Syllabus
12:629 Catholic Devotions

Spring Semester 2014
Tuesdays 2:15 PM to 4:05 PM  Room G-158
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
St. Meinrad, Indiana

Rev. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M., S.T.D,
Professor of Sacramental / Liturgical Theology

Course Description

Assigned Reading

Objectives

Course Requirements

Evaluation and Grading

Participants

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

February
March
April

Note:  I suggest that you use the online syllabus rather than working from a printed copy.  I also suggest that if you have opened this syllabus a few days ago, click the "refresh" button at the top of your web browser so that you are sure that you are reading the current version.

Course Description

This seminar studies the rich history and practice of Catholic devotions.  What can devotions can learn from the liturgy? How can the liturgy become more devotional and popular? The course studies 1) the nature of prayer, liturgical and devotional; 2) devotions and the liturgical year, 3) devotions to Our Lord; 4) devotions to Mary and the Saints; 4) funerals, shrines, and pilgrimages.  Special emphasis is given to the history of Catholics' devotional prayer in the United States of America during the last 75 years.

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Assigned Reading

Pope Paul VI,  Marialis Cultus, Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (February 2, 1974)  Text available in English on the Vatican web site.  (= MC)

Peter Phan (editor).  Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy:  Principles and Guidelines; Liturgical Press, 2009.  ISBN 0-8146-2893-1  (= Phan)

James O'Toole (editor).  Habits of Devotion: Catholic Religious Practice in Twentieth-Century America (Cushwa Center) ISBN 0-8014-7255-5  (= O'Toole)

The Monks of St. Meinrad. The Tradition of Catholic Prayer; Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-3183-4 (= TCP)

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Course Outcomes

This seminar will help the student meet the following program outcomes of the Master of Divinity degree:
1. understand and communicate the biblical, historical, and doctrinal dimensions of Catholic belief and practice;
2. effectively communicate Church teaching and tradition; and
3. communicate faithfully the social teaching of the Church for justice, peace and the integrity of human life.

The course prepares one to:
1. Integrate devotional and liturgical prayer
2. Catechize regarding the nature and function of devotions in the spiritual life
3. Evaluate and critique devotional prayer and expressions of popular piety

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Course Requirements

1. Reading.  Participants are expected to read the materials listed in the syllabus before the class meeting.

2. Written Assignments.  Participants are expected to complete the written assignments given in this syllabus and post the assignment on MOODLE by midnight of the day before the class meeting.   The grade for the assignment will be lowered if it is not posted before the deadline.

3. Class Participation.  Each participant is expected to actively participate in the group work, oral presentations, class reports, discussions, sharing of written work, etc. which will comprise the class time. 

4.  Absences from class for reasons other than illness are to have the prior approval of the professor. 

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Evaluation and Grading

1.  Participants will be graded on the quality of the postings and their class presentations and discussions -- especially their ability to articulate to the professor and the other participants what they have read and learned; their ability to enter into dialogue with and to critique the findings of the other participants; the quality of their insight into the process, the method, and the content of the course; and their ability to apply these findings to pastoral situations.

2.  Essays are graded on both style and content.  The grade for the assignment will be lowered if the assignment is posted after the deadline.

3.  I will post your grades in the MOODLE grade book after the essays are discussed during class. 

4.  I will assign grades to your work as follows:

Below 90% The essay does not adequately meet one or more of the expectations of the assignment.

90-92% The essay adequately fulfills the assignment and was posted within the assigned time. The essay shows that the author understands the material and can explain it adequately.   (This is the grade to be ordinarily expected.)

93-94% The essay shows very good insight into the material and gives evidence that the author has read and understood the assigned readings. The essay cites the assigned readings to good advantage. The essay includes supporting statements from other sources. The essay gives evidence that the author has spent some time thinking seriously about the issue.

Above 94% The essay is exceptional with regard to the above mentioned criteria and indicates real insight into the issues that lie behind the assigned topic which will enable the author to integrate these insights into the overall structure of the course.

