relationships are built. Stage 3 is when the magic happens. People start speaking phrases in each other’s languages and relationships between each other are genuine. The community feels like one family after celebrating 10 easter vigils together.

    I’m not sure the US church is ready even to accept the reality of stage 1. Some are, but many communities are still in denial. Some continue to be blind to the Other; others consciously exclude them or themselves – the exodus because of an emphasis on a new community as Ron describes seems to attest to this. They misconceive it as some kind of “take-over.” This denial is alive and well in the blogosphere as well. Consider the way some liturgical blogs have been fixated on the processional kites used at the convention mass and blatantly ignoring all other beautiful aspects of the wonderful multicultural liturgy.

    In a closing comment, Fr Ed added that we must turn to the gospel so we may learn culturally transformative hospitality from Jesus. I couldn’t agree more.

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