Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, M.Div., S.T.D.
Ordinary Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology
The Msgr. Walter J. Schmitz, S. S. Professor of Liturgical Studies
Liturgical Theology and Sacramental Method
Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and served as the Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. He holds the Walter J. Schmitz, Chair of Liturgical Studies.
Msgr. Irwin is the author of fifteen books on liturgy and sacraments, including Liturgy, Prayer and Spirituality (Paulist, 1984), Liturgical Theology: A Primer (Liturgical Press, 1990), Context and Text: Method in Liturgical Theology (Liturgical Press, 1994), the three volume commentary on the liturgical seasons entitled Advent-Christmas, Lent and Easter: A Guide to Eucharist and Hours (Pueblo/Liturgical Press,1985-91), and Responses to 101 Questions on the Mass (Paulist, 1999). In addition, the Georgetown University Press has published Preserving the Creation: Environmental Theology and Ethics, which Msgr. Irwin has co-edited with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino containing an essay by Msgr. Irwin on the sacramentality of creation and the role of creation in liturgy and sacraments. His most recent book Models of the Eucharist was published in July 2005 by Paulist Press. In Sept. 2013 Paulist Press will publish Msgr. Irwin's SERVING THE BODY OF CHRIST: The Magisterium on the Eucharist and Ordained Priesthood and in January 2014 WHAT WE HAVE DONE, WHAT WE HAVE FAILED TO DO: Assessing the Liturgical Reforms of Vatican II.
At present Msgr. Irwin is writing a (text)book entitled SACRAMENTS: History and Theology for the Paulist Press and is contracted to revise CONTEXT AND TEXT for the Liturgical Press.His other main research and publishing interests are on the principles of mediation and sacramentality and the role of creation in liturgy and sacraments.
He is the author of the major article on “Sacramental Theology” for the revised edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia, on "Sacrament" for the New Dictionary of Theology, on "Liturgical Theology" for the New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship, and on "Liturgy" for the New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality. His contributions to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Supplement, Vol. 18, include the articles on "Sacramental Theology" and "Eucharistic Theology." He is the author of over fifty articles and sixty reviews in such journals as Worship, The Thomist, Pastoral Music, Eglise et théologie, La Maison Dieu, American Benedictine Review, Theological Studies, Louvain Studies, Liturgical Ministry, The Jurist, New Theology Review, Studia Liturgica, American Catholic Historical Review, and La Maison Dieu.
Since November 2004 Monsignor Irwin has served as an Advisor to the United States Bishops Committee on Divine Worship, a role he also held in the 1990s. He also served for a decade as an advisor to the Bishops' Committee on the Permanent Diaconate.
In November 2006, Msgr. Irwin was named to an international committee (under the sponsorship of Bishop Arthur Roache of Leeds, England, as Chair of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy) charged with writing and producing an interactive DVD on the theology, spirituality, and history of the Mass to accompany the publication of the revised English language translation of The Roman Missal. The DVD resource is entitled Become One Body One Spirit in Christ.
He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, the Society for Catholic Liturgy, and the Catholic Theological Society of America
Msgr. Irwin has lectured in over forty-five dioceses in the Unites States in the past five years, often presenting papers at clergy conferences and meetings of church professionals. In May 2007, he gave the major address on sacramentality at his alma mater, the Benedictine university of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome. In February 2009, his lecture given at CUA was published in Origins entitled, “Which Liturgy is the Church’s Liturgy?” In February 2010, he delivered a keynote address entitled “Priestly Sanctification and Ministerial Spirituality: Presiding and Preaching at the Sacred Liturgy in the Life of the Priest” for NOCERCC convention in San Jose, CA. In March 2010, he delivered the Mundelein lectures, “Evaluating Sacrosanctum Concilium: Context, Text and Unfinished Business” and “Implementing Sacrosanctum Concilium: Undertaken and Unfinished” for the Archdiocese of Chicago on the Liturgy Constitution of Vatican II, which was published in the summer 2010 edition of Chicago Studies. In June 2010, he gave the main address “The Mystery of the Incarnation: Advent-Christmas-Epiphany” on the liturgical year for the Center for Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. In February 2011, he gave a presentation entitled, “From the Missale Romanum to the Sacramentary for Mass to The Roman Missal” and "What We Pray, What We Believe, How We Live" at Youngstown, OH. In March 2011, he gave a lecture entitled, “What We Have Done, What We Have Failed to Do: Toward a New Liturgical Movement” at The Catholic University of America.
In addition to his academic work, Msgr. Irwin regularly celebrates Mass and preaches at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. during the week, and on week-ends at the Church of Saint Bridget, Richmond, VA. Msgr. Irwin is presently assisting the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship to draft a statement on the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy at Vatican II.
His most recent book is 101 Questions and Answers on the Mass published in October, 2012 by The Paulist Press.
In the spring 2013 Msgr. Irwin taught in the CUAbroad program in Rome and while there was a regular commentator on CNN and other media outlets on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis. At present he is assisting the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship to draft the statement "Stewards of the Tradition" to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council to be published by the Committee next fall.