MTSM’s May Makes Most of MLLP Trip to Rome
The story below was originally published in The Athenaeum, MTSM’s bi-annual magazine. The Athenaeum is published twice a year for alumni, patrons and friends of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology. To be added to the mailing list, contact: Heidi Walsh at 513.233.6159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the summer Aimee May, MTSM’s Coordinator for Lay Ecclesial Formation, got the opportunity to travel to Rome as part of the University of Notre Dame’s Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program (MLLP).
Formed in Summer 2022, MLLP is a two-year program through Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life that provides education and formation centered around a major pastoral issue facing the Church that intersects with the liturgical-sacramental life. The 21-person group includes members of the Church community from all walks of life, including priests, parish directors, educators and lay ministers. The focus of this cycle’s group is the Eucharist and fostering a culture in parishes, dioceses, schools and communities as a way of promoting deeper affiliation with the Church.
“The recurring theme of the trip that has been a source of reflection for me was how, throughout all of Church history, we have been led by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and by that same Eucharistic presence in the lives of each of our ancestors in faith,” May noted. “I was moved by the way the very presence of God is seen and felt in the architecture and the sites, no matter how old they were.”
At the halfway point of the program over the Summer, May and 16 of her colleagues in the MLLP got the opportunity to travel to Rome and see how Eucharistic culture took shape in the place that became the nexus of the Catholic Church.
“We spent each day of the pilgrimage focusing on a different era of church history,” May said. “No era of the Church’s history is identical to another. Each had its joys, successes challenges and flaws. However, each was able to continue to move forward through their faith in the presence of Christ within them and their community.”
Along with May’s work for MTSM with the satellite campuses outside of Cincinnati, she is working on taking what she has learned throughout the program, including the trip to Rome, in the communities that she and the people she work with help serve.
“As part of MLLP, each member is to complete as project based on creating and sustaining a Eucharistic community where we serve,” May noted. “My project is on providing Theological Reflection for faculty and staff at St. Christopher School (in Vandalia). I want them to grow together in their faith and more intentionally reflect on the presence of Christ when they receive the Eucharist. It should dwell within them and they then share that with each other, their students and the entire community they are serving.”