A Brief History of We Believe!
We Believe! was founded in 1994 as a volunteer organization to promote the reform of the Roman Catholic liturgy according to the spirit and norms of the Second Vatican Council. Composed of a volunteer board of directors and a steering committee, We Believe! quickly came to national prominence and in a short period of time acquired over 9,000 signatures on its statement of purpose.
The initial overwhelming response from supporters of We Believe! caused some logistical problems in maintaining contact with its many publics and in sustaining an effective and multifaceted advocacy for the ongoing reform of the Liturgy. The death of supporter and signer of the We Believe! statement, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, was also a blow to the organization.
The board of directors determined that We Believe! could no longer function simply as a network of volunteers. They raised funds to establish a permanent office, which was moved to St Paul, MN, in late 1999. At the same time, efforts to expand the reach of We Believe! with an electronic version of the newsletter and a website were begun. These efforts continue to be funded solely from the contributions of its members. The main work of We Believe! is to publicize ongoing efforts to reform the liturgy, direct its audience to useful pastoral resources, let them hear the voices of the best liturgical scholars in English, highlight where the reform is stalled or regressing, and provide practical suggestions for action to bolster the reform effort. Above all, We Believe! works to stimulate an honest and frank dialogue marked by charity and respect.
We Believe! recognizes that these are challenging times for those who embrace Vatican II's vision of full, conscious and active participation in authentically enculturated worship. But while some want to turn back the clock, We Believe! and its many supporters march forward. We Believe! continues to advocate for the yet-to-be-realized liturgical vision articulated in the conciliar and post-conciliar documents of the Roman Catholic Church.
Board Of Directors
PRESIDENT: EDWARD FOLEY, CAPUCHIN, Professor of Liturgy and Music at Catholic Theological Union.
SECRETARY: JOHN D. WRIGHT, Director of Marketing at World Library Publications in Schiller Park, Illinois.
TREASURER: MARY BETH KUNDE ANDERSON, Editorial Director of World Library Publications in Schiller Park, Illinois.
DIRECTOR: MARY PRETE, General Manager of World Library Publications in Schiller Park, Illinois.
DIRECTOR: TIMOTHY FITZGERALD, a priest of the diocese of Des Moines, is a former Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy.