San Carlos Seminary photo
Filipino Fr. Anscar Chupungco will speak next month on a Portland conference on culture and liturgy.
San Carlos Seminary photo
Filipino Fr. Anscar Chupungco will speak next month on a Portland conference on culture and liturgy.
The Catholic Church is an international body and its liturgy naturally reflects the fact. That's one message from Father Anscar Chupungco, a Filipino Benedictine who has for decades been writing about the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on Liturgy.

Father Anscar, who will speak in Portland next month at a national meeting of diocesan liturgical commissions, says inculturation in liturgy does not create new rites, but translates the Roman liturgy into the culture of local churches.

"The sound tradition of the Roman liturgy is the basis of legitimate progress that inculturation seeks to achieve," Father Anscar has said. He is seen as the father of liturgy in The Philippines.  

The meeting is set for Oct. 10-15 at the Doubletree Hotel Portland Lloyd Center. With the theme, "Strangers No Longer in the Household of God," participants will examine the relationship of culture and liturgy. Church liturgists will ask how Catholics of many cultures gather, tell stories, share gifts, celebrate and go forth.

"When we are celebrating the liturgy, we are thinking about everyone in the church, not just our parish. It's the body of Christ and the body of Christ is diverse," says Michael Prendergast, a Portland liturgist and conference organizer.

"We have to emerge from stereotypes and find how we can interact with people who are different as human beings. If you can't do it at church, where can you do it?" says Providence Sister Jeremy Gallet, another organizer and head liturgist for the Archdiocese of Portland.

During the conference, Father Anscar will receive an award for contribiutions to litutgical life. He has taught in Rome.  
Also speaking during the week will be Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, executive director of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Secretariat of Cultural Diversity; St. Anne Sister Kateri Mitchell, executive director of the National Tekakwitha Conference; Paulist Father Ricky Manalo, a liturgist and composer; and Sister Marie Lumas, a Sister of Social Service who teaches religious education and culture at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif.

An opening day prayer will be hosted by St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland and a Thursday Mass is set for St. Mary Cathedral.  

From 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, parish liturgists, other leaders, youths and people in the pew are invited to come for learning and discussion. Father Anscar will speak that day. Smaller discussion groups with local experts will take up topics such as ancient prophets and contemporary culture, intercultural ministry, the folk Mass revolution, Our Lady of Guadalupe, liturgical catechesis for receiving the New Roman Missal and music for multicultural assemblies.

The gathering is co-sponsored by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions — a grassroots Catholic organization — and the U.S. bishops' Committee on Divine Worship. The last time the national meeting was held in the Northwest was in 1997 in Seattle.

The Portland conference will focus on the experience of multiculturalism in the church. The 2012 meeting in San Jose, Calif. will highlight the church's response to diversity of cultures. Organizers chose the west coast as an apt location to discuss inculturation, because of the diversity in the Catholic dioceses of the region, which have Native American, Hispanic and Asian influences.