Oct. 11 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s opening that began in 1962, and organizations around the world are planning to commemorate the historic event. Between 1962-1965 the Council debated and decided upon how to move the message and meaning of the Catholic Church more deeply into the lives of its members. The major areas of focus over that time included relationships within the Church, liturgical renewal, ecumenical dialogue, especially with Judaism, and the relationship of the Church to the modern world. The Council left an important legacy with respect to the Church’s human and divine origins, and to itself as "The People of God" on a human and a religious pilgrimage.
In conjunction with this world-wide commemoration, Alvernia is preparing a series of lectures that will provide opportunities to learn more about this important Council and to celebrate the significance of its work in the life of the Church. The Founders Day lecture on Sept. 11, featuring Rabbi Howard Hirsch, will launch the Vatican II series and also inaugurate a new initiative in interfaith dialogue. Rabbi Hirsch will share with us his perspective on the impact of Vatican II on Jewish-Christian relationships.
The goal of the events is to shed light on the Council and how its actions 50 years ago continues to affect the mission of the university today. Events planned for the next five semesters will center on several of the topics discussed at the Council; tentatively, the sequence will be: Ecumenism, non-Christian religions (2012-13), Religious Liberty (Spring 2014) Apostolate of the Laity (Fall 2014) Church in the Modern World (Spring 2015), the legacy of the Council (Fall, 2015).