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In recent years three Consultors of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff passed away after offering generous and qualified collaboration with the office's activity for a long time.


Achille Maria Triacca

Ignacio Maria Calabuig Adán

Jesús Castellano Cervera


Archbishop Piero Marini, Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, recalls the figure and the work of the deceased Collaborators.


Achille Maria Triacca († 4 October 2002)

Achille Maria Triacca “In Memoriam” 

"Remember our brother Achille Maria Triacca"

The Funeral Mass, presided by Cardinal Virgilio Noč Wednesday 8 October 2002 at the parish church of Santa Maria della Speranza, adjacent to the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome, was a moment of intense prayer and remembrance for Don Achille Maria Triacca, a friend, a professor and a collaborator, who died on Saturday 4 October after a long illness. As a concelebrant, from the altar I offered to the Father of mercies the prayer of intercession for the dead: "Remember our brother Achille Maria Triacca whom you have called today from this world...", as a friend, I could not take my eyes from the coffin set between the sanctuary and the assembly. Prayer and memory accompanied me throughout the Liturgy.

Large eyes filled with light

My thoughts went first of all to my last meeting with Don Achille, the 30th of September, in the infirmary of the Salesian Community at the University. Those few minutes spent together, our hands clasped, were alternate moments of silence and dialogue. After a few fitting words Don Achille asked: “And at the office, how is it going?” At the end of the meeting I said: "My dear Don Achille you have always spoken and written about Liturgy here among us, now the time has come to move on, to the Liturgy of heaven. You have always spoken of the community of the faithful, now the time has come for you to join the community of the saints in the heavenly liturgy". He replied "give me your blessing ". I placed my hands on his head and said the words of Blessing: May the Lord protect you, may He grant you his mercy and give you his peace.

However what I remember most clearly of that last meeting with Don Achille were his eyes, I had never seen them so large and luminous. In a way, those eyes were ready to contemplate the liturgy of heaven.

Companion of studies and professor

I first met Don Achille at S. Anselmo during the academic year 1965/66. I was starting my first year of specialisation in liturgy and he was in his second. Actually we did not come into contact very often. I remember only the seriousness with which he followed the courses, his love for the Ambrosian liturgy and certain attitudes which revealed already then his calling to be an expert and a teacher. During one of the later years he was allowed to give a few lectures to the students on the subject of his doctorate thesis. I still recall those conferences in the Aula Magna.

However his calling to teach was based fundamentally on his passion for study, a passion which Don Achille passed on, not only to his students but also to his colleagues and indeed to everyone he met. I will never forget the encouragement and support he gave me when, during an interval of a few years from 1975 in the work at the Vatican Office in charge of the liturgical reform, I decided to resume my university studies for a second time. And that it was precisely Don Achille who encouraged me at the beginning of the 1980s suggesting a few subject matters for teaching at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy at Sant’Anselmo.

Collaborator in the same Offices of the Apostolic See

At the end of the 1970s Don Achille was called for several years to collaborate with office work at the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship and later at the Congregation for Divine Worship. In those years he and I happened to work in the same place for a few days every week. He worked mainly on questions of a general character and always distinguished himself  for the meticulous care with which he undertook the work assigned him. Besides helping with the work of the office, he actually made his own contribution to the Congregation of numerous studies published, precisely in those years, in the journal "Notitiae".

In 1987, as head of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, I called on Don Achille to make his contribution also to papal celebrations. From then on, he was always one of our Consultors, taking part in our regular meetings at the Office. The contribution requested of him concerned mainly Study Seminars and publications arranged by our Office.

Don Achille directed no less than five Study Seminars organised by our Office helping to select the subjects and the speakers to whom to entrust the interventions: Eucharistic Celebrations presided by the Holy Father in St Peter's Basilica and in St Peter's Square (1987); Celebrations proper to papal liturgy (Concistory for the Causes of Saints, Concistory for the creation of new Cardinals, the Rite of Beatification, the Rite of Canonisation, the Rite for the Imposing of the  Pallium, etc. (1991); the Liturgical Celebrations of the Jubilee of 2000 (1996); Music and Liturgy (1998); Television and Liturgical Celebrations presided by the Holy Father (1999).

