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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 an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

Conference Updates
published 29 January 2017 by Fr. David Friel

EW INFORMATION is available for two upcoming liturgical summits. First is the national Gregorian chant conference being hosted at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in March, and second is the Sacra Liturgia conference to be held this June in Milan.

The Dunwoodie gathering is entitled “Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education.” New information has just been posted concerning the sacred liturgies that will form part of this experience. The lists of speakers and topics are very exciting. N.B.: Registration for this conference ends this week, on Wednesday, February 1st. Register here.

My presentation for this conference is entitled, Is Beauty Subjective? Identifying the Criteria of Beauty. Following is the abstract:

It is commonly held that beauty exists in the eye of the beholder and is therefore a subjective quality. True beauty, however, is a transcendental property, touching upon the eternal and reflecting aesthetic criteria. Through an approach that is both philosophical and theological, these criteria will be established and shown to be a necessary part of human experience.

This study will rely on the thought of Jacques Maritain, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, and St. John Paul II. Attention will further be given to identifying the “lost center” lamented by Hans Sedlmayr. The aesthetics of beauty will then be applied to Gregorian chant as sacred music par excellence.

Two weeks ago, Sacra Liturgia Milan released a full list of its speakers and their topics. Among this list, especially notable are Cardinal Sarah, Cardinal Burke, Fr. Michael Lang, Dr. Jennifer Donelson, and Dom Alcuin Reid.