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.
Two Topics for This Time of Pandemic
Hungering for the Body of Christ Amid Pandemic Distancing
Who would imagine our church gathering online to celebrate Easter or Sunday Mass on a regular basis? Thankfully, such liturgies are not the norm, however the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to radically reconsider our encounter with the Body of Christ and what fuels our lives of faith. How do we “live and breathe and have our being” through a facemask, confined to our homes, and at a distance from one another? How do we begin to gather again as parishes re-open? Where is Christ amid so much change? This presentation embraces our current “in-between space” and looks at how to sustain our sacramental spirituality during this difficult time for our church, ourselves, and so many people in need.
At the Digital Banquet of the Lord: Livestreaming Masses with Sacramental Integrity
Safety measures for COVID-19 are still in flux as stores, parishes, and public gatherings decide what is most appropriate for the common good in their locale. While not the ideal, 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. Yet these experiences also require us to be vigilant for how online practices affect our understanding of the Body of Christ, the liturgical relationships set up by camera placement during specific parts of the Mass, and how to form online presiders, lectors and musicians to promote liturgical engagement, as distinct from serving as online entertainers. This presentation provides a methodology for joining technology with the liturgy and online prayer, examines the advantages and disadvantages of livestream Mass, and contemplates the implications for the future of worship and pastoral ministry
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.
As a starting point I've listed possible workshop topics below. But feel free to contact me if other topics come to mind that would better serve your pastoral needs.
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. Topics of interests 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.
God’s Grace, Human Space: Experiencing the Sacred in Everyday Life
In today’s modern lifestyle, 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? This retreat will demonstrate that such a renewed worldview is possible by placing in dialogue our scriptural foundation, our worship tradition, and more recent data from the sociology of everyday religion.
In These Days
of Lenten Journey
I'm completely booked for my 2021 Lenten missions. However, I still have 2 free available weeks for Lent 2022 and 3 slots for 2023.
Harmony or Division?:
Celebrating the Mass through Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern World Views
This presentation proposes three interpretations of and approaches to liturgy that exist in our church today, how these “three 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.
RETREAT OR DAY OF RECOLLECTION
for Liturgical Ministers:
Liturgy and Liminality:
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.
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.
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.
Has Already Begun:
in a 2.5 World
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 our liturgies today. It is divided into three parts:
I. WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES: From Liturgical Inculturation to Liturgical Interculturality
II. BETWEEN THE BOUNDARIES: What the Nones Could Teach Us About Catholic Liturgy
III. BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES: Liturgy 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.
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 recent 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.
On Our Behalf:
and Musical Leadership
This is a seminar for clergy and seminarians who wish to learn how to chant presidential prayer texts a cappella. My pedagogical approach is very simple as it involves the learning of just six 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. The methodology of this seminar draws from my award winning book, Chanting On Our Behalf (revised edition, 2015).
The following weekend dates remain available. Whether you are interested in booking an event for 1 day or a portion of the day (morning, afternoon, or evening) or for a number of days (i.e., a mission or retreat), please choose below as a starting point.
July 31 - Aug. 2
Aug. 21 - 23
Sept. 18 - 20
Oct. 2 - 4
Oct. 23 - 25
Nov. 5 - 7
Nov. 12 - 14
Dec. 9 - 21
I usually organize my bookings through OCP, but you could contact me directly, if you prefer.
Thank you so much for your interest and support!