Parish Ministry Conference - Christ, the Sure Foundation


The Liturgy: Our Communal Conversation with the Trinity

Fr. Michael McGourty, SLD

Christ is the sure foundation of the Church. The liturgy grows out of that foundation to express our devotion to the Triune God. This track will explore the importance of liturgy in the life of the Church and how it teaches us about the faith of the Church.

It will examine what Catholic liturgy is and why it is fundamental to our life in Christ. It will help provide responses to common objections to the Mass: I find it boring. I get nothing out of it. It’s not that different from any other church service. It will highlight the liturgy as the primary way God communicates with His Church, and the way that the Church communicates with God.

Participants will have the opportunity to grow in their understanding of liturgy as a way to learn about the faith in the latter part of the day. Having seen how Christ is at the foundation of our liturgical expressions, they will explore what we can learn about the Trinity in the various aspects of liturgy: ritual texts, the liturgical year, sacred art, music, and more.

Anyone involved in liturgical ministry (Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Ushers, Music Ministers, etc.) will be able to walk away from this track with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role liturgy plays in our lives.

Fr. Michael McGourtyFr. Michael McGourty was born in Toronto at St. Joseph’s Hospital. His parents moved the family to Markham, where he grew up, when he was eight years old. He attended St. Joseph’s elementary school in Markham and St. Robert’s High School in Thornhill. After graduating from High School he attended McMaster University in Hamilton, where he received an honours bachelor degree in political science. While attending McMaster University he rediscovered his faith and spent a summer at the Cistercian Monastery that was in Orangeville, Ontario. After this experience, he decided to apply to St. Augustine’s Seminary and discern a vocation to the priesthood. Fr. Michael was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto in 1992 and first served as an associate pastor at St. Anselm’s Parish in Leaside. He went to Rome to study liturgy in 1996 and received a license and doctorate in liturgy from the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Liturgy. Since then, he has taught liturgy and sacraments at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto and St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. He has served as pastor at St. John’s Parish in Weston and is presently the pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Toronto.

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