Fr. Michael J. Flynn, 57, of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, FL, has been named executive director of the Secretariat for Divine Worship of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He succeeds Msgr. Richard Hilgartner, who has been USCCB since 2007 and is returning to the Archdiocese of Baltimore in June 2014. Father Flynn’s appointment becomes effective June 30.
According to the website of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Flynn received a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University in 1978, with emphasis on Music Theory and Musicology. For over a decade after college graduation, Flynn remained in the Tallahassee area where he worked as a retail manager, a parish organist, and as the classical music critic for the local newspaper. He began work for an advanced degree in Liturgical Studies in 2007. In 2009 he was granted an S.T.L. (Licentiate) from Catholic University. He served as Director of Liturgy and Music, while also teaching liturgical courses at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL, from 2009 to 2012 Since Fall 2012 he has served on the faculty of Notre Dame Seminary as Director of Sacred Music.
In his home diocese he was pastor at Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach, 2003-2007. He had previous assignments as parochial vicar in Pensacola and Tallahassee, where he also worked in campus ministry at Florida State University and the University of West Florida. He is a native of Birmingham, Alabama.
Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, USCCB general secretary, said, “The Divine Worship secretariat carries serious responsibility in assisting both the bishops’ conference and also ultimately the more than 17,000 parishes nationwide,” Msgr. Jenkins said. “The executive director of the office oversees liturgical celebrations of the bishops at national meetings, publication of liturgical books used in parishes all across the country, and statements addressed by the bishops on liturgical matters.”
Msgr. Jenkins thanked Msgr. Hilgartner for his competent service, especially in overseeing implementation of the recent translation of the Roman Missal. “Leading a nationwide educational and implementation effort on this sensitive, international matter called for skills in everything from negotiation across an ocean to instructional workshops nationwide. Msgr. Hilgartner accomplished the task with clarity, graciousness and humor,” he said.
Best wishes to both Flynn and Hilgartner on their steps into future service to the Church.
Rick brought much to the Secretariat for Divine Worship. His optimistic, intelligent, cheerful demeanor will be missed. He worked so well with Tony Sherman and in turn, provided good leadership himself. Whatever parish or office next receives his talented gifts well can count themselves blessed.