Editor’s note: This article was updated March 26, 2023.
(LifeSiteNews) — A Sacred Liturgy Conference promoting the use of Gregorian Chant and Latin will be hosted this year by Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in northern California as part of the National Eucharistic Revival launched by the U.S. bishops’ conference.
Beginning on Pentecost, “The Mother of God in the Eucharist” conference will take place May 28-31 in Ferndale, California. Masses will be celebrated each day at Ferndale’s Church of the Assumption and the lectures will be held at the Tish Non Village Center.
According to the conference website, “The mission of this conference from its inception has been to foster greater devotion, understanding, and love for the beauty and meaning of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Through a deeper understanding of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith and life in Christ, we find our mission, vocation and the true meaning of life.”
This year’s speakers will include Bishop Vasa, Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ; Msgr. Arthur Calkins; Hegumen Damian Higgins; Fr. Luke Buckles, OP; Sr. Mary Vianney, MSSR; Fr. Stephen Boyle O. Praem; Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre; Fr. Theodore Lange; Fr. Joseph Levine; Fr. Stephen Kenyon and Fr. Robert Wolf.
A Gregorian chant workshop with Bissonnette-Pitre will also be offered the day before the start of the conference. The workshop “will cover the fundamentals of chanting the Mass with specific attention to the role of the schola in the Mass,” including “how to blend voices to sound as one voice, how to read the square notes using solfege and phrasing of the line with respect to Scripture.”
The workshop will also cover “the basics of chanting the Propers of the Mass and/or chanting the sacred scripture lessons of the Mass.” Additionally, “the history of Gregorian chant and its prime place in the Roman Rite both TLM and the Novus Ordo will also be discussed.”
Bissonnette-Pitre, founder and director of Schola Cantus Angelorum and director of the Latin Mass schola at St. Birgitta in Portland, Oregon, “has been teaching chant, leading chant workshops and training scholas since 2012.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has attended the Sacred Liturgy Conference in past years, praised the event, saying, “This is an impressive gathering, and it speaks to a growing desire by the faithful to enter into sacred worship and therefore to live holier lives.”
Similarly, Bishop Athanasius Schneider had words of commendation for the event and its sponsors, declaring, “It was a real spiritual joy having participated at the Conference and having met so many zealous priests and lay faithful. It was a little springtime of the Church. May God bless abundantly your beautiful and true Catholic apostolate.”
READ: Bishop Schneider: Complying with Latin Mass restrictions is ‘false obedience’
Bishop Vasa, this year’s host, called previous events “a wonderfully rich educational and experiential encounter with the Sacred Liturgy.” And Fr. Cassian Folsum, OSB, founding prior of the traditional Benedictine community of Nursia, declared the conference an “excellent work,” and “a real contribution to the life of the Church.”
This year’s conference comes amid increased restrictions from the Vatican on the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as FBI surveillance of Latin Mass Catholics, whom the agency branded as dangerous.
Bishops have reacted differently to the Vatican restrictions, with some banning the old liturgy all together, and others downsizing the number of locations in which it is offered in their diocese, sometimes displacing traditional Catholics from their parishes in moves that have been widely criticized even by high-ranking members of the clergy.
LifeSiteNews’s extensive coverage of the developments surrounding the Latin Mass can be found here.
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