BOOK AN EVENT
This page presents information for booking concerts, missions, workshops, retreats and other events. A sampling of topics are listed below. Naturally, I am open to meeting your pastoral, consultation, or academic needs, so these topics could be adapted in a variety of ways and within specific timeframes. For available dates, go to the bottom of this page. Feel free to contact me anytime.
A Friday evening concert, followed by a Saturday morning workshop, is the most popular request that I receive. The concert (approx. 90 mins.) consists of a sequence of 12-14 songs, including new and yet-to-be-published music. Before each song, I break open the spiritual meaning and story behind the text and the music, and I invite the assemby to sing along with me during parts of the song. More than a "concert," I prefer to view this as a prayerful event that leads all those present towards a deeper spiritual renewal.
I prefer do concerts with an accompanying choir who sings 6 - 8 songs along with me. When the choir is not singing, I lead at the piano by myself or with the help of other vocalists and/or instrumentalists, depending on availability. Quite often the choir and instrumentalists already know most of my songs, so this cuts down on rehearsal time. The choir is usually made up of music ministers from the local parish and neighboring parishes.
The topics below are divided into four subtopics which are meant to serve as starting points. Please free to contact me should other topics come to mind that would better serve your pastoral or academic needs.
Catholicism in Our World Today
Liturgy, Liturgical Music, and the Sacraments
Asian/Asian American Catholicism
Intercultural Pastoral Ministry
Catholicism in Our World Today
Toward a More Perfect Union:
Finding Christ in a Time of Toxic Polarization
Divisive lines continue to be drawn in our country, dioceses, and parishes, and between family members, friends, and church leaders: Democrats vs. Republicans; traditionalists vs. progressives; racism, gender, and social class conflicts, etc. We are currently living in a time of toxic polarization as we search for meaning and pastoral tools that promote harmony and unity. This presentation provides a primer on this "first order crisis," an explanation on how we got here, and a pastoral roadmap that points us toward a future marked by healing, reconciliation, and hope.
Has Already Begun:
in a 2.5 World
At the Digital Banquet of the Lord: Using Media and Technology with Sacramental Integrity
Based on my Plenum Address at the 2019 Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions' 50th Anniversary Conference, this presentation addresses the current trends in our world that are impacting Church life today. It is divided into three parts:
I. WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES: Moving from Inculturation to Interculturality
II. BETWEEN THE BOUNDARIES: What the Nones Could Teach Us About Catholic Liturgy
III. BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES: The Parish in a 2.5 World of Media and Technology
Useful and pastoral suggestions are proposed throughout the presentations. Each part could be expanded with more details and depth or added segments for small groups discussions, depending on the needs and time frame of the parish, organization, association or diocese.
The world is not the same since the pandemic began in 2020. For example, livestream Masses and other online events will no doubt remain one option to keep parishioners connected as parish leaders collaborate with media and technology experts to learn how to best provide for the sacramental and pastoral needs in their community. These experiences also require us to be vigilant for how media and technology affect our understanding of the Body of Christ.
This presentation examines how the pandemic has affected Catholic worship today. It also provides a methodology for joining technology with liturgical prayer; examines the advantages and disadvantages of livestream Mass; and contemplates the implications for the future of worship and pastoral ministry.
Harmony or Division:
Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern World Views in Our Church Today
This presentation proposes three interpretations of and approaches to Catholicism that exist in our world today, how these “world views” continually interact with one another and, finally, how each of the three could learn from the other two in order to bring about healing, harmony, and unity in our Church today.
Liturgy, Music, and the Sacraments
A Eucharist of Encountering:
Liturgy invites us to enter into “God space and time” where we become formed, re-formed, and trans-formed into the image and likeness of Christ. How do we respond during such privileged moments during our celebrations of the Mass? This presentation provides a foundation for understanding these dynamics, in order that we may better respond to God’s initiative.
On Our Behalf:
and Musical Leadership
Based on my award winning book, Chanting On Our Behalf (revised edition, 2015), this seminar is for clergy and seminarians who wish to learn how to chant presidential prayers a cappella without the need to read the music that is found in hymnals or in official liturgical books. My pedagogical approach is very simple as it involves the learning of just 3-6 notes and the ability to recognize the liturgical, grammatical, and ritual flow of prayer texts. By the end of the seminar, presiders will feel more confident and gain competency in musical skills in order to better lead the assembly during specific ritual moments.
Sing to the Lord: Liturgical Music
What are the ministerial tasks of cantors, choirs, instrumentalists and music directors? In Christian worship they are called to lead the assembly into full, conscious and active participation so that the assembly's voice becomes the primary voice of praise and thanksgiving to our God. At times, we may lose sight of this calling, especially when we fail to move beyond the performative aspects of our musical gifts, and thus, forget that our gifts are gifts from God.
