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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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"Bishops have a duty towards both wise and foolish. They have to rouse the devotion of the carnal people with material ornament, since they are incapable of spiritual things."
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (†1153)

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Thoughts on Benedict
published 4 June 2017 by Fr. David Friel

HE LATEST edition of the liturgy magazine, Altare Dei, has just been released. This is the fourth issue of the growing publication, and it includes many fine articles and musical scores. It also features a new, more attractive format.

The twofold theme of this issue is the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Among the excellent articles are the following contributions:

The Mysteries of Fatima (Marco Tosatti)
The Eucharist According to Edward Schillebeeckx (Givanni Cavalcoli)
Why Does the Church’s Liturgy Bore the Faithful So Much (Denis Crouan)
The Substantial Benedict (David Fagerberg)
Traditional Liturgy as Field Hospital (Roberto Spataro)
The Problem of the Sacred (Samuel Nyom)
Breaking Liturgical Bad Habits (Peter Kwasniewski)
“Tradition is Christ, Himself”: An Interview with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke (Aurelio Porfiri)

My own article in this issue is entitled Thoughts from Benedict, and it draws upon two insights that I gleaned from St. Benedict via the life and writings of Pope Benedict XVI. Reflecting upon a quote about ars celebrandi from Pope Benedict’s 2006 address to the priests of Albano, I observe the following:

Understanding the Church’s worship as a gift that “precedes us” is an essential realization for every priest who celebrates the sacred liturgy. Understood in this way, ministry is less about interjecting personal creativity than it is about facilitating communion with God and with our fellow pilgrims. Entering into the mens and vox of the Church comes to be seen, in this light, as a step toward spiritual freedom and an act of generous humility.

As is true of each issue of Altare Dei, this latest installment features a substantial musical insert. Four pieces are included this month:

Deo Gratias (SATB and Organ) – Colin Mawby
Virgo Clemens (SATB) – Valentino Miserachs
De Maria Numquam Satis SATB – Aurelio Porfiri
O Salutaris Hostia (SA and Organ) – Aurelio Porfiri

Anyone interested in sacred music and the liturgy will find this to be a very interesting issue. It is available here, at the cost of €6.80. Download the latest issue, and see the excellent content and updated format for yourself!