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Call to Holiness Conference – Detroit

October 15, 2009

UPDATE: If you are looking to register for the 2011 CtH Conference, click here.


I went to the Detroit area Call to Holiness Conference at the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak last Saturday. They had a great lineup of speakers who gave awesome talks on the Treasures of the Mass while in the setting of a beautiful Art Deco church.

The first speaker of the day was Michael P Foley, Ph.D., speaking on How the Mass Shaped the Western World. It was a very interesting talk explaining how, among other things, the layout of the court room has many parallels to the layout of a church, such as the jury box is likened to the choir stalls. He had his book, Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday?, for sale in the vendor area. It is now in my library.

Next up was Father Eduard Perrone, pastor of Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit. His talk was The Treasures of the Mass Explored. Father started his day with some technical difficulties. The laptop that contained his presentation for his talk crashed that morning so he and his assistant had to scurry to put a new slide show together. Father apologized for the crudeness of the second effort. The first must have been truly dazzling because the one we saw was very good. This talk walked us through the Mass explaining the vestments and ritual gestures and the ceremony and prayers. He also explained the translation updates that are coming soon for the English Mass.

Then we had lunch. The Shrine docent was giving tours during the lunch break. He gave us an overview of the Shrine’s interesting history. The parish was established on the heels of St. Therese’s canonization. The first pastor, Fr. Charles Coughlin, started a radio program to help pay for the Shrine. They even had troubles with the KKK (which isn’t in the on-line history). That is why the Shrine has the huge tower with the Crucifix, so that no one could ever burn it down again.

After lunch the auxiliary bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, spoke on The Sacredness of the Holy Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church. The bishop is calling for an end to receiving communion in the hand. While it is claimed that the early Church also received communion in the hand, Bishop Schneider said those same hands that received the Eucharist also needed to be purified. The Eucharist is sacred and we must treat it as such.

Following the bishop was Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, aka the blogging Fr. Z. His address was Mystery Both Fearsome and Alluring: Holy Mass and True Active Participation. Active participation does not mean having everyone run around the church during Mass with some little job. Active participation means being prayerfully in tune with the Mass.

The final speaker was Ronald Prowse, Ph.D. He spoke on sacred music. His talk was cut short due to overruns earlier and the need for Mass to start at 4:30. Dr. Prowse discussed the evolution of chant and showed us how to read and sing sacred music.

The conference ended with Mass, the main celebrant being Bishop Schneider.

Pictures of the conference can be seen here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2009 8:29 pm

    The Mass is almost always underrated in terms of its content.

  2. October 19, 2009 8:32 pm

    Thanks for the link to the photos….looks like a substantial event as you described.

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