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Bellarmine launches three-year celebration of Vatican Council II

Jan 18, 2013


Program begins with free public lecture on Jan. 29

To educate students and the Louisville community on the profound teachings that came out of the Second Vatican Council, Bellarmine is celebrating the council’s 50th anniversary with a three-year program, “In the Spirit of Vatican II.”


Read about upcoming programs

Vatican II was a three-year assembly called by Pope John XXIII, beginning in October 1962, that transformed the way the Church operates, with documents that charted new directions in areas such as education and ecumenism. Most noticeably for more than one billion Catholics worldwide, Vatican II allowed Mass to be celebrated in languages other than Latin.

Bellarmine’s celebration is a three-year conversation about the impact of Vatican II, featuring scholars who will explore the various documents and teachings produced by the council. The program will culminate with a symposium in Fall 2015 that will explore the meaning of those teachings today, asking the question: “After the Council: Where to?”

“Fifty years ago, Vatican II mesmerized not only the Roman Catholic world but also the whole world of religion,” said Rev. Adam Bunnell, a special assistant to the Bellarmine’s president for international and interfaith relations. “Our challenge for today, however, is not nostalgia but to discern the continuing message of Vatican II in our contemporary world.”

In the Spirit of Vatican II begins with a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on January 29 by Dr. Timothy P. O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. O’Malley will discuss the “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” or Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, a Vatican II document that encouraged greater participation in the liturgy by laypersons.

This spring, the celebration also includes weekly discussions of various Vatican II documents on Wednesdays during Lent, and a student-led exploration of interfaith relations offered through Bellarmine’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.