Summer Liturgy Series

 Due to ongoing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Center for Liturgy’s on-campus summer programming has once again been canceled for 2021. Instead, this June and July, we will host a virtual Summer Liturgy Series, “Will They Come Back After COVID?: Disaffiliation, Affiliation, and the Liturgy.” This array of online offerings will include interviews and live Q&A sessions with experts in theology and pastoral ministry, opportunities for prayer and reflection, and resources for intellectual and spiritual formation.

Will They Come Back After COVID?: Disaffiliation, Affiliation, and the Liturgy”

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has caused great disruption in the liturgical life of the Church. Public celebrations of the Mass and other sacraments were cancelled or postponed, leaving millions of Catholics to “participate” in the liturgical life via online platforms. Although many churches throughout the world have now resumed in-person liturgies, many of the faithful have yet to return, which begs the question, will they ever come back? 

Ultimately, the current climate has exacerbated trends already in existence long before COVID-19. To have any hope of recovering from the ecclesial devastation wrought by the pandemic, leaders in the Church must grapple with questions of disaffiliation and affiliation, asking not only what might prompt someone to leave the Church, but also—and perhaps more importantly—what might encourage them to stay. 

Over six weeks this summer, through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous offerings, we will examine these questions and more. Together, we will rediscover the riches of the Church’s Tradition in order to propose them in new and beautiful ways to the disaffiliated and the affiliated alike. In this recovery and reproposal, we hope to inspire and to build a deeper culture of affiliation through the Church’s liturgical life.


Registration Information

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, we are pleased to offer access to the entire summer series for just $50 for individual participants, and $125 for groups of 6 people (registrant plus 5 colleagues).

Registration deadline: June 14, 2021

Each week, participants will receive:

  • Two video interviews with experts in theology and pastoral ministry
  • Invitations to a live webinar with our experts for Q&A and further conversation
  • Curated reading materials and resources
  • Forums for online discussion with other program participants
  • Opportunities for spiritual formation, including communal prayer and enriching experiences of sacred beauty

All of these materials will be hosted in a user-friendly learning management system.

Click here to register as an individual

Click here to register a group

Please note: if you are registering a group, you will first register only yourself, which will establish you as your group's primary contact. Once your own registration is completed, you will then receive a confirmation email with a link to a form that will allow you to add your other participants' contact information.

Speakers and Schedule

Week 1 | June 14–18, 2021: What is disaffiliation? Why do people leave the Church? 

  • Gwendolen Adams, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology, Augustine Institute
  • Steven C. Warner, Associate Director, ND Newman Centre for Faith & Reason

Week 2 | June 21–25, 2021: What is affiliation? Why do people stay in the Church?

  • Stephen Bullivant, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion; Director, Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society, St Mary's University, Twickenham, UK
  • Tammy Becht, Director, Office of Youth and Young Adult Formation; Director, One Bread, One Cup, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology

Week 3 | June 28—July 2, 2021: The Eucharist—Supreme Image of Affiliation

  • Timothy P. O'Malley, Ph.D., Director of Education; Academic Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame
  • Very Rev. Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., Prior, Parish Priest, and Rector of the Rosary Shrine, London; noted photographer of sacred art and architecture

Week 4 | July 5–9, 2021: Popular Piety—Cultivating Affiliation through the Treasures of Tradition

  • Nichole Flores, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
  • Vicente del Real, Founder and Executive Director, Iskali 

Week 5 | July 12–16, 2021: Sacred Beauty—Inviting Affiliation through the Imagination

  • Sr. Jeana Visel, O.S.B., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Spirituality, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology 
  • Fr. Łukasz Miśko, O.P., President and Rector, Church of St. Giles, Dominican Liturgical Center Foundation, Krakow, Poland 

Week 6 | July 19-23, 2021: The Domestic Church—Practicing Affiliation in Everyday Life

  • Timothy Muldoon, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Boston College; and Sue Muldoon, Director, Families Ministries, Good Shepherd Parish (Archdiocese of Boston); Therapist, Catholic Counselors
  • Jason Kidd, Director, Marriage, Family, Youth, and Young Adult Office, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon