Saturday 23 May 2009

Fota II International Liturgy Conference

We are happy to inform you of the following:

St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy will host the second international liturgy conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Fota, Co. Cork on 12-13 July 2009. The conference is entitled Benedict XVI on Sacred Art and Architecture. It will explore the theological, philosophical and historical background of the principles of Christian art and architecture as presented in the writings of Joseph Ratzinger –especially in his Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy and his Feast of Faith. The international conference will also be addressed by architects Prof. Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame University and Mr. Ethan Anthony of the prestigious Boston firm of architects Cram Ferguson. Both will explore the application of Joseph Ratzinger’s writings on church art and architecture in the context of building and decorating beautiful churches in the post Vatican II context.

The key note address will be made by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. He will present a comprehensive overview of the Pope Benedict’s writings on beauty in the context of the liturgy and Christian worship while emphasizing that beauty must necessarily be part of the liturgy is something of the glory of God is to be transmitted to man.

Professor Vincent Twomey, SVD, will chair the conference.

The theological, philosophical and historical background to Joseph Ratzinger’s thought on beauty in the liturgy will be explored in a series of papers presented by Dr. Joseph Murphy (St. Augustine’s theory of beauty), Fr. Daniel Gallagher (the aesthetics of St. Thomas Aquinas), Dr. Janeth Rutherford (Eastern Iconoclasm), Dr. Alcuin Reid (on Noble Simplicity), Fr. U. M. Lang (on Louis Bouyer) and Dr Helen Dietz.

The question of the practical application of Ratzinger’s principles of Christian art and architecture will be addressed by Prof. Duncan Stroik, Notre Dame University, and by Mr. Anthony Ethan of the architectural firm of Cram Ferguson.

Prof. Duncan Stroik is one of the leading exponents of neo classical architecture in the United States and has been to the forefront in promoting the principles of classical architecture in contemporary church building. Stroik’s architectural practice grows out of a commitment to the principles of classical architecture and humane urbanism. He is considered to be one of the foremost educators and practitioners in Catholic architecture. It is Stroik’s belief that a revival of sacred architecture is central to any true renaissance of architecture and civil society. Two primary examples of Stroik’s work can be seen in the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at La Crosse, Wisconsin and in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity at Aquinas College, Santa Paola, California.

Mr. Ethan Anthony is principal partner in the prestigious Boston firm of architects HDB/Cram and Ferguson whose speciality is the design and construction of traditional religious architecture and the design of religious interiors. The company has been to the forefront of religious architecture in the United States for more than 120 years. Ethan Anthony is a primary exponent of the architectural principles of the neo-Gothic and Romanesque. He has designed numerous new traditional churches and interiors and has gained a national reputation for his work in liturgical architecture. Primary examples of his work would include Syon Abbey, Cooper Hill, Virginia and Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, Texas.

Registration for the Conference is now open and may be made on line at, by e-mailing St. Colman’s Society at or by contacting the Secretary at [00353] 021 4813445.