Jungmann Society Meeting 2016
27 Jun 2016
The Jungmann Society is an international professional association of Jesuits with academic training and expertise in liturgy and its allied arts. It has been founded as a response of the Society of Jesus to the Church's urgent call for a new evangelization of the world's many different cultures through worship, scholarship, and dialogue. Its goal is to promote the renewal of the Church's liturgical life as a central dimension of the Church's mission to preach the gospel effectively in today's world.
Past President of the Jungmann Society Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, currently parish priest of Farm Street Church, shares his thoughts on the most recent conference at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra between June 20th - 25th, on the theme "Made fully into a new creation: Liturgy, Reconciliation, Justice".
After an eloquent welcome from Irish Provincial Fr Tom Layden, in which he assured us of the importance of our meeting and of the need to remind Provincials around the Society of the importance of liturgy for the life of communities, and of formation in liturgy for our men in formation, we moved to the main business of the meeting.
Keynote talks on the theology of reconciliation, and on the situation of the Church in Ireland following the abuse crisis were given by Fr James Hanvey SJ, Dr Tom Whelan of the Milltown Institute, and Dr Daire Keogh, President of St Patrick's. Presentations on liturgy and ecology and liturgy and lament were given by Dr Mary McGann of the GTU in Berkeley, and Dr Maeve Heaney of the Australian Catholic University, as well as by Mr Aidan Mathews, a well-known literary speaker on religion for RTE.
Fr Bob VerEecke addressed the painful topic of Liturgy and Lament within the Society of Jesus, exploring in an imaginative and moving way the experience of loss and the pain of dramatic change in our lives. British scholastic Henry Longbottom shared his experience and expertise in a challenging presentation to open our thoughts to ecology and the care of the planet we all share, with a particular focus on “Laudato Si”.
42 Jesuit delegates attended, including 8 from Latin America, 8 from Europe, 6 from Africa, 3 from Asia, 2 from Oceania, and 15 from USA/Canada. JESAM president Fr Mike Lewis SJ was with us for the week, as was Fr Chuks Afiawari, Rector of Arrupe College in Harare, and Fr John McGarry, Rector of JSTB in California. The liturgies and the regular conversation groups were in the main European Languages of English, French and Spanish, and much of the music during the meeting was composed by Fr Christopher Willcock SJ.
The Congress finished in the splendid surrounds of the major seminary at Maynooth, with liturgical music provided by local musicians and singers, and a meal in the beautiful setting of the Pugin Hall. Throughout the meeting a good experience of Jesuit fellowship emerged, especially through the liturgies which were well designed, with good music and a high quality of preaching and presiding. The enthusiastic participation of scholastics from Guyana, Ireland, Poland, California, Zambia-Malawi, Britain, Kenya, Rwanda-Burundi and India gave great hope of appreciation of the importance of liturgy for the Society of Jesus in the future.
Visits to Clonmacnoise and Longford Cathedral, as well as to Trinity College and the Chester Beatty Library during our “Villa Day” were much appreciated by all, as was the hospitality provided before or after the meeting for delegates at Manresa and at Gardiner St. Jesuit Communities. Thanks to the generosity of the Irish, North Belgian, French, Dutch and British Provinces and the USA Assistancy, we were able to provide free accommodation at the meeting, and also to support delegates needing financial help for travel to Dublin.
At the end of the meeting Fr Dennis Smolarski SJ (California Province, and author of “How Not to Say Mass”) became President and Fr Erik Oland SJ (Director of Novices for Canada) was elected Vice President.
Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ (Past President, Jungmann Society)