The first part of this workshop presents an historical overview of liturgical music, leading up to the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. Then, we examine the structural and ritual components of the Mass, with a special emphasis on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' 2007 guideline, Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. We conclude with pastoral suggestions for worshiping communities who wish to increase the level of sung participation. Our goal is to renew our relationships with God and with one another and to fine-tune our ministerial skills and vocation.
Asian and Pacific Island American Catholicism
Encountering Christ in Harmony: Pastorally Responding to our
Asian and Pacific
Brothers and Sisters
Today, the Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States is the fastest-growing minority population. Yet it tends to go unrecognized in the wider U.S. society, and there remains a need to bring more attention and support to these communities. This seminar is based on the 2018 USCCB pastoral statement, Encountering Christ in Harmony, which I co-wrote with Fr. Linh Huong, OFM. It celebrates the gifts and contributions of AAPI Catholics in our church today and provides strategic and pastoral suggestions for parishes and dioceses.
Reflecting Christ's Light: Celebrating Simbang Gabi
in our Parishes Today
Simbang Gabi (“night masses” in Filipino) are a sequence of novena masses that have become popular throughout the U.S. The first part of this presentation provides historical background on the development of this novena over the past five centuries. The second part provides a basic theology of Simbang Gabi which places in conversation the interplay between official liturgy (i.e, the Mass) and popular devotional practices (devotion to Mary). Finally, the third part presents 10 pastoral principles for liturgical planning, preparation, and celebration, including musical suggestions. The goal of this presentation is to equip pastoral leaders with necessary and basic tools and to spiritually nourish all other participants toward a more meaningful worship experience.
A Treasured Presence: Celebrating the Gifts and Legacy of Filipino American Catholics
The year 2021 marked the Quincentennial celebration (500 years) of Christianity in the lives of Filipinos across the globe! This presentation provides a general introduction to Filipino American Catholicism from historical, cultural, worship, and pastoral perspectives. After a general introduction that outlines the history of Filipino American Catholicism, we will highlight the gifts of faith, family, and cultural values that Filipino Catholics contribute to parish and diocesan life. We will also consider the particular liturgies, devotions, and worship practices that mark their everyday life, and consider the growing concern of how future generations of Filipinos will continue these faith practices. This presentation is based on the 2021 USCCB book, A Treasured Presence, which I co-wrote with Dr. Stephen Cherry. Let us rejoice with one voice as we mark this momentum event and celebrate our rich heritage!
Intercultural Pastoral Ministry
Building Intercultural Competence for Pastoral Ministers
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to love one another. Yet conflicts may arise between different cultural groups at parish, diocesan and/or national levels. After setting a theological foundation, this seminar presents a primer on cultural dynamics in parish settings. Pastoral methods and tools are drawn from the program Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I served as an official consultor for this project.
Topics include: What is intercultural competence?; parameters for interacting with other cultural groups; conducting meetings with differing cultures; leadership styles and responses to complex issues; in-group and out-group dynamics; understanding and processing racism; spirituality for intercultural ministry and reconciliation; and ecclesial integration and inclusion versus assimilation.
Bearing Gifts Among Us: International Ministers
and Parish Life Today
There is a rising population of international pastoral ministers serving in the U.S. Church today, including priests (21% of all ordained priests in the U.S. today), women and men religious. The gifts they bear and share are numerous and are influencing parish life and ministry. As a result, understanding how to recognize and respect cross-cultural boundaries is crucial.
This session is based on the guidelines by the USCCB, Guidelines for Receiving Pastoral Ministers in the United States (3rd edition) and explores critical and senstive pastoral concerns, including: language competency & accent acquisition, intercultural dynamics of learning and sharing between international ministers and the receiving community, and how to prepare communities for the reception of international ministers. Many of my pastoral insights stem from my experience as the director of the Cultural Orientation Program for International Ministers (Loyola Marymount University).
God’s Grace, Human Space:
Experiencing the Sacred in Everyday Life
In today’s modern lifestyles, we often compartmentalize work, family, friends, religion, prayer, and leisure. Unfortunately, God becomes compartmentalized as well: we “relegate God” to convenient locations and times, during specific days of the week and during specific locations. How can we Christians retrieve an image of God who remains ever present during every moment of our lives, while balancing the demands of everyday life? The content of this retreat is based on my award winning book, The Liturgy of Life (2014) which provides a refreshing worldview by placing in dialogue a scriptural foundation, the Catholic worship tradition, and more recent insights from the sociology of everyday religion.
The following weekend dates remain available. Whether you are interested in booking an event for one day or a portion of the day (morning, afternoon, and/or evening) or for a number of days (i.e., a retreat or mission), please choose below as a starting point.
June 29 - July 3
July 20 - 23
Aug. 24 - 28
Sept. 8 - 11
Nov. 2 - 6
I usually organize my bookings through OCP, but if you prefer, you could contact me directly.
Thank you so much for your interest and support!