Christendom College Graduate School lecturer Noelle Hiester spoke on EWTN Nightly News this past week, marking the 50th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in the vernacular following the promulgation of the directives that came out of Vatican II. A part-time professor of catechesis and evangelization, and a 2009 M.A. alumna of Christendom, Hiester discussed the 1960s decision of the Vatican to offer the Mass in the language of the people, and the effects it, and the broader liturgical reforms of Vatican II, have had on the Church today.
While the primary language of all liturgical celebrations in the Church was Latin prior to Vatican II, the use of the vernacular, or the native language of the people, was allowed into the Mass in order to promote a more “active and conscious participation” by the people, according to Heister. The effects of that decision have been varied in the fifty years since, as Hiester notes to host Brian Patrick below.
Professor Hiester earned her M.A. from Christendom College, and delivered the address for her 2009 graduation as well. She has served in a variety of positions in the field of catechesis, including as a high school religion teacher, as a parish director of religious education, and in curriculum development. She is trained in all levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has designed and implemented the CGS program in a parish setting, trained volunteer catechists, and developed educational materials. She is a recipient of the Christopher Dawson Humanities and Catholic Culture Award.
Christendom’s Graduate School, located in Alexandria, Virginia, offers masters-level programs with a comprehensive grasp of the Catholic faith, preparing students for advanced graduate studies and for various ministries in the Catholic Church. Its flexible and accommodating program allows students of all ages and from all over the world to attend either part-time or full-time, year-round, summers-only, or winters-only, and also to study at a distance through our online program. To find out more about Christendom’s Graduate School, please visit here.