Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program welcomes inaugural cohort

Author: Anna Bradley

Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame is beginning a week of campus programming with the inaugural Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program (MLLP) cohort. This two-year program constitutes a unique opportunity for education and formation centered around a major pastoral issue facing the Church that intersects with the liturgical-sacramental life.

“The United States Catholic Church right now is at a crossroads,” said Timothy O’Malley, academic director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. “There is the problem of disaffiliation, distrust of ecclesial institutions and (at least among many) a polarization that can rip apart the Church. We believe that liturgical formation — as Pope Francis recently addressed in his apostolic letter Desiderio desideravi — functions as a healing balm. We want to form Catholic leaders who seek not only to deal with the liturgical rites but to create a liturgical culture grounded in the mystery of Christ’s love.” 

Twenty-one participants were selected for the 2022 cohort from across the United States. Participants include priests, parish directors, educators, lay ministers and other professionals working on behalf of their Church communities. 

From 2022 to 2024, this cohort will focus on fostering a Eucharistic culture in parishes, schools and dioceses as a way of promoting deeper affiliation with the Church. Over the course of these two years, informed by their coursework and working in collaboration with experts, each participant will design and work toward the completion of a project, teaching resource and/or publication. Mathis Liturgical Leaders will also become ambassadors of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy throughout the United States. The leadership program is fully funded and scholarships are provided to all participants.

According to O’Malley, “The real genius of our approach is to invite those already exercising leadership in the United States to join us for two years of conversation and planning for the future of liturgical formation in the Church. The cohort includes liturgists, those exercising leadership in chanceries, Catholic educators, those involved in social ministries, youth ministers and those involved in technology and city planning. I believe that we are returning to the fundamental insight that inspired the liturgical movement to begin with, a chance to let one’s life become a liturgical offering.”

The 21 members of the inaugural MLLP cohort are:

  • Carlo Argoti, director of liturgy and music at The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Community in Redlands, California 
  • Rev. Tony Cecil Jr., associate pastor of Epiphany Catholic Church and Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rev. Lincoln Dall, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi
  • Bridget de la Peña, regional director of the Office of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois
  • Bob Dunn, director of public policy for the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Margaret Felice, religion and fine arts faculty at Boston College High School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Facundo Gonzalez Icardi, director of campus ministry and student life at Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Betty-Ann Hickey, associate director in the Office of Worship in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Stacey Huneck, youth and young adult ministry coordinator and infertility ministry team member at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church & Springs in Desert in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Adrian Jackson, director of CYO/youth and young adult ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Katie Jenkins, director of music at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Odenton, Maryland
  • Rev. Jim Kiesel, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Odenton, Maryland
  • Ashley Lenz, kids content lead at Hallow in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois
  • Aimee May, Northern area coordinator for lay ecclesial formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Rev. Samuel Mwangi Mungai, GHM, associate pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lafayette, Tennessee
  • Joel Musser, director of catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Immaculate Conception Church and Immaculata High School in Durham, North Carolina
  • Thomas Octave, director of sacred music in the Diocese of Greensburg and associate professor at Saint Vincent College in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania
  • Ian Rangel, director of development for the Diocese of Orange in Rancho Santa Margarita, California
  • Vincent Reilly, director of faith formation at St. Catherine Catholic Church in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida
  • Andie Tong, ​​lay missionary at Con-solatio in Brooklyn, New York
  • Rev. Justin Ward, vicar for sacred liturgy in the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama

To learn more about the Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program and this year’s cohort, visit

Contact: Maggie Scroope, program director of communications, McGrath Institute for Church Life, 574-631-0153,

Originally published by Anna Bradley at on July 11.