For a number of those Seminars Don Achille arranged the publication of the Acts: cf. Rivista liturgica 83/2/1996, 163-306; RL 86/2-3/1999; RL 87/1/2000.

Don Achille also followed with special care the drafting and publication of the volume: “Liturgie dell’Oriente cristiano a Roma nell’anno mariano 1987-88”, (Eastern Christian Liturgies in Rome during the Marian year 1987-1989) produced by our Office and published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana in 1990.

Trinitati canticum

“Remember our brother Achille Maria”. During the funeral Mass we prayed for our friend Don Achille, we remembered him and greeted him with the rite of leave-taking, not to forget him but to remain in communion with him until our eyes too may behold the face of the Father of mercies and we may sing His praises for ever.

"Trinitati Canticum" is the subtitle Don Achille gave to a volume on the liturgical celebrations of 2000 arranged by him and awaiting publication by the Office for Papal Liturgical Celebrations. That title summarises the whole life of Don Achille dedicated to the praise of the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. “Trinitati Canticum” is the final consignment left to me and to us all by the friend, the professor and the collaborator Don Achille.

Vatican City, 11 October 2002.


Ignacio Maria Calabuig Adán († 5 February 2005)

Address at the end of the Funeral

Dear Fr . Ignazio, with your passing the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff  loses a humble and discreet Consultor who put his vast experience, preparation and generosity at disposal for more than fifteen years. Most of the annual “Via Crucis” celebrations led by the Holy Father John Paul II on Good Fridays at the Colosseum were corrected, revised and completed by you. Your last presence outside the Marianum College was at our Office. The following day you took to your bed, never to leave it.

With your death I lose an old friend. In the great workshop of the liturgical reform I knew you and appreciated you from the 1960s onwards. Together we shared the experience of the reform with the great maestri: Martimort, Jounel, Fischer, Lengeling, Pascher, Fr. Raffa and Mgr. Bugnini. All of them wait for you in Heaven.

I shared your passion for the liturgical reform: I recall your hopes, your joys and your tears. For yourself you asked nothing, you were always a Servant of Mary who served the Church and the Liturgy.

For your service dear Ignazio, Virgins are grateful for the Rite of Consecration of their virginity; Men and Women Religious thank you for the Rite of Religious Profession; ecclesial communities rejoice each time they celebrate the Rite for the Dedication of a Church. We all - indeed perhaps with some presumption I say - the whole Church thanks you and rejoices because with your service you gave us the Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus and the Collectio Missarum de Beata Maria Virgine.

Dear Ignazio, I too am grateful for the friendship, kindness and help you gave to me and to many others. Thank you for your witness of love for Holy Mary, the Church and the Liturgy. For us this is a day of separation and sadness, but for you the tears are over, this is the dawning of the unending day of unending praise in God's eternal Kingdom.

Church of San Marcello al Corso, 8 February 2005.


A witness to the passing of the Spirit

I am deeply grateful to Fr. Silvano Maggiani, Rector of the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology for asking me to preside the Closing Session of the 15th International Mariological Symposium.

My gratitude springs above all from years of friendship with the rector, the Marianum Faculty and the Fathers of the Community of the Servants of Mary.

The work of the 15th Symposium closed with an Academic Act to assign the “René Laurentin – Pro Ancilla Domini”  award in memoriam to Prof. Ignazio Maria Calabuig.

In this academic act the “Compassion” of Holy Mary merged with our 'compassion' for a dear brother and friend whom we have lost.

The expression in memoriam speaks of an absence. The absence of a Professor for the Marianum and the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, the absence of a Consultor for the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the absence of a brother for the Servants of Mary, the absence of a dear friend for myself and for many of those present.

However the absence of Fr. Ignazio goes far beyond our personal, community and academic environment. It is set in a much vaster environment which embraces the whole of the Church and her Liturgy.

Today the Church and the Liturgy experience our same compassion for the absence ever more marked of many witnesses of the Second Vatican Council and the Liturgical Reform.

The experience of the Council was for the Fathers above all an experience of the passing of the Spirit. On returning to their dioceses they immediately set to work with enthusiasm on the Church's reform.

Those humble workers in the Lord's vineyard who started on the reform of the Liturgy before the Council was over experienced, like Fr. Ignazio, that same experience of the passing of the Spirit.

