Fr. Nikola Derpich, LC, has had the seeds of his new book, The Liturgy Day by Day, in his heart and mind for a while. They date back to when he first discerned the call to enter the seminary of the Legionaries of Christ in the mid 1990’s, “One of the first preachers I heard in the Legion taught me that some insights we receive from preaching are like time-release capsules. We hear the Word of God, but sometimes it is only over time that we start to understand it and apply it in our lives. Other insights strike a chord almost immediately, and we perceive the Lord is speaking to us, to our situation. The idea that blossomed into The Liturgy, Day by Day series of homiletic reflections started the year I completed my doctorate, 2015. After a long academic writing project, entailing years of focus and research, I wanted to write something simpler that would nourish my ministry and also nourish others: a simple homiletic thought on each liturgical day, mostly based on the readings of the day, but drawing from the liturgical season too.”
In the midst of completing his doctorate, and ever since then, Fr. Nikola has been busy. The native Californian was ordained in Rome in 2006. He taught theology at the university level from 2009-2021 in New York, Rhode Island, and Rome. From 2017-2020 he was also a part-time Associate Pastor at St. Brendan the Navigator, a large, vibrant parish in Cumming, Georgia. Fr. Nikola currently works in Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, where, in addition to helping at local parishes, he serves the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ as Territorial Prefect of Studies, and work on projects for RC Spirituality Center as well as other writing and academic projects.
He has also published two other books. Maximizing the Mass (2020), which offers a meditative walkthrough of the Mass from Entrance to Dismissal, as well as meditations on the Eucharistic Prayers and their Prefaces, prepares people to participate more actively in the Mass by delving deeper spiritually into the prayers we recite and hear every Sunday, every Mass. Says Fr. Nikola, “You will never pray or live the Mass the same way.” In 2021 he published The Kingdom of Christ, History, Theology, Life, which is also available in Spanish. A collaboration of 14 contributors including priests, consecrated people, and laity, it includes studies on topics such as the history of the Feast of Christ the King in the 20th century, the devotion to Christ the King of the Spanish and Mexican martyrs of the 20th Century, the Kingdom of God and of Christ in Sacred Scripture, and many more facets of the Kingdom of Christ.
As he kept busy working in all of these areas, he still found time to write The Liturgy, Day by Day. Volume One was published in kindle and paperback format on October 11, 2022. This first volume of the series focuses on the Advent and Christmas seasons. From the First Sunday of Advent to the last day of the Christmas season, it will help readers welcome Our Lord into the manger at Bethlehem, and into their hearts.
Fr. Nikola plans to publish the next volume for Lent and Holy Week in time for Lent 2023, and the following volume for Easter by mid-2023. Sharing his hopes for the book, Fr. Nikola says, “The thoughts shared in this series have often been my springboard for deeper reflection on the Word of God, making connections between Scripture passages that I had never considered before. I hope they give you some food for spiritual thought. I hope the book gives the reader some food for spiritual thought. I always envisioned them for the reader, but I know the Lord spoke to me through them as well, for which I am grateful.”