Dominican Liturgical Foundation Center Krakow, caring for the beauty of the liturgy

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Dominican Liturgical Foundation Center Krakow, caring for the beauty of the liturgy
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Four countries, 350 workshops participants, 200 people on retreat, a few thousand website followers and festival recipients – the Dominican Liturgical Center works for the Church in Poland and all over the world.

One year ago, on 21st of January 2017, the Choir of the Dominican Liturgical Centre in Krakow had the opportunity to prepare the liturgical music for the Holy Mass of the Closing of the Jubilee of the 800th year of the Order of Preachers at the Lateran Basilica in Rome. The Mass was led by Pope Francis.

The group of over 50 singers had a couple of months to prepare for this event, directed by fr. Dawid Kusz, a Dominican, composer and conductor. Selecting the choir and the repertoire, organisers percieved a heritage connected to Dominican monasteries and the Niepojęta Trójco (eng. The Inconcievable Trinity) songbooks published in Krakow. We also presented a few new tracks in the three official languages of the Order, and the traditional Dominican anthems: “Salve Regina” to the Blessed Virgin Mary and “O Lumen Ecclesiae” to St Dominic.

 

As the Master of the Order of Preachers, fr. Bruno Cadoré said, the songs prepared by the Dominican Liturgical Center were highly appreciated by the participants from all over the world: friars, sisters, lay Dominicans, friends of the Order, and numerous bishops. The songs expressed a deep prayerful character.

Teresa Bosak, a member of the choir and an associate of the Foundation expressed her hope, that her visit would be a pilgrimage and a source of inspiration for her and the Foundation all through the year, as they will be facing many challenges, plans and dreams. From Rome, the eternal city, we brought nothing but our minds and hearts filled with new hopes and ideas.

Extraordinary Music Workshop

The new energy was indeed necessary for us, as we were preparing for our next events, a key event for our mission: an Extraordinary Music Workshop in August and the Mysterium fascinans retreat in September.

In 2004, the Dominican Liturgical Center had initiated the liturgical music workshops, followed by similar future events in Poland. Beginning from 2013 (then 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019), the Extraordinary Music Workshops are the greatest events of its kind in Poland, with the participation of hundreds of people from Poland, as well as Italy, Germany, United States, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.

 

These Workshops provide a learning space for beginners and advanced melodists, both polyphonic adepts, responsible for choirs, Gregorian cantors, instrumentalists (like organ players as introduced this year). The novelty for this year was the course for the “Masters” as requested by advanced and more qualified melodists from previous years. The course was guided by Divna Ljubojević.

Last year, the workshops were followed by the Extraordinary Music Festival which consisted of 5 evening concerts of european famous ancient sacred music: Alamire from Great Britain, Graindelavoix from Belgium, Linnamuusikud from Estonia, Divna Ljubojević with Melódi from Serbia featuring workshop participants, Floripari, Perfugium and Sancta Trinitas choir. The concerts took place in the most natural space for sacral music, that is, one of Krakow’s monumental churches, and the concerts were open and free for all. Concert guests did not only consist of workshop participants, but also local visitors from Krakow and guests from around the country, coming especially for the event.

 

After that magnificent week, we began to miss the participants of the Workshops, so we started to prepare plans for the next ones in 2019.

Mysterium fascinans

However, in the middle of September, we welcomed the next 200 participants of the Mysterium fascinans retreat – Jubilee 10th edition. Over the past decade, the aim of the organisers has been an attempt to translate a complex theology into clear and intelligible language, along with harmonic combination of scientific thought, spiritual symposies and common celebration of splendid liturgy.

This year’s guest was fr. Cassian Folsom, Benedictine father and professor at the Anselmianum – the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome. Together with fr. Wojciech Węgrzyniak and other speakers, fr. Folsom initiated us into the secrets of celebrated mysteries, showing how both forms complement each other. Simultaneously, the motto: “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, contained a question about living the liturgy every day, or in other words – how the liturgy inspires the Christian spirituality.

Although all roads led to Rome, the eternal city, we also visited the United States and participated in a gathering of Catholic Leaders in Orlando titled, “The Joy of the Gospel”, where we were asked to prepare the liturgical music based on the experience of World Youth Day in Krakow. In October we led the liturgical music workshops in the Dominican Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in London.

It was also an important year for the Dominican Liturgical Center Choir, which presented itself as the best among others at the concert in Rzeszów, at St Padre Pio Foundation, during patron day of St Anne Basilica in Krakow and on advent evening.

Step by step

The Foundation’s BookShop in the cloister constantly invites fans of good books, music and art; the online shop ships more and more orders to the whole country, creating new ways to fulfill our mission. After a redesign at the beginning of the year, our website Liturgia.pl is now ready.

At the beginning of the academic year, we opened anew our important regular projects. The new catechumenate year has begun, preparing adults to recieve baptism, confirmation and first communion. After a whole year of weekly meetings, studying the faith and experiencing the community of the Church, candidates will make their initiation in Spring.

We also started the 7th edition of the School for Cantors, training people to be competent and responsible leaders in their churches. This year we proposed to our graduates to continue their study next year in the third and more advanced courses.

 

As in every year, we prepare on every Sunday the Holy Mass in the Church of Saint Mary of the Snows “on Gródek”, Krakow, and every Tuesday the Votive Mass of St Dominic in his chapel in the Basilica of the Holy Trinity in Krakow. We dedicate our prayers there for all associates, benefactors and friends of the Foundation.

Last year was a time of personal changes at the Foundation, changes that began since 2016. We have entered 2018 with renewed enthusiasm, working dynamically and rapidly on new ideas and specific plans. We are glad to see that the implementation of our mission involves not only our team, but also numerous Dominican friars and groups of trustworthy volunteers, without whom we would not be able to fulfill our most important projects.

As a non-profit organization, mostly we rely on the generosity of our donors and we are very grateful that many people share our values and the way we accomplish our goals. Therefore, we encourage you to continue to share information about our activities and we ask for your renewed generosity which will enable us to create and implement new projects.

 

Translation by Paweł Połeć

 

(04 February 2018)