After the 2007 November USCCB Meeting
in Baltimore, Msgr. James P. Moroney retires after 12 years of
service to the BCL. Prior to that, Msgr. Moroney was 7 years a
member and Chair of the FDLC Board of Directors. During the Friday
night banquet, the FDLC honored Msgr. James P. Moroney with a plaque
and replica of the Washington National Cathedral's relief from the
Chapel of the Good Shepherd.
Below are Msgr. Moroney's remarks.
Thirteen years ago, the last time the National meeting was
held in New England, I was departing as your chair and preparing to
begin my service at the BCL. This evening, as the National Meeting of
Diocesan Liturgical Commissions returns to New England, so do I. For
in just a few short weeks, I will leave my position as Executive
Director of the Secretariat for the Liturgy. This evening, therefore,
marks an important milestone for me. I thank you for your kind
recognition and wish to offer a few brief reflections.
Late in the 1940’s an article appeared in Orate
Fratres entitled “My Dream.” In it was contained a description of
how on Sunday morning began in a small American town. The sacristan
went out to ring the bell, which signaled the faithful to gather.
When all had arrived, they began to sing hymns and Psalms until the
procession wended its way to the altar. The old Priest, who had
baptized their children, counseled their confused and consoled their
sorrowing, was so much a part of their lives that they knew who they
were when they were in his presence. They were a royal Priesthood,
called together by God to join their hearts with the perfect Sacrifice
of the cross.
And that is what they did. By sacred words broken open and
boldly proclaimed, by gifts given and received as Christ’s own Body
and Blood, by acclamations, gestures, postures, processions and
prayers: they participated in the Church’s Sacred Liturgy with full
hearts, hungry minds, and lives longing for the presence of Christ.
Their song, the author of the dream wrote, was the song of
the angels come down from heaven and reminding us of what home will
That is our dream. To bring heaven to earth: to experience
a glimpse of the heavenly Jerusalem in the Sacred Liturgy. It is the
dream of each one of our lives.
But the dream is too great to be the possession of any one
group. It is the dream of the Federation, but it is also the dream of
the Priestly Society of Saint Peter. It is the Dream of the Catholic
Academy of Liturgy and of the Society for Catholic Liturgy. It is the
dream of Adoremus and of We Believe. It is the Catholic dream, the
dream of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.
It is the dream of the Church, who in her love for her
spouse, seeks to teach her children the paschal hymn, first sung from
the wood of the cross and now echoed at altars in every time and
Love that dream and love your fellow dreamers: whether they
sing it in hymns or polyphonic forms, whether they prefer to kneel or
to stand, whether they prefer Latin or English, whether they prefer to
look East or West. Love your fellow dreamers, as you love the dream.
For, at the end of the world, when we stand before the first singer of
the Paschal hymn , what will matter most will not be our personal
preferences, but our full and actual participation with heart and soul
and body and mind in the Holy and Living Sacrifice of Praise!
Satan hates our dream. And he tempts us to abandon it as
he tempted the Pharisees to measure the size of their phylacteries.
He tempts us to hate on the way to the altar of love, to judge on the
way to the altar of mercy; to envy on the way to the altar of
charity;and to compete on the way to the altar of kenotic sacrifice.
It is a dangerous business, as the vestal virgins once
learned, to be charged with keeping the flame alight. But my dearest
brothers and sisters, God has chosen us to be the dreamers and the
custodians of the light. Don’t let the rivalries and the resentments,
or the all too human temptations toward power and politics divert you
from this holy task. Love. Pray. Give, and so live the dream that
others might see you and be drawn not by the wisdom of your words, by
the fervor of your love…drawn into the mystery we can taste in the
celebration of the Liturgy and which we, pray God, we will sing for
I thank you for your patience with me when I have been
foolish, and your support when God has been wise. May we continue to
pray for each other and never stop dreaming!