success stories


By Kathryn Sullivan
Address at the National Liturgical Week, St. Louis, 1964

Is there one value that we can strive to secure and try to communicate to others and which is at the heart of the promotion of liturgical instruction and active participation in the liturgy? I think there is. I have chosen the value that Gabriel Marcel prizes so highly. It is an attractive simplicity, directness, candor, openness to which Marcel has given the name "availability" (disponibilite). To this word we must attach all the levels of meaning that it has for Marcel. He describes availability as an intense degree of presence and communion. Presence, in Marcel's philosophy, is not merely conceptual. It is spiritual reality that follows the awareness of being. It is the realization of I as I and of the other as other. It is the beginning of dialogue. It is the condition for genuine intimacy. It is the possibility of the openness of the I to the thou and their reciprocal exchange. This availability which presence makes possible and which leads to dialogical communion is one of the values of the liturgy.