Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's New Around Here?

It's been almost 30 days since the editorial transition on NLM, from the masterful and stable hands of Shawn Tribe to hands of legacy writers here along with some new faces.

Of course I had prepared for the inevitable complaints that NLM has collapsed, that its glory days are gone, that the new team is dragging it down, that the magnificent features of x, y, and z have been replaced by the regrettable tendencies of x, y, and z. And, it's true, there have been some complaints along those lines. Such is to be expected. At the same time, we've received many notes of congratulations from people, and many expressions of relief from long-time readers that we are retaining prior forms insofar as this is possible.

And yet, it is also true that some things will never be the same. That is a given with any transition. My own focus is of course the music of the liturgy. It's not just a focus; it is an obsession, and now readers are being asked to share in that (sorry!). My "beat" tends to be the "reform of the reform," which I do not find incompatible with a deep appreciation for the old form of the Roman Rite. We live in a multi-form world and this blog hopes to keep a broad focus.

We've added some voices to the mix that help fill out the picture. I will discuss them below.

Let me say a public word of thanks to Richard Chonak, the code slinger who made the transition possible. In a beautiful way, he has fixed up so many pieces of this site. You probably don't notice them. But if you look at the left sidebar, you will see that every resource is now linked to a website. The vendors on the right sidebar have been assisted with graphics and all links are correct. Richard also fixed some 400 links in legacy postings that were dead or misdirected. How he managed this I will never understand. Other aspects of site functionality have been dramatically improved.

We changed some functionality of the comment boxes. The window for commenting has been dramatically opened, from its previous 3 days to 90 days or longer. We fully expect that this change will lead to more roiling activity in the comment boxes. That's good. Our hope is that this will generate more light than heat, but we can't be sure.

We've added an option for email subscriptions, free of charge. You can see the sign-up box on the right-hand column. Put in your address and you will get one notification each day. That's a very helpful feature, and many readers seem to agree based on the vast sign ups.

As for new voices, we've added Jennifer Donelson of Sacred Music and Juventutem. She is a young scholar with vast knowledge, and a serious frame of mind.

You have already noticed the hand of Charles Cole at work here. He is the organist, choirmaster, and liturgist who is so active in the UK liturgical world. I've admired the passion with which he has taken on this task. His love of getting the word out is very apparent.

You have also met our intern here, Ben Yanke, a young and ridiculously enthusiastic musician and liturgy scholar who has done yeoman's work to accomplishing essential tasks.

Also, today we add Peter Kwasniewski of Wyoming Catholic College. I've long admired his careful approach to scholarship and vast range of knowledge on philosophy and theology.

It is an honor to have these people here on NLM.

You will notice that the posting volume has dramatically increased. Maybe you find that overwhelming. Even so, I've generally operated under the assumption that you can't have too much information on such an important topic as this. I'm pleased to report that traffic on the site has been responsive to this increased volume of posting.

Finally, my special thanks to Gregory DiPippo, whom I met for the first time last week in Rome! He has been super involved in NLM for many years, and he has provided all of us guidance and helpful judgement on essential matters.

As always, we welcome your counsel and advice. And we thank you especially for reading and paying attention to what's going on around here. The world of Catholic liturgy continues to be such an exciting place, with so many points of view and such high stakes as well. The goal of NLM is to make a substantial contribution to this world of ideas and praxis.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: