D. Todd Williamson
Director, Office of Divine Worship
Archdiocese of Chicago
Every fall, more than 200 leaders and directors of liturgy and worship at parishes, schools, and Catholic communities across the country meet for the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commission (FDLC) annual meeting. Time and time again, CTU alum Todd Williamson, Director of the Office for Divine Worship for the archdiocese of Chicago, marvels at the number of fellow graduates he encounters at meetings like this one. “I’m struck by how many CTU grads there are, across the country in the role I’m in or a role similar to it. How many people across the country that were formed by CTU! CTU’s legacy and mission is being enacted all over the country in dioceses and parishes.”
It was early on in Todd’s education at CTU that he found himself drawn to study of the liturgy. And mere “interest” has never been an adequate term for his engagement with the liturgy. “I really didn’t get ‘interested’ in liturgy—I fell in love with it. That came through the passion, scholarship, and the pastoral approach of the faculty of CTU. When you fall in love with liturgy, and you have that kind of leadership and instruction, then it gets into your bones. You’re imbued with it.”
Todd’s position means that he works closely with Cardinal Cupich to ensure that parishes throughout the archdiocese of Chicago have the resources and support to implement strong and vibrant worship in their communities. In addition to providing support on programs such as Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), Liturgical Music, Spanish-language liturgies, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs), the Office of Divine Worship also works with the diocese to create liturgies and rituals specific to individual community needs. For instance, Todd and the Office of Divine Worship were instrumental in planning and coordinating Cardinal Cupich’s Peace Walk through the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago this past April, in which hundreds of Chicagoans attended a special Way of the Cross ritual on Good Friday, honoring victims of violence at each station of the cross. Many CTU students, faculty members, and alums were present at the event.
For Todd, an event like last spring’s Peace Walk embodies the kind of liturgical ministry CTU prepared him for, and that Pope Francis has called of its members to. “The idea is that the Church is to accompany those that are her members. No matter where they are. The whole idea of accompaniment—that was very much my experience at CTU, and because of that, I think it’s always been a part of my ministry.”