Johan van Parys, a native of Belgium moved to Minneapolis in 1995 when he became director of liturgy and the sacred arts at the Basilica of Saint Mary. Before taking the position in Minneapolis, he worked for the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy. He holds graduate degrees in archeology, art history and comparative religious studies from the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. In addition to his work in Minneapolis Johan has accepted occasional teaching appointments at St. John’s University. He also likes to write and enjoyed his contributions to an initiative of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy. He gives workshops and consults with parishes throughout the country on a variety of topics relating to liturgy and the arts.

With Corpus Christi fresh in our memory

As I made my way back to the hotel I stumbled over a man who was sleeping in the street. Only then did I notice that several large cardboard boxes lined the avenue. A man crawled out of one of them and asked me for money saying he was hungry. The pathway connecting both churches was dotted with these makeshift shelters housing many hungry people. Blinded by the splendor of both liturgies, I had not noticed them.

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Of Spirit and Soul

I have read books about it for years. I have attended conferences, workshops and retreats. And yet, I am not sure I can define it. I am referring to spirituality. Spirituality is so often spoken about, and yet, it is in essence unspeakable; it is the topic of great lectures and the result of much silence; it is the gift to very few and the call for many.

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