The Catholic Liturgical Arts Committee (CLAC) is devoted to discovering new approaches to liturgy based on the classical arts—music, rhetoric, movement, drama, art and architecture. CLAC presents conferences and workshops on liturgical arts in order to invite discourse and dialogue on the liturgical choices that we as lay ministers make concerning the liturgy in our parishes. 

Saint Mary’ College CLAC is presenting two conferences in the 2013-14 school year:

November 9, 2013: “Laudate Pueri: Let the Children Praise Him.” Our guest artist/speaker will be Patrick Flahive, president of the American Federation Pueri Cantores. Flahive is recognized throughout the United States and abroad as one of the preeminent conductors of youth choirs in the Catholic Church.

This conference will begin with the preparation and celebration of a special Mass. Flahive will lead a large choir children who will sing the Mass, accompanied on the Saint Mary’s Chapel organ by Rudy DeVos. After the Mass, there will be lunch and fellowship, followed by a keynote lecture by Flahive on the importance of children’s choirs in the Catholic Church in the United States.

June 21, 2014: “Cantate Domino: Sing to the Lord.” Our guest artist/speaker will be the nationally renowned Dr. James Savage, director of sacred music for the archdiocese of Seattle. There will be a solemn High Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Barber of the Oakland Diocese, with the music prepared by Savage. After a group lunch, Savage will address the attendees on the importance of choirs in contemporary Catholic Masses.

In the 2012-13 school year, CLAC presented two conferences:

October 20, 2012: "Singing in God’s Ear: The Sacred Art of Cantilation."  Join our guest speaker, noted musician and composer Father Samuel F. Weber, O.S.B., as he explains the history, elements, meaning and form of Christian prayer, and the call for sacred cantilation of the Psalms of David: the words the Church places on our lips, the sentiments God wants to hear from the depths of our hearts in the Church today as we celebrate Holy Mass and the Hours. 

March 9, 2013: “The Way of the Cross." The guest speaker will be Saint Mary’s College Professor Brother Charles Hilken, an authority on medieval history and author. He will speak on the history of the cross as a symbol and an object of art since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The second half of the conference will be a special Lenten devotion of "The Stations of the Cross" in Saint Mary's Chapel, where 14 original "Chemin de la Croix" engravings by French Expressionist painter Jean Charlot will be on display.

During the Saint Mary’s College 2011-12 school year, CLAC presented three conferences:

October 1, 2011: "Sing a New Text" addressed ways to incorporate changes in the new translation of the Roman Missal. The guest speaker was the 2010 Pastoral Musician of the Year, American composer and liturgist Bob Hurd.

February 4, 2012: "Ars Celebrandi: Moved by the Spirit" explored ways to create liturgy that becomes an aesthetic experience of beauty.The guest speaker was renowned liturgical artist Christian Brother William Woeger, founder and director of the Cathedral Arts Project based at Omaha’s St. Cecilia Cathedral.

April 21, 2012: Catholic Meditation: Be Still and Know That I Am God.” A full-day conference on Taizé Prayer. The guest speaker was Sister of Mercy Jean Evans, RSM, director of the First Friday Taizé services at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. The conference concluded with a guided meditation led by Saint Mary’s meditation director, Brother Camillus Chavez, FSC.

The inaugural CLAC conference, "Art as a Way to God, was presented in February 2011and featured world-renowned liturgical music composer Christopher Walker. 

For questions, contact: Louis Lebherz, 925-631-4406 or lpl2@stmarys-ca.edu.

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