Conference members, Cathedral Rectors and staff met together in San Antonio for a week dedicated to understanding more fully the unique role of the Cathedral in the life of a Diocese and the community in which it stands. The conference also served as the 17th annual meeting of CRCCM.

A lovely evening reception began the conference on Monday allowing time for new and old friends to meet.

Morning prayer, prepared by Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, began each day. Fr. John Schiavone and CRCCM members served as musicians.

The keynote on Tuesday was delivered by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles. He spoke of the important role of the bishop and the cathedral in the life of the faith and civic community.

Five multi-track workshops were offered throughout the week. On Tuesday morning Msgr. Francis Mannion and Gregory Glenn, both from Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah, spoke of the sacramentality of beauty in liturgy and the way this is being carried out in a thriving liturgical and musical environment.

The early afternoon music track was a presentation by John Romeri of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in Missouri on the hows and whys of cathedral arts and music programming. The later session was a panel discussion that presented the keys to success of several Cathedral music programs.

On Tuesday evening a Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated at San Fernando Cathedral with Archbishop Flores of San Antonio. A  reception followed at the historic “Governor’s Mansion.”

Wednesday morning offered a keynote by Rev. Virgilio Elizondo. He spoke of the Cathedral as a “home” where all in the community could find welcome. His talk reflected his work as former Rector of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio.

The music track followed with Rev. Arturo Cepeda and Rev. Jake Empereur, Pastoral Associates at San Fernando Cathedral discussing the cultural context of music and its application to the liturgy.

A free afternoon allowed CRCCM to meet with Fr. James Moroney. After a brief address commending the individual and collective work of CRCCM, Fr. Moroney opened the floor to questions. Of great interest to members was an update on the Sacramentary and related issues. This session was a continuation of the positive dialog established with the BCL and Fr. Moroney at the Washington, DC conference.

Later in the afternoon, CRCCM member’s were treated to what most considered the highlight of the conference, a concert by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble. With authentic Mexican/Aztec music of the 16th and 17th centuries and an array of folk instruments, SAVAE transported us back to the colonial period of Mexican history. The setting in San Jose Mission Church only intensified the experience.

On Thursday, Dr. Monica Hellwig, Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, spoke candidly of the challenges and obstacles faced by a church that truly seeks to be prophetic.

The final music track was a presentation by James Savage of St. James Cathedral on Liturgy of the Hours based on the wisdom of a 19 years long practice in Seattle. A brief closing session concluded the joint conference.

CRCCM held a luncheon where the conference welcomed guests and encouraged new membership. A brief business meeting concluded the lunch.

At St. Peter’s Church a choral music  reading session by CRCCM members preceded a recital by Alison Luedecke, organ and Susan Barrett, english horn/oboe.

The annual CRCCM banquet was held at the historic Menger Hotel, the bar of which served at one time as a meeting room for Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders!

On Friday morning, Jim Savage led members in Lauds for the Great Jubilee. Following the second business meeting, Christopher Moroney, director of SAVAE, spoke to members about the music performed on Wednesday and his own research into the literature, particularly the addition of folk instruments. He had many of the percussion instruments on display for us to see and play.

The 17th annual meeting of CRCCM concluded at noon on Friday, January 14, 2000.

respectfully submitted by Paul Monachino


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