Vatican official to speak, pray in Waco

Rev. Uwe Michael Lang

The Rev. Uwe Michael Lang, an official from the Vatican, will visit Waco next week to celebrate a High Mass at St. Louis Catholic Church and to give a talk at Baylor University.

Lang is a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, a consultor to the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and a coordinator for the master’s course in Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy at the Universita Europea di Roma, a spokesman said about Lang’s visit.

Lang will hold a High Mass to honor Cardinal John Henry Newman at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the church, 2100 N. 25th St.

The Mass will be celebrated in what is known as the Roman rite form, meaning that Lang will face the same direction as those attending the Mass and will speak entirely in Latin, said Michael Foley, a member of St. Louis Church and associate professor of patristics at Baylor, which is the study of early Christian theologians.

“It should be a beautiful Mass,” Foley said, “and will include very beautiful music.”

The Mass is being celebrated in honor of the recently beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman. Newman was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI last September in an act that is one step below sainthood.

Newman was an important part of religious history in 19th-century England. He was a leader in the Oxford movement in which an influential group of Anglicans wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship.

He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845 and was eventually granted the rank of cardinal.

The public is invited to hear Lang speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center at Baylor.

He will give a talk entitled “Heart Speaks to Heart: John Henry Newman as a Reader of the Church Fathers.”

The event is sponsored by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning, the Honors College and the Department of Religion.

There is no charge to attend.

The visit by Lang “is due to happy coincidences,” Foley said. “He will be speaking later next week at an academic conference in Houston.

“We asked him if he would fly in a little early and talk at Baylor University and conduct mass at St. Louis. He graciously said yes.”

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