Monday, April 30, 2007

Bishop-Designate Elliott

In my days back in the seminary, I was one of a corps of Masters of Ceremonies in the house. Once in a while this was fun, especially when a bishop came for a visit or we had some special event in the seminary. But more often than those special occasions, usually what being an MC meant was that I had to get to the sacristy first, turned the lights on in the chapel, unlocked the cabinets, made sure the servers scheduled to be there were all there, called over to the room of the Deacon who had overslept and was scheduled to preach that day, made sure there were enough stoles for the concelebrating Priests, got everything started on time, and then did the opposite of all these things afterwards to clean up and go quietly on my way.

One of the books that came out in my seminary years (and made my life easier) was called "Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite", written by an Australian working at the Vatican named Msgr. Peter J. Elliott. It was then, and still is, a great resource book, not only for Young Fogeys who love to know the details of liturgical ceremonies and may have to set up for one of those ceremonies someday, but for the average Catholic who wants to know more about the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. Come to think of it, parish Sacristans would also find this book especially helpful.

Today it was announced that Msgr. Elliott was named an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1973, and served as a parish priest before being assigned to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome. After returning to Australia, he became the Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, as well as other archdiocesan jobs (including being pastor of a parish).

Besides writing "Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite" in 1995, then-Msgr. Elliott also wrote "Liturgical Question Box: Answers to Common Questions About the Modern Liturgy" in 1998, and, "Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year" in 2002. These were published and are available from Ignatius Press at
Congratulations to Bishop-Designate Elliott, and thank you for your books. But can you imagine being the guy who has to coordinate his episcopal ordination?

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