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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"Impelled by the weightiest of reasons, we are fully determined to restore Latin to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.”
— Pope John XXIII (22 February 1962)

The International Institute for Culture
published 12 January 2014 by Fr. David Friel

NE FEATURE OF A VERY UNIQUE Philadelphia neighborhood called “Overbrook” is the International Institute for Culture (IIC). The Institute began in 1989 in response to Pope John Paul II’s call for cultural re-evangelization, and since that time has organized lecture series, language programs, cultural celebrations, international conferences, educational seminars, and art exhibitions. It has also hosted many musical performances.

Everything the IIC offers attempts to showcase the cultural heritage of Holy Mother Church. Their self-stated goal is to “look at the way in which the Faith has shaped cultures in the past and the culture in which we live today, the manner in which it preserved and elevated whatever was good and noble in any culture that it encountered and repudiated whatever debased the human spirit.” It is an organization with high aspirations.

One of the ongoing seminars they offer is called ”For the Love of Music.” These seminars follow an interesting procedure. First, they listen to a live performance of a piece of classical music. Then, the musicians reflect on what they see & hear in the composition and participants are invited to ask questions & share thoughts. Finally, the whole group listens to the same piece performed again. Described as a “master class for listeners,” this series is a great way for lovers of music to grow in their appreciation for the nuances of various composers and styles.

As one example, the Institute is hosting a session this afternoon at their Ivy Hall headquarters. Featuring pianist Rollin Wilber, attendees will hear selections by C.P.E. Bach, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Grieg, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Villa-Lobos. More information can be found here.

May the efforts of the IIC and other groups like it help to foster a new “civilization of love”!