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Rev. John F. Baldovin, S. J., Receives Jubilate Deo Award

The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) has awarded Rev. John F. Baldovin, S.J., a professor of historical and liturgical theology at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, with the 2021 Jubilate Deo Award, according to a University release

The award recognizes Baldovin’s substantial contribution to the development of pastoral liturgy in the United States. 

“A good deal of my writing has combined history, theology and pastoral aspects of the liturgy like confirmation, liturgical processions, liturgical language and the performance of the Eucharistic Prayer,” Baldovin said in an email to The Heights. 

NPM is a national association that seeks to foster the art of sung liturgy, according to its website. Members of NPM serve the Catholic Church in the United States as musicians, clergy, liturgists, and other leaders of prayer. 

Prior to his 13 years at BC, Baldovin taught at the Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. for 15 years. He also spent nine years at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, which in 2008 merged with the former BC Institute for Religious Education to create the School of Theology and Ministry. 

At BC, he teaches about the history of the liturgy and history and theology of the eucharist. 

Baldovin is also a part of the group that founded the International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and the Liturgy, a professional association of Jesuits, in 2004. 

“We meet every two years and focus on a topic of interest to Jesuits, liturgy and the wider church,” Baldovin, who currently serves as the society’s president, wrote. “For example, liturgy and justice and liturgy and the arts.”

Baldovin has also been on the board of directors of Theological Studies, a journal published by the Society of Jesus, since 2015. The board of directors oversees the editorial work, production, and promotion of the journal.

In addition to teaching, leading the International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and the Liturgy, and his work with Theological Studies, Baldovin has also published five books on topics ranging from liturgy in ancient Jerusalem to reforming the Catholic liturgy. He highlighted the publication of his dissertation, The Urban Character of Christian Worship, in 1987. 

“It dealt with the use of the city as a space for liturgy in Jerusalem, Rome and Constantinople,” he said. “Another work that has been widely used is a little commentary on the Mass entitled Bread of Life, Cup of Salvation (2003). In 2008, I published Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to the Critics, which is basically a defense of the Vatican II reforms.”

His favorite of his works is an introduction he wrote for Nathan Mitchell and John Brooks-Leonard’s book, The Postures of the Assembly, he wrote. 

Baldovin also described his gratitude for the NPM’s recognition in the University release.

I am deeply honored by this recognition from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, especially in view of the wonderful colleagues I join as recipients of this award,” he said.

Featured Image by Stephen Mooney / Heights Staff

November 14, 2021