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Vatican II - 50 Years Later

Fifty years and counting since the start of the Second Vatican Council, more commonly known as Vatican II, the faithful still debate what the changes wrought by the Council mean for the Church today. This archived series of seven talks will give you an insight into Vatican II from the perspective of people in our Archdiocese who lived its unfolding. The first talk sets the scene for the Council, and the other six give you a user-friendly glimpse into the most important documents.

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Seven sessions in the Vatican II series:

The prayer used on the opening day and throughout the Second Vatican Council.

 

1. Setting the scene for Vatican II: what was the world like? – Rev. Don Macdonald, OFM

In this talk, Fr. Don Macdonald tells us what was happening in the world of 1959 when Pope John XXIII called the Council. He tells us what a Council is and how many there have been in the Church. How did the emancipation of women, industrialization, two major world wars, nuclear bombs, and the end of the colonialism affect the Council? In short, Fr. Don sets the scene for the remarkable Council that ushered in a new era in the two thousand-year-old story of Christianity.

Handouts

List of Councils

List of documents of Vatican II

Article by Fr. Don

Resources on Vatican II

Reflection / Discussion questions

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2. A Single Sacred Deposit: Dei Verbum – Rev. David Norman, OFM

God is with us! Fr. David Norman, OFM, a professor at Newman Theological College, offers an overview of Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. He begins with an overview of the preparatory draft that was prepared for the Council fathers to launch their discussion. As you will learn, the first draft was quite different from what became the final Dogmatic Constitution. Fr. Dave gives you an easy-to-understand explanation of how it evolved.

Handouts

Preparatory draft

Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation

Reflection / Discussion questions

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Read the Western Catholic Reporter article about this talk

 


3. Looking from the Inside Out: Lumen Gentium – Rev. Don Macdonald, OFM

Fr. Don Macdonald, OFM, a professor at Newman Theological College, offers an overview of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. It was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 NOvember 1964. In the first part of his talk, Fr. Don reviews what happened between the First Vatican Council (8 December 1869 - 20 October 1870) and the Second Vatican Council (11 October 1962 - 8 December 1965). In the second, he examines how the document developed and what it contains. Finally, he looks at the major accomplishments of the Constitution on the Church.

Handouts

Central Devlopment in Schema

Preparatory draft before Council began

How drafts evolved during Council

Outline of Theology taught before Vatican II

Reflection / Discussion questions

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Read the Western Catholic Reporter article about this talk

 


4. Your Baptismal Covenant: Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity – Ms. Sandra Prather

Sandy Prather, a teacher and facilitator in the areas of faith and spirituality, offers an overview of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The decree was approved by a vote of 2,340 to 2 of bishops assembled at the Council, and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965. The Council fathers were always aware of the importance of lay people's role in carrying out Christ's Great Commission; this document articulates their vision. She reminds us that Vatican II restored us to a total ecclesiology; which means that the Church is the whole people of God, not simply the hierarchy.

Reflection / Discussion questions

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Read the Western Catholic Reporter article about this talk


5. The Theatre of Human History: Gaudium et Spes – Dr. Robert McKeon

Dr. Bob McKeon, a professor at Newman Theological Collegeand Associate Director - Social Justice in the Archdiocese of Edmonton, offers an overview of Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Reflection / Discussion questions

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Read the Western Catholic Reporter article about this talk


6. Let Them All Be One: Decree on Ecumenism – Julien Hammond

"The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council." This statement opens the Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964. Julien Hammond, Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Edmonton, presents an overview of the Decree in user-friendly terms.

Reflection / Discussion questions

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Read the Western Catholic Reporter article about this talk here.

 


7. The Liturgy is Our Life – Rev. William Burke, Director - National Liturgy Office (CCCB)

The first document promulgated during the Second Vatican Council was Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Fr. Bill Burke gives us an overview of the document from Vatican II which every Catholic experienced, even though they may have never read it. This document on the liturgy recommended that the Mass be conducted in the language of the people, or the vernacular. Fr. Bill gives us some insight into this document and, as a good Cape Breton storyteller, does so with colour and passion.

Reflection / Discussion questions

Watch the video.

Read the Western Catholic Reporter article.

 

 


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