5.  The MOODLE grade book lists your grades numerically; the School Bulletin states that 95 (and above) = A; 94 = A-; 93 = B+; 92 (and lower) = B. [.5 is rounded up] 

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Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Introduction

Class #01, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 -- Syllabus
Before Class Read:   Buy and survey the books listed above as assigned readings; preview the syllabus.
Before Class Write:   No assignment.
During the class time:  Presentation of the syllabus.  PowerPoint:  Introduction to the course.  (The slides are posted in MOODLE if you wish to review them.) Chapter d38 Evangelization and Catechetics -- Generational Differences    Chapter d41 Liturgy and Psychology -- The Iceberg Metaphor  Part One: Devotional Prayer - Overview

Class #02, Tuesday, February 4, 2014 --  Popular Piety and Liturgical Prayer
Before class read:  (Phan) Introduction. Popular Piety in the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines p. i -18
Before class write:  
#1  Before midnight on Monday February 3, post an essay on MOODLE that answers the following questions:  What devotions do you practice?  Which of these do you pray individually and which of these are prayed in common?  How long have you been practicing these devotions (e.g. just since coming to the seminary, or before that).  What devotions are common among the laity of your "home parish"?  Does the parish offer any devotions in common?   About what proportion of the parish participate in these devotions (both the individual and the communal)?  
During the class time:  (snow day)

Class #03, Tuesday, February 11, 2014 -- What is Prayer?
Before class read:  (TCP) Prayer in the Old Testament, p. 3-20;  (TCP) New Testament Boldness, p. 21-36;  (TCP) Private Prayer in the Early Centuries, p. 37-50; (TCP) Prayer as Battle, p. 51-68;  (TCP) Prayer as Journey, p. 69-88
Before class write:   #2  If you were asked to present the topic "What is Prayer" to a group of catechumens, what would you tell the catechumens? 
During the class time:   Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.  Chapter v21 History of Devotions   Preview of assignment #3 and next week's readings. 

Class #04, Tuesday, February 18, 2014 -- History
Before class read:   (Phan) Chapter 1: Liturgy in Popular Piety in a Historical Perspective, p. 19-44;  (Phan) Chapter 2: Liturgy and Popular Piety in the Church's Magisterium, p.45-58;  (Phan) Chapter 3:  Theological Principles for an Evaluation and Renewal of Popular Piety, p. 59-76;  (TCP) The Counter-reformation, p. 89-106;  (TCP) Ordinary Life and Contemplation, p. 107-130.
Before class write:  #3  Compare and contrast Anglo/American devotions with Catholic devotions in your motherland.  From your experience here at the seminary, how do you see Hispanic piety differing from Anglo/American piety?
During the class time:  Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.  Chapter v31 Devotional Prayer:  Overview    Inculturation  Poor Clare monastery in Lilongwe, Malawi celebrating Morning Prayer for the feast of Our Lady of Africa. (From DVD,
The Dancing Church by Thomas A. Kane)  Devotions of USA Catholics: Examples       Devotions of USA Catholics: Examples     Classification of Roman Documents     Liturgical language    Chapter d51 Introduction to Liturgical Law    Chapter d52 General Liturgical Principles

Class #05, Tuesday, February 25, 2014 --  U.S.A. Devotional History
Before class read:  (O'Toole) The Catholic Community at Prayer, 1926-1976, pp 9-88
Before class write:   #4  You often hear that the Second Vatican Council discouraged devotions.  Is this true?  How do you explain the "drop off" in Catholic devotions in the years following the Second Vatican Council?  What is positive and what is negative in this change?  Where do you see a "good balance"?  What steps should be taken to achieve this "balance"?   
During the class time:   Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.  Overview of the Liturgical Year    Introduction to
The Roman Calendar and The Roman Lectionary

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Part Two: Devotions and the Liturgical Year

Class #06, Tuesday, March 4, 2014 -- The Liturgical Year
Before class read: (Phan) Chapter 4: the Liturgical Year and Popular Piety, p. 77-100;  (TCP) The Liturgical Year, p. 131-146;  (TCP) The Liturgy of the Hours, p. 147-166
Before class write: #5  Looking back over the past 50 years, many are saying that the rediscovery of Baptism is one of the most important insights of the Second Vatican Council.  In the light of the history and theology of Lent in the restored Roman Calendar, discuss contemporary individual and parish Lenten practices in the light of Baptism, penance, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 
During the class time:  Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.  Generational Differences      Criteria for Evaluating Devotions   Chapter v21 History of Devotions      American and Hispanic devotions compared and contrasted     Private/Personal    Chapter d21  Overview of the History of Liturgy     Chapter v31 Devotional Prayer:  Overview   Chapter v22 Popular Religiosity in the United States   Chapter v23 Hispanic Popular Religiosity in the United States   
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Part Three: Devotions to Our Lord

