‘Riches come together’ in joint liturgy degree
The Catholic Church in Australia will develop its own liturgical experts with a Masters program in liturgy being jointly offered by Australian Catholic University (ACU National) and the Catholic Institute of Sydney from next January.
The university says the Master of Arts (Liturgy) degree is the first specialised Masters degree in liturgy in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.
It offers a practical program of pastoral liturgical studies within the Roman Catholic tradition, although it leaves scope for students wanting to pursue liturgical studies within other Christian traditions.
Prof Peter Sheehan, ACU National vice-chancellor, says the degree brings “the riches of two places together for a quality program of studies”.
“Students will benefit from an increased breadth of staff, greater access to library facilities and the diversity of each institution,” he said.
Dominican Sr Veronica Rosier, of ACU National, a co-organiser of the program, said: “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy says those who teach liturgy in seminaries, religious houses of study and theological faculties must be thoroughly trained, but up to today we couldn’t do this in this country, we had to go to America or Europe to study.
“Now we can put our studies in the Australian context and have our own experts,” Dr Rosier said.
The program will be offered from the ACU National Strathfield campus and the Catholic Institute at Strathfield. People can enrol at either location.
Students will need to complete at least three of the eight units at each institute to be eligible for the degree and can choose to study part-time or one year full-time.
Dr Rosier agreed that the degree will help to continue the vitalisation of parish life.
“We’ll take people systematically through all the liturgical books of Vatican II and all the rites and help them know how to foster full participation of all the people in the liturgy,” she said.
“There seems to be a lot of people who are very confused and sometimes upset about what happens in liturgy, and that is often due to a lack of education all round.”