Liturgical expert joins Bishops Conference as executive secretary

Jason McFarland, who has worked in the field of liturgy for more than two decades, has began work as executive secretary to the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, also serving as director of the National Office for Liturgy.

Dr McFarland’s significant experience in liturgical roles over the past 25 years includes working with the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and as an academic in the United States and Australia.

“I have worked with episcopal conferences in various capacities for many years, but this role’s direct engagement with liturgy in Australia brings with it the exciting prospect and daunting responsibility of having an even greater impact in the liturgical sphere,” he said.

Dr McFarland, as with his predecessor in that position, will work part time with the Bishops Conference. He will continue as a teaching and research academic at Australian Catholic University, focusing on liturgical studies and sacramental theology within the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

“It is my hope that the two roles will create a synergy that both brings the practical matters of liturgy into more active engagement with the academy and the insights of research into even more dynamic conversation with liturgical praxis in Australia,” he said.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, chair of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, said Dr McFarland’s appointment comes at an important time for the Church in Australia.

“A number of decrees coming out of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will be managed by our commission, so having Jason’s support and guidance in that work will be highly valued,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

“His international experience will also be of great benefit on those projects where we collaborate with other countries, including on the fledgling project on the development of a new Lectionary, a collaboration between the bishops conferences in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.”