Journeys ended, journeys begun
I suppose they are part of the reality of life — beginnings, endings, and then, more beginnings. We, the church, are beginning a new journey as we anticipate and prepare to implement the retranslation of the Roman Missal. So with journeys in mind, ML volume year 38 will explore our paths: paths we have taken and paths that we are about to walk. We set out on this course examining the ways that our life journeys impact our spiritual journeys, where the paths intersect, where they separate, and how each of these directions affects us. In that context, we will examine the changes in the Roman Missal and how those changes can best be put into action. Some will question why we need this retranslation, and some will struggle to put the changes into practice. ML will offer concrete ways to deal with the challenges that this retranslation presents and will address the changes taking place in both spoken and sung texts. And yes, we will explore further the reasons for the changes. Throughout the year we will feature articles dealing with our journeys in ministry and the joys and the difficulties we experience along the way.
In this first issue of the year, we set out on our path with a focus on spirituality. David Fedor provides a thought-provoking look at the process of preparing a local congregation for the new translation of the Roman Missal. William Graham looks back on the prayer of the church, surveying the differences in style and language and encouraging us to recall why we come together to celebrate the paschal mystery. In light of our Lenten journey, Monsignor Charles Murphy examines the practice of spiritual fasting throughout the ages. Timothy Cronin provides us with a thoughtful and fascinating insight into contemporary attitudes toward sin, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
The ML family is also experiencing new beginnings. After serving as editor of Ministry & Liturgy for the past 10 years, Donna Cole has decided to set off on a different ministerial path. I am honored and pleased to have been chosen to succeed her as the new editor of ML. I am indebted to Donna for her guidance and assistance as I take over the editorial reins of ML; her counsel, support, wisdom, and insight are invaluable.
I don’t know why, but I have a difficult time introducing myself. I am hardly ever at a loss for words, but when it comes to talking about me, I’m reticent. Perhaps it’s because I was taught that one should never be proud or boastful. On the advice of my predecessor, I shall introduce myself not by what I am, but who I am. First of all, I am not a newcomer to the ML family. In 2006, I began contributing to the Preparation Guide, writing the “Ritually Speaking” section. In 2007, I also wrote the “Ledger Lines” section of the PG, and in 2008, my work evolved into a full-fledged column entitled Moving Rite Along, offering a reflection on ritual and life. I have journeyed with ML as it has adapted over time to changes in the church and in the needs of the church’s ministers. Becoming editor seems to be a natural progression, the next step in this journey. I offer not just my pastoral experience and academic background but my heartfelt service to those who are called to ministry, who craft liturgy with sincere devotion. ML isn’t just about subscribers; it’s about the community of those who do “the work of the people,” and I am committed to their care and support.
Cecelia Regan (or Cele, as she prefers to be called) will be sharing her insight and experience in faith formation in her new column, Go Make Disciples of All. David Fedor, a gifted liturgist, pastoral musician, and writer, becomes the new regular columnist for Ritual Formation. We bid grateful farewell to Leisa Anslinger, who for five years wrote the now-retired Keeping the Faith column, and to Darren M. Henson, who started writing the “Ritual Foundations” section of the PG in 2009, which evolved under his authorship into the present Ritual Formation column. While Donna Cole has stepped aside as editor of ML, she will remain on staff as associate editor and become the writer of Moving Rite Along, my former column. We have, in a sense, swapped hats! As always, ML welcomes your feedback; tell me what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to our journey this year.
We’re Still Green: ML remains a “Paper Hero” on Green America’s Paper Project website (www.coopamerica.org/programs/woodwise/publishers/heroes/index.cfm) because it is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.