2023 Conference


“Remain in me”: Liturgical Formation and the Eucharistic Revival


St. Paul, Minnesota

September 21–22, 2023

Theme 2023: “Remain in me”: Liturgical Formation and the Eucharistic Revival

“…We see that the liturgical year is for us the possibility of growing in our knowledge of the mystery of Christ, immersing our life in the mystery of His Death and Resurrection, awaiting his return in glory. This is a true ongoing formation. Our life is not a random chaotic series of events, one following the other. It is rather a precise itinerary which, from one annual celebration of His Death and Resurrection to the next, conforms us to Him, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.” – Desiderio Desideravi, 64

In his Apostolic Letter, Desiderio Desideravi, Pope Francis calls for a “serious and vital liturgical formation” of the people of God through a  “rediscovery of a theological understanding of the liturgy.” At the same time, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have called for a three-year Eucharistic Revival (2022-2024), culminating in a Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, IN in 2024. As the Society for Catholic Liturgy, we believe that we have a specific scholarly contribution to make in responding to both calls to action.  We would like to pose a question: Is it possible that the recommitment to liturgical formation and the Eucharistic Revival can be integrated? How can a plan for the liturgical formation of the faithful contribute to the Eucharistic Revival in the United States?

At the Eucharistic Congresses in the early 20th century, the Eucharistic rites of the Church were presented as ways in which the whole Church might develop a new spiritual fervor that would serve as a medicine against individualism, secularization, violence, and injustice. At the heart of these efforts was the desire for a deeper participation in the mystery of Jesus Christ, the “true vine” in which the life of the world remains, continuously sanctified by the prayer of the Church.

A re-engagement of the faithful in this deeper understanding of the liturgy, in the mode of a scholarly conference, can facilitate an authentic liturgical formation of the people of God, and enable a richer Eucharistic Revival for the 21st century. For this reason, we welcome the submission of abstracts for this theme that take up the following questions:

  • What is “liturgical formation” and where are its best examples found in the life of the Church; in historical settings, in the liturgical reforms of the twentieth century, and the present day? What are the opportunities and challenges for liturgical formation in dioceses, parishes, and groups of laity?
  • What do the figures of the early liturgical movement have to contribute to a Eucharistic Revival in the United States today? What corrections might be required for our own age?
  • The apostolic letter Desiderio Desideravi is heavily influenced by the thought of Romano Guardini, whose great work, Liturgische Bildung, is celebrating its centenary in 2023. What might the content of Liturgische Bildung have to offer to a plan for liturgical formation in the 21st century?
  • How can scholarship address legitimate questions of liturgical history, authenticity of texts and practices, in a manner that avoids naivety or archaeologism, and instead brings to light careful research that deepens appreciation of sacred tradition?
  • What does a theology of mystery have to offer the Church today? How might it help one relate the doctrine of Real Presence and the liturgical action of the Mass?
  • Is it possible to identify a Eucharistic charism at the heart of the ars celebrandi? In what ways do the spirituality and mission of the ordained priesthood contribute to a Eucharistic revival?
  • How does our relationship with Creation affect our consciousness of liturgical symbols? What role does the re-enchantment of the world have to play in the liturgical formation of the faithful?
  • What wider cultural and educational milieus must be established for the flourishing of the liturgical act in the 21stcentury? What might a program in Catholic Studies, or the Catholic Rural Life movement contribute to fostering a liturgical and Eucharistic culture?
  • What is the role of sacred music, sacred art, and architecture in fostering liturgical formation for the Eucharistic Revival?
  • This conference will take place during the Year of Parish Revival of Eucharistic faith, as laid out by the USCCB. What efforts can be made on the parish level for the liturgical formation of the faithful?
  • What are the social, political, and educational consequences of a renewed understanding of the liturgy? How might it create cultures that enable the Church to engage in the work of the new evangelization.

Presentations are expected to be in the form of a scholarly paper, 30 minutes in length for full panels, 20 minutes in length for student panels. Please submit proposals by March 24th, 2023 to Sr. Esther Mary Nickel, RSM at nickel.esthermary@aod.org. Papers can be submitted for publication in the Society for Catholic Liturgy’s journal Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal.

Keynote Addresses – Information Coming Soon!