For Catholics in the U.S. and elsewhere another significant anniversary is on the horizon: that of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. How it is remembered -- or not remembered -- may be very important for the Catholic Church in the coming decades. Do this in remembrance of me: Catholic worship is centered on ritual remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Absolutely central to Catholic practice is this remembrance, and Catholics are also a people of tradition: we say that we value what has been handed on over the centuries, from the early church to today. Anniversaries offer a special way in which traditions may be once again received and celebrated.
Public anniversaries are distinguished from family and personal events such as birthdays or anniversaries of marriage or ordination. But even the public anniversaries are also experienced in individual and personal ways. Seen in the light of 2,000 years of Christianity, Vatican II remains quite a recent event, within the lifetimes of older Catholics. Those in their mid-fifties or older will have personal memories of the Council -- at least of how it was reported by the press -- and of its aftermath, and these memories may be revivified by the 50th anniversary.
- Thomas Worcester SJ
What future for Vatican II? (Huffington Post)
Loyola University Chicago
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