Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, has published a new book, Becoming the Sign: Sacramental Living in a Post-Conciliar Church, based on her presentation at St. Mary's College as part of the Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality series.
After exploring the reform of liturgy and sacraments which issued from the Second Vatican Council, and considering the reception of the liturgical reform in the church of the United States, Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, concludes that because of the sheer volume of changes and the speed with which the revised rites were implemented, genuine catechesis based on a new theology of sacrament did not happen. Although the community knows how to celebrate the sacraments, an older sacramental theology prevails. What is needed is a fresh attempt to open up the mystery of our sacramental life and its intimate relationship with the way we live our lives. To that end, Hughes explores appropriate methods to welcome believers into a new and deeper way of sacramental living, both relating the liturgy to daily life and discovering sacramental experience in ordinary time.
From the Paulist Press spring catalog: "Sacramental ministry does not belong only to those who receive holy orders. Each one of us has a sacramental ministry, for we are all priests in virtue of our baptism. Thus we have a responsibility to foster, in our everyday lives, the reverence and hospitality that are marks of sacramental living, as we foster the dignity of each member in the one body. In Becoming the Sign, Kathleen Hughes contends that the 'full, conscious and active participation' envisioned by Vatican II does not simply apply to our involvement in the liturgy. Rather, it is a commitment we make to personal involvement in the life of the church and its continuous coming to be in this present age."
Sister Hughes is a sacramental theologian, teacher, speaker, and writer. She has written or edited nine books and published several hundred articles and reviews on a broad range of topics in worship, sacraments, preaching, language, feminism, and spirituality. She directs formation to mission activities for the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. She previously served for nineteen years as professor of word and worship at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago and as provincial of the United States Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Becoming the Sign can be purchased through the publisher, Paulist Press.