From May 16–July 1, 2022, the German Liturgical Institute and the Theological Faculty–Trier, in conjunction with the Catholic University of America, hosted a group of North American graduate students and seminarians in a summer school course entitled “Understanding the Bible from the Liturgy,” taught by and based on the work of Prof. Dr. Marco Benini.
The summer school brought together young scholars of various disciplines from CUA, the University of Notre Dame, St. John’s University, Duke University, Marian University–Indianapolis, and St. Mary’s Seminary–Columbus, Ohio, in exploration of the sacramentality of the proclamation of the Word of God as well as German language and culture. Based in Trier, Germany’s oldest city, students also experienced the warm hospitality of German theology students and the beauty of the Moselle River valley and its renowned wine culture. Students were also able to visit a number of archaeological sites in the city’s ancient cathedral, abbeys, and burial sites, all of which gave weight of historical context to classroom discussion.
Multiple Ausflüge (excursions) throughout northwestern Germany afforded students the opportunity to visit such living landmarks as the city of Cologne and its cathedral, Aachen and the chair of Charlemagne, and Mainz and the Gutenberg Museum. Of particular liturgical importance, the group spent a day at the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach, an energizing center of the Liturgical Movement and the home of Abbot Ildefons Herwegen and scholar Odo Casel.
While at Maria Laach, the abbey librarian and archivist shared correspondence between Abbot Herwegen, St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, and St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, during the interwar years of the 1920s. Read in the context this magnificent Abbey, and having seen the altar and crypt that hosted some of the first ad populum liturgies of the twentieth century, these letters spoke to enduring work of the Liturgical Movement and the lasting need for diverse international contact between scholars and celebrants to continue the work of liturgical renewal in our own time. It is hoped that the relationships built in Trier will continue to enliven this work.
To learn more about the summer, visit the Theological Faculty’s website here.