Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, took a break from his duties as president of Catholic Theological
Union in Chicago, to speak to a broader audience: liturgists and bishops from dioceses across the country.
Fr. Francis was one of 10 keynote speakers to lead plenary sessions at a national meeting for the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions and the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.
“As liturgical ministers in the culturally diverse parish communities in the United States, how can we help to make this call to discipleship and service more transparent and powerful in the communities we serve in worship,” Fr. Francis asks?
“Pope Francis has challenged us to think about what it means to be a Christian, calling for personal involvement in proclaiming God’s love to the world as missionary disciples,” he adds. “This proclamation is only possible once we have experienced that love of God.”
He defines a “privileged moment” as one where love is manifested and when “we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist” (Evangelii Gaudium 120).
Making the liturgy more powerful is of particular interest to Fr. Francis. He holds a doctorate in liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant’Anselmo in Rome, and he also taught liturgy at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago — where he now serves as president — before returning to Rome as superior general of the Viatorian Community, a position he held for 12 years.
Fr. Francis is a product of Saint Viator High School, where he graduated in 1971 and five years later he professed his first vows as a Viatorian brother.
Oh, the places you’ll go!