Church’s prominent liturgist passes away

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MANILA, Jan. 9, 2013— The country’s prominent liturgist and newest papal awardee has died just days before he was due to receive the prestigious award.

Fr. Anscar Chupungco, a Benedictine monk, a liturgist, theologian and a father to many Filipino liturgists, was set to be conferred the Pro Ecclesia and Pontifice for his service to the Church.

Aside from the papal award, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines was supposed to give Chupungco the Jorge Barlin Golden Cross Award for his remarkable contribution to the CBCP.

Both awards were set to be conferred to Chupungco at the start of the CBCP’s 106th plenary assembly on January 26 in Manila.

The priest succumbed to heart attack on Wednesday, January 9, in Malaybalay, Bukidnon at the age of 73.

The papal award, also known as the Cross of Honor, was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 in celebration of his golden sacerdotal jubilee.

The Golden Cross Award, meanwhile, takes its name from the first Filipino bishop. The bishops award this honor to those who exemplify the values of Barlin.

Known as a very prominent liturgist, Chupungco has influenced the Catholic Church in the Philippines with regards the liturgical reforms.

Jose Herminio Javier Chupungco was born on Nov. 10, 1939 in Cainta, Rizal. He took the name “Anscar” when he became a monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in 1958 at the age of 19.

He earned his licentiate in philosophy and theology, both magna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas. He was ordained priest in 1965.

Chupungco then pursued post-graduate studies and obtained the doctorate in Liturgical Studies at the Anselmianum in Rome.

He had been professor in, and president of, the Pontifical Liturgical Institute and rector magnificus of the Pontifical Athenaeum Anselmianum in Rome.

He had also served as consultor in the Sacred Congregations of the Divine Worship and the Sacraments of the Vatican, and has lectured to bishops’ conferences and clergies in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe.

In the Philippines, Chupungco founded the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in the Philippines and the Graduate School of Liturgy in San Beda College, Manila where he served as president.

For many years, he was the executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and was part of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy that made the English translation of the Roman Missal. (CBCPNews)


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