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Fr. Fergus Ryan successfully defended his doctoral thesis in Rome

Irish friar Fergus Ryan successfully defended his doctoral thesis in Rome in June 2016.
The thesis examined how experimental practices, called “Dialogue Mass”, used in parishes, schools, chaplaincies and World War II prisoner-of-war camps influenced the changes in the celebration of Mass introduced after the Second Vatican Council. The practices were novel in that they comprised communal recitation of prayers and responses by the people rather than the more traditional communal singing; the novelty had been controversial in the first decade of the 20th century.
Maximum marks were awarded by the examining board for the thesis and its defence, leading to the highest grade for the degree – summa cum laude. 
 
The head of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute which granted the degree requested the Irish provincial free the new Doctor of Sacred Liturgy to work at the institute as a lecturer.
The Dominicans are now the best represented Order at the institute, after the Benedictines who have run it on behalf of the Holy Father since its foundation in 1960, with a friar from the Polish province and our own Irish friar teaching there at present.
Fr Fergus is the first Irish Dominican friar to gain a doctoral degree in Rome at an institution other than the Dominican University, the Angelicum. 
 
A celebration is planned for June 2018 at the Irish friars’ community in Rome, San Clemente. 
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