The Department of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship welcomes a new Associate Director of Sacred Worship. Get to know our new coworker in mission, Amy Wyss, and what she brings to help unleash the Gospel in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
As the new Associate Director of Sacred Worship, what has “worship” meant to you throughout your life, and what led you to taking on this new position? What experiences have you had that have deepened your appreciation for the work you get to do as the Associate Director of Sacred Worship?
My understanding and experience of worship has developed over the course of my life, most notably when, as a college student, I journeyed through RCIA seeking full communion with the Catholic Church after being raised Lutheran. I was brought up in a faith-centered home where I was immersed in the love of God and Sacred Scripture. When I was exposed to the Catholic Mass at the invitation of a friend, I fell in love with the liturgy and the “specialness” I experienced there, which I eventually came to understand as being the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
As I sought to learn everything I could about Catholic worship, I was struck by the witness of those living authentic sacramental lives, and I found myself intensely desiring these intimate and tangible encounters with my personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As I matured in my Catholic faith, I came to the understanding that worship is a total act of self-offering in response to the goodness each of us has received from God, as He has lovingly brought each one of us into existence, redeemed us, and offers us the gift of adoption as His beloved sons and daughters.
I feel very privileged to be in this position where I can assist with Sacred Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Detroit and support encounters with life-changing grace and formation in prayer.
What books, articles, letters, or other resources have profoundly affected the way you approach your role?
Daily immersion in Sacred Scripture and reception of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist are my most important animating principles in approaching this role, along with an affection for and diligent study of the dogmatic constitutions of the Second Vatican Council and the Roman Missal.
I have a personal devotion for praying the Liturgy of the Hours as a favorite way to be formed in the Tradition of the Church, through the writings of the Church Fathers and the arrangement of Psalms throughout the liturgical year.
I love the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas who aids the Church in its understanding of the nature of Sacred Worship, St. Teresa of Avila who so eloquently makes intimacy with the Lord accessible to all, and St. Francis of Assisi who encourages us to love God without reserve.
What are your goals for your first year in the Office of Sacred Worship ?
In this first year I will be working diligently to support parish leaders with the transition to the new OCIA (formerly RCIA), for those desiring to become Catholic or complete their Sacraments. This effort is very near and dear to my heart, as RCIA was a part of my own personal journey.
I am excited to provide support that will help our parish leaders ensure all those desiring to become Catholic or complete their Sacraments are having authentic encounters with Jesus Christ, and are receiving rich catechesis in light of the good news of God’s revelation to us through Jesus Christ, God’s gift of Salvation, and God’s invitation into the freedom of abundant life through holy living.
All of this is in context of God’s initiative and work in souls, which is why the rites are a powerful and essential part of the OCIA process for those undergoing the conversion of becoming Catholic.
Why do you think strengthening Worship in our Families of Parishes is so critical for the Archdiocese of Detroit at this particular moment?
As people, we are made for relationships, and our transition into our Families of Parishes are opportunities to foster and grow relationships. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the most powerful way to grow in relationship is through Sacred Worship since we come together in unity of gratitude to God and love of Jesus Christ.
What is one thing you hope to help people within the Archdiocese better understand about Worship in the Catholic faith?
As the Archdiocese transitions to the new OCIA and participates in the National Eucharistic Revival, I am hoping to help the people in the Archdiocese of Detroit deepen their understanding of the lived tradition of the Church, including liturgical and catechetical formation. Both are opportunities to further immerse ourselves in the richness of our Catholic faith and encounter the love of God and work of the Holy Spirit.
How can parish leaders get in touch with you?
Please call my direct line at (313) 596-7312 or email me at [email protected].