If in the years following the Council the Liturgy travelled despite difficulties and obstacles safely in the right direction this was due also to the testimony of those experts who contributed with passion and dedication to its renewal.

With Fr. Ignazio we have lost one of those witnesses who participated in the passing of the Holy Spirit from the start. In him the Spirit never ceased to testify that the Liturgy is the core of the Christian spiritual life, the first place in which we learn to listen to the Word of God and the place par excellence for the invocation of the Paraclete. In him the Spirit never ceased to teach, to speak with sincerity and when necessary with frankness, to inspire texts for prayers and to render him a humble servant of Mary who recognised in her the most beautiful fruit of the Redemption.

As we lose these witnesses there is a danger of a crisis in the Liturgy, a crisis in the Church, because «a very close and organic bond exists between the renewal of the Liturgy and the renewal of the whole life of the Church.» (VQA, 4).

The award assigned to Fr. Ignazio in memoriam is given not to one who is absent but to a witness that the Spirit continues to pass in the Church. His life is for us confirmation that the same Holy Spirit who gave rise to the liturgical renewal, inspired the Council Fathers and accompanied the implementation of the liturgical reform, continues still today to work in the Church.

May the memory of Fr. Ignazio help us not only to deepen our knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the liturgy but above all to make the liturgy an experience of life. May his experience become our experience. May his witness become our witness so that the dove of the Spirit flying over the waters may find land on which to settle and we, in communion with Fr. Ignazio, may echo the words of one of the Fathers of the early Church of the East: «I know I will not die, because I am within life and I feel life in all its fullness pulsing within me».

Pontifical «Marianum» Theological Faculty 7 October 2005.


Jesús Castellano Cervera († 15 June 2006)

Address at the end of the Funeral Mass

Dear Father Jesús, today your friends have come together: present also are your dear sister, your brother and other family members, your confreres, professors of various ecclesiastical universities, your students, priests, bishops, consecrated persons, men and women to whom you were good. We have come here to the Teresianum to meet you for the last time. We each remember our meetings with you, your kind and gentle words, your warm smile. How many times I too have met you in almost twenty years of collaboration at the Office for the Holy Father's Liturgical Celebrations! Our last meeting was at the Office last Tuesday to prepare the texts for the Holy Father's visit to your beloved Valencia, in our beloved Spain. And then again we exchanged views on Thursday morning.

With you I shared the renewal of the Office, the organisation of a number of Study Seminars, the preparation of so many of the Pope's journeys and so many papal liturgical celebrations: the Marian Year 1987/88, the Great Jubilee of 2000, the Funeral of the Pope, the Rites of the Conclave, the Rites for the Beginning of the Pontificate. Only two weeks ago you brought me your commentary on the Ordo Rituum Pro Ministeri Petrini Initio Romć Episcopi.

Dear Fr Jesús, for all these years you put your scientific preparation at my disposal, you offered me the gift of your rich human sensitivity, your goodness and meekness, your love for the truth. You proposed not a particular spirituality but simply the spirituality of the Church based on the liturgy and lived concretely in daily life in friendship and in joy, in keeping with the Carmelite spirit of Saint Teresa of Jesus.

Dear Fr Jesús, we have come to give thanks to the Lord but I wish also to thank you. Thank you for all you gave to the Office for Liturgical Celebrations, to the Congregations of the Roman Curia - especially the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - and to the whole Church. Thank you for giving and for asking nothing. Thank you for the gift of your constant fraternal friendship. Thank you for your witness of love for the liturgy and the Church. Thank you for being a “staurophoros”, a bearer of the Cross, for teaching us to carry our cross. Thank you for being a “pneumatophoros”, a bearer of the Spirit, for leading us to drink from the inexhaustible source of divine life in the Spirit.

Today, in the presence of your body many have not hidden their tears. These are tears of grief mingled with tears of gratitude. These are tears of love. These are blessed tears because with his tears God redeemed us. They are the baptism of the spirit which renews the heart. Our tears are also tears of faith because we know from the teaching of the Eastern spirituality you loved so dearly that, through the power of the Spirit, your body has already begun taking the form of the glorified body, the spiritual body we all will receive at the resurrection of the just.


Chapel of the Pontifical Teresianum Faculty of Theology, 20 June 2006.