Class #07, Tuesday, March 11, 2014  -- Eucharist / Mass
Before class read:   (TCP) The Eucharist, p. 167-186.
Before Class write:  No written assignment this week.
During the class time:    Mass as a devotion / Mass as liturgy

Class #8, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 -- Eucharist / Outside of Mass
Before class read: (O'Toole) Let Us Go to the Altar: American Catholics in the Eucharist, 1926-1976, pp 187-236;
Before class write:   #6  Many studies show a drop off in the percentage of Catholics participating in Sunday Eucharist.   In the context of today's American Catholic Church, do you feel the pastoral emphasis should be placed on the liturgy of the Eucharist or on Eucharistic devotion or both?  How do you see them competing and or complementing one another?   
During the class time:

Class #9, Tuesday, March 25  --  Confession
Before class read:  (O'Toole) In the Court of Conscience: American Catholics and Confession, 1900-1975, pp 131-186. 
Before class write:   #7  What do you think happened to "devotional confession"?  List the positive and negative aspects of this devotion.  Is the future of devotional confession to be found in the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation?  Explain. 
During the class time:  
DVD: 15min. Story Segment Franciscan Media DVD D2002, The Church Celebrates the Reconciling God.    Chapter r31 The Rite: of Reconciliation:  Introduction

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Part Four: Devotions to Mary

Class #10, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 -- Mary
Before class read:  Pope Paul VI, 
Marialis Cultus, Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (February 2, 1974)  Text available in English on the Vatican web site(Phan) Chapter 5: Veneration of the Holy Mother of God, p. 101-112(TCP) Praying with Mary and the Saints, p. 223-246.
Before class write:   #8  Select two Marian hymns (from any contemporary hymnal or book of worship) and evaluate their theological content in the light of the criteria given by Paul VI in Marialis Cultus.  For this exercise, try to select one hymn that meets the criteria rather well, and one that does less well.  Pay especial attention to Catholic belief that there is but one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ; and to the belief that grace is a free, unmerited gift of God.  Would this hymn be sung by non-Catholic Christians?  Summary of the Criteria.  Include the lyrics of both hymns.  Often lyrics can be found with any search engine:  e.g.    lyrics:  Hail Holy Queen   
During the class time:  Continuation of discussion of Devotional Confession.  Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion. Discussion of Pope Paul VI, 
Marialis Cultus    Criteria for Evaluating Popular Devotions  Liturgical days celebrating events in the life of Jesus / and events in the life of Mary.  (Note the difference between "event" feasts and "idea" feasts.)

Class #11, Tuesday, April 8, 2014  -- U.S.A. Devotion to Mary
Before class read:  (O'Toole) Marian Devotion since 1940: Continue with Continuity or Casualty?, pp 89-130  
Before class write:   No written assignment this week.
During the class time:  Presentation of Marian feasts in the Liturgical Calendar.

Class #00, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 -- No class -- HOLY WEEK 

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Part Five: Devotions to the Saints, Honoring the Dead, Shrines and Pilgrimages

Class #12, Tuesday, April 22, 2014 -- Saints
Before class read:   Read (Phan) Chapter 6: Veneration of the Saints, p. 113-134
Before class write:   No written assignment this week.
During the class time:   Chapter y51 Saints   Preperation for next week's paper:  Death

Class #13, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 --  The Dead, Shrines & Pilgrimages
Before class read:  (Phan) Chapter 7: Suffrages for the Dead, p. 135-150; (Phan) Chapter 8: Shrines and Pilgrimages, p. 151-end
Before Class write:  #9  Describe funeral rites and customs in your motherland and compare them with funeral rites and customs in the United States.
During the class time: 
 Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.

Conclusions

Class #14, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 -- Conclusions
Before class read:  Review the readings and your notes.
Before Class write:   #10  Imagine you are the pastor of a parish and responsible for the faith formation of non-Christians coming to the Catholic Church through the RCIA.  How important is it that you introduce the converts to devotional prayer?  What devotions would you present?  How would you do this?
During the class time:   Chapter v91 Conclusions  Presentation of the postings, professor's comments, discussion.  Review of the course.  What have we learned?

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Participants

1.  Charles Aketch
2.  Fr. Barnabas Gillespie, O.S.B. (audit)
3.  Br. David N'Djam, O.S.B.

 
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Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 04/22/14 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org