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History of ILS

Formation of the Liturgical Ministry Institute began in October of 1994 when a small group of music directors, choir directors, organists and priests met with Sr. Maureen Griner, Diocesan Music Director, to discuss the need for training and development of gifts among those involved in music ministry in the diocese. A diocesan committee was then formed to explore the possibility of starting an Institute for Liturgical Music.

At the time that an institute for musicians was being discussed, the Diocesan Institute for Liturgical Studies (ILS), under the direction of Father Bruce Cinquegrani, Secretary of the Department of Worship and Spiritual Life, had been in operation for about four years. Many people involved in parish ministry participated in the ILS, which was a three-year course of studies focused on liturgy. With the ILS well under way, the need for courses which would meet more specific needs of the growing number of people active in liturgical music ministry became apparent. As courses of study for musicians were developed, it was obvious that some liturgical musicians would benefit from courses which already were being taught in the Institute for Liturgical Studies. Rather than run two institutes simultaneously, the possibility of combining the existing ILS with a program which would meet the needs of liturgical musicians was discussed. Further discussion surfaced the advantages of including ongoing training, e.g., of cantors, eucharistic ministers and lectors, into one institute. The LITURGICAL MINISTRY INSTITUTE was a result of those discussions.

Over the course of the years, more than one hundred people have had opportunities for input into the L.M.I. Very early in the project, pastors and music directors in all parishes in the diocese completed a Survey of Needs; numerous meetings were used to gather volumes of information on needs, resources, textbooks, and instructors; educators developed course outlines...and the work continues with great enthusiasm. Courses are taught at varying sites throughout the Diocese by qualified instructors who have educational background and practical experience in Liturgical Ministry.

Because of the inclusion of new courses in the Institute, specifically focused on Spirituality, a review panel decided in 2004 that it was time to change the name of the Liturgical Ministry Institute to the Institute for Liturgy and Spirituality (once again the ILS). The scope of courses in the Institute serves interests beyond the needs of those serving in liturgical ministries.

In September 2003, Mr. Michael Ziegler joined the staff of the Department of Worship and Spiritual Life (now Secretariat for Divine Worship) as a Pastoral Musician, and his responsibilities included involvement in the development and administration of the ILS. Mr. Ziegler became the director of the ILS on November 15, 2006 and served until October 2011, at which time Fr. Bruce Cinquegrani took over responsibilities.