Carolyn Pirtle, M.M, M.S.M., M.A.

Program Director, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy


As Program Director of the Center for Liturgy, Carolyn oversees the planning and facilitation of the Center’s signature events, including the Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program, as well as other McGrath Institute events like the annual International Crèche Exhibit. Additionally, Carolyn assists with liturgical planning for the entire McGrath Institute and collaborates in the formation of MICL program participants.

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Carolyn holds degrees in piano performance (B.M., Kansas State University, 2003), music theory-composition (M.M., Kansas State University, 2005), vocal/choral sacred music (M.S.M., Notre Dame, 2008), and theology (M.A., Notre Dame, 2016). Carolyn speaks regularly on the theology and practice of liturgical music, the importance of the arts in Catholic life, and formation in liturgical and devotional prayer, particularly for the domestic church.

An award-winning composer, Carolyn has set the antiphons and psalms for the entire Liturgy of the Hours. Her collection of daily responsorial psalms for the Advent and Christmas seasons is forthcoming from GIA (2022), and several of her liturgical compositions are available through World Library Publications (now part of GIA) and earthsongs. She also created the nine one-act musicals performed in yearly cycles at Notre Dame Vision

Carolyn has published articles in Logos: A Journal for Catholic Thought and Culture, AIM: Liturgy Resources Magazine, and GIA Quarterly, is author of Praying the Rosary Together: A Guide for Households and Classrooms (World Library Publications, 2019), and Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God (Ave Maria Press, 2021), the first book in the McGrath Institute’s Engaging Catholicism series.

When she’s not playing piano, singing, or composing, Carolyn enjoys attending live performances of musicals, watching old movies, teaching piano lessons to young people, reading novels, and baking.