Rev. Michael G. Witczak, M.Div., S.L.D., is an expert in liturgical history and the sacraments. A pastor and scholar, he is Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He earned his B.A. at St. Francis de Sales College, and his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. After his ordination in 1977, he served for three years as a parochial vicar and then returned to studies, earning the Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy (S.L.L.) and the Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy (S.L.D.) at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome. A priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Rev. Witczak taught at St. Francis Seminary (now St. Francis de Sales Seminary) in that city from 1983 until 2007, when he joined the faculty at CUA.
His teaching focuses on sacramental liturgy, including the sacrament of initiation, as well as the funeral rites and the role of the saints in the calendar of Catholic worship. He has published The Sacrament of Baptism (Lex Orandi Series, Liturgical Press) and articles in journals including Ecclesia Orans, Theological Studies, Ministry and Liturgy, and Liturgical Ministry. Rev. Witczak is a presenter on various liturgical topics both in the D.C. area and nationally. He received the Archbishop’s Vatican II Award for Service to Liturgy in 2001 and the Salesianum Alumni Association Sal Terrae Award in 2008.
Praise for Michael Witczak
“Michael Witczak is one of the most respected Catholic liturgical theologians alive… He has literally written the book on baptism. Listeners will appreciate the organization of his thought, the depth of his knowledge, and the clarity of his delivery.” – Rev. Paul Turner
“A meticulous scholar with an international reputation, Michael Witczak distills and explains complex issues about the liturgy thoroughly, carefully and with present day applications. His scholarship is impeccable.”– Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, The Catholic University of America
“Mike Witczak’s breadth of historical knowledge, depth of insight, and passion for liturgy and sacrament, combine to make him one of the most consistently wise, well-grounded, and illuminating teachers of liturgy in America today.”
– Rita Ferrone, editor, The Yale ISM Review
“Fr. Michael Witczak is an internationally recognized expert in liturgical studies, specializing in the historical development of forms of worship…. His presentations are marked by clarity, balance and practicality, gleaning the worship of the past for insights into worship today.”
– Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, University of St. Thomas
“Father Michael Witczak is one of our foremost liturgical scholars. His vast pastoral, teaching and scholarly experience has well prepared him to speak authoritatively on sickness, dying and death. His thoughts are invaluable on this critical subject.”
– Fr. John F. Baldovin, S.J.
“Always pastorally practical in his teaching and thoroughly in touch with the theological and liturgical treasury of caring for the sick, the dying, death, and the bereaved, Michael Witczak brings an unequaled sensitivity to the personal needs of real life in face of these mysteries.”
– H. Richard Rutherford, C.S.C., Author, Death of a Christian: The Order of Christian Funerals
Fr. Thomas J. Scirghi is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University, where he specializes in the theology of sacraments and liturgy, as well as homiletics, the theory and practice of preaching. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, California; an S.T.L. from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Doctor of Theology from Boston University. A member of the New York Province of Jesuits, he has taught at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the Jesuit College of Theology in Melbourne, Australia. In 2013, he was appointed to the Thomas More Chair of Catholic Studies, a joint appointment to the University of Western Australia and the University of Notre Dame, Australia. He has lectured on liturgy and preaching for clergy and laity throughout America, as well as in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Recently he published Everything Is Sacred: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Baptism (Paraclete Press), and Living Beauty: The Art of Worship, with his colleague Alejandro Garcia-Rivera (Rowman and Littlefield Press). He is also a frequent contributor to Pastoral Liturgy magazine.