Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Visit of Dom Cassian Folsom, OSB, to Wyoming Catholic College

This was sent in to NLM late last week:

On October 17-18, Wyoming Catholic College was privileged to host Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, Prior of the Monastero di San Benedetto in Norcia, Italy.

On Wednesday, October 17, Fr. Cassian celebrated a Missa cantata for the Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, with the WCC Schola providing the chant. Later that afternoon Father gave a vocational discernment talk to a sizeable group of WCC students. The talk took the form of a lectio divina on 1 Kings 19:3-18 and Luke 5:1-11, a description of the daily life and work of the monks in Norcia, and an enthusiastic Q&A period afterwards.

On Thursday, October 18, Father led the chanting of Lauds with students eager to sing the traditional office, then celebrated a Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, again with the Schola assisting.

In the evening he gave an academic lecture entitled: "The Great Divorce: An Attempt to Diagnose the Root Cause of Our Liturgical Ills." Drawing upon the work of Fr. Jonathan Robinson, among others, Fr. Cassian argued that the root cause of defects in the liturgical reform, both shortly before and after the Council, was a false anthropology stemming from the Enlightenment. In particular, the Enlightenment suffered from a truncated view of man's nature that exaggerates the exercise of rationality, particularly through verbal instruction, while neglecting the immense role played by the five senses, the symbolic imagination, and memory, as well as the appetitive side of human nature. Drawing upon the anthropology articulated in St. Thomas's Summa, Fr. Cassian maintained that modern man is no different in essence from what man has ever been, and that, consequently, a desire to adapt the liturgy to modern man rather than steeping modern man in the spirit of the liturgy had the potential to promote the very "industrial rationalism" of the modern age that the Liturgical Movement in many ways sought to combat with its emphasis on gesture, ritual, symbol, and fine art.

There are more than a few students who are hoping to see Fr. Cassian again, but next time in Norcia!

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