Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fr. Italo and the Vatican

Fr. Italo Dell'Oro, who is a part-time campus minister here as well as the vocation director for the Somascans in Houston, made a presentation to the Vatican Fifth World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees in 2003.  I found a transcript of the presentation posted on the Vatican website.  Pretty cool.  Here is a snip:

We framed our efforts in a threefold model which we called, “our Triptych”. It was the combination of the works of the heart (liturgy), the mind (religious education and Catholic Social Teaching) and the body (works of charity). Such model, which I derived from a booklet by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, helped us to focus more clearly on the celebration of the parish feast day of the Assumption, by making it the symbol of the entire pastoral activity. Hence the three moments of the Feast Day: the parish Bazaar, symbolizing the Body; the Convention, consisting of a presentation by a special speaker – a bishop, a seminary professor, etc., symbolizing the Mind; and the liturgy of the Vigil of the Assumption – procession and Eucharist, usually with one of Houston’s bishops presiding, was the Heart. Thus, all parish activities revolved around the threefold model and would lead each parishioner to feel and be a member of one community, certainly as diversified as the civic community, and yet, united and interconnected in solidarity by the same faith.

So, from a practical standpoint, we began focusing on the dignity of liturgies – not that they were to be necessarily perfect, but simple and according to the rubrics. A simple, yet well celebrated Eucharist must both reflect and inspire the life of a community, and not presume a perfection which is not there, or be offered with a casual approach that trivializes it. Hence, building upon the methodology, already in practice at both the diocesan and parish levels, of celebrating bilingual masses, we chose a few occasions that would symbolize our hoped for unity and at the same time would not be too much of a burden to either of the two main linguistic groups. These were Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, the Vigil of Pentecost, the Vigil of the Assumption, and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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