West Suburban Catholic Culture Series on "The Liturgy"

May 12, 2021
Ruth Lake Country Club
6200 South Madison Street
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Fr. Peter FunkMonastery of the Holy Cross

Abbot Austin Murphy, OSBSt. Procopius Abbey

Br. Mark ViscontiSt. John Cantius Church


In 1918, the German priest Romano Guardini lamented that “the lack of fruitful and lofty culture causes spiritual life to grow numbed and narrow.” The remedy was that “prayer must be simple, wholesome, and powerful,” while also being “rich in ideas and powerful images, and speak a developed but restrained language.” Guardini concluded that this “is precisely the way in which the prayer of the liturgy has been formed.”

The events of recent months have made us acutely aware of what we lose when the Church’s rites, ceremonies, and corporate worship (the liturgy) are taken from us. Guardini wrote The Spirit of the Liturgy as the First World War ravaged Europe in order to remind his readers how the Church’s worship meets the deep, complex and paradoxical yearnings of man, centers a people in the Lord, and gives them new language and insight into the central mysteries of the faith. He called the liturgy “nothing else but truth expressed in terms of prayer.” Perhaps we could use a similar reminder now.

Resuming in March 2021, the Lumen Christi Institute will host a monthly series on the Liturgy at the Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale. Topics for the spring include liturgical music, the theology of sacred vestments, and the Liturgy of the Hours.  Heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served before a lecture and Q&A.


Wednesday, March 10
Liturgical Music with Fr. Peter Funk (Monastery of the Holy Cross)

Wednesday, April 21
The Liturgy of Sacred Vestments with Br. Mark Visconti (St. John Cantius)

Wednesday, May 12
Liturgy of the Hours with Abbot Austin Murphy (St. Procopius Abbey)



September 24
Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy with Christopher Carstens

October 14
Post-Vatican II Reform and Benedict XVI’s Reform with Kevin Magas

November 11
Sacred Architecture with Denis McNamara




Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, is the Prior of the Monastery of the Holy Cross, a contemplative Benedictine monastery in the South Side neighborhood of Bridgeport. Fr. Peter received his B.A. in music from the University of Chicago. After graduating, he was a choral conductor at St. Thomas the Apostle parish and the University of Chicago. He entered monastic life in 1997. Fr. Peter received a Master’s degree in Theology at St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he majored in Scripture. In 2012, he helped to found the choir Schola Laudis, whose mission is to reintroduce the Catholic tradition of polyphony at the monastery's celebration of Vespers. Fr. Peter has composed numerous motets and four a cappella settings of the Mass.

Abbot Austin G. Murphy, OSB, is the 10th abbot of St. Procopius Abbey. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, an MA, MDiv, and STB from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and a PuD in theology from the University of Notre Dame.  Soon after graduating from college, he came into contact with St. Procopius Abbey and, feeling called to the monastic life there, applied and entered. His jobs before becoming abbot have included teaching math and religion as well as being campus minister at the abbey's high school, Benet Academy.

Br. Mark Visconti comes from the Boston area and has been in Chicago as a member of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius for 13 years. He is a permanent brother which means he focuses much of his energies on the day to day running of the parish, along with teaching and counseling. Br. Mark also assists with many of the liturgical ceremonies at St. John Cantius parish in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary form.