Pelikan to Speak at SJU

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February 26, 1997

Collegeville, Minn. - Jaroslav Pelikan will present a lecture entitled, "Ever Ancient, Ever New: Aggioramento [renewal]

and Patristic Study" on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. at Saint John's University in tribute to Fr. Godfrey Diekmann, OSB. This lecture, which will be held in the Saint John's Abbey Church, is free and open to the public.

Pelikan, a long-time friend and colleague of Fr. Diekmann, is the Sterling Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and an internationally distinguished author, scholar and theologian. He is president of the American Academy of Arts nd Sciences, the recipient of the 1966 Saint John's Pax Christi Award and the first recipient of the Colman J. Barry Award for distinctive contributions to religion and society.

Fr. Diekmann retired in the spring of 1995 after 62 years of teaching at Saint John's University and Saint John's School of Theology/Seminary. Diekmann is a native of Central Minnesota and member of the Saint John's monastic community. Students and colleagues refer to him as a man of deep faith and wisdom, a gifted teacher, an inspiring lecturer.

Diekmann's activities were not, however, limited to the classrooms of Saint John's. He served as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission on the Liturgy in preparation for the historic Second Vatican Council and was one of a small number of scholars from around the world who served as periti [experts and consultors] during the Council. He also served as the editor-in-chief of Worship for 25 years and was a founding member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, author of his 1991 biography, "The Monk's Tale," wrote, "A man of contagious effervescence and rock-solid faith, Father Godfrey's life intersects and illumines some of the most fascinating events of contemporary Church history." In addition to Vatican Council II, Diekmann has also been present at other historic events: in the fall of 1932 his studies took him to Germany where he witnessed first-hand one of Hitler's infamous youth rallies; in 1965 he was a participant in the Selma, Ala. civil rights march with Martin Luther King Jr.

Over the years Diekmann has been honored by Catholic University of America, the University of Notre Dame, the University of San Francisco, Catholic Theological Society of America, the Catholic Theological Union, and numerous other institutions for his vision in the liturgical reform of the Church.

For more information about the lecture, please call 320-363-2107.