Council, Controversy, Conversion, and Communion

A six-week course on the Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council remains controversial in some Catholic circles.  Many people see it as involving a radical break from the Catholic past, for good or bad. Others, such as the popes since the Council, see it as a renewal and reform of the one-and-the same Catholic Church.

This is mini-course covering the main teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).  It also examines how the Council’s teaching has been received, misperceived, and resisted, as well as how it has shaped Catholic life and mission in the last half-century.

Tuesday nights at 7 PM PT (San Francisco) on October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9

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Course Schedule

  • Session 1 (October 5): Getting Started  

    • Why Vatican II?
    • What Vatican II Really Said: An Overview of Vatican II and Common Myths about It
    • Why It Matters Today
    • Reading for the next session: Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)

    Session 2 (October 12): Working on Worship: Reform of the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium)  

    • Liturgical worship: how and why did Vatican II “reform” the Liturgy?
    • Key ideas of Vatican II on Liturgy
    • Common Myths about Vatican II and the Mass
    • Reading for the next Session: Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) 

    Session 3 (October 19): It’s a Revelation (Dei Verbum)  

    • How God talks to us and our response to him
    • The Catholic Church, Tradition, and the Bible (Is the Catholic Church ‘biblical’?)
    • The Church goes to Bible Study
    • Reading for the next session: Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church)

    Session 4 (October 26): Figuring Out the Church (Lumen Gentium)  

    • Mysterious Church, and Catholics, other Christians, other believers, and non-believers
    • Hierarchy, laity, everyone called to holiness, and religious life
    • The Pilgrim Church and Mary in the Mystery of Christ and the Church
    • Reading for the next session: TBD

    Session 5 (November 2): The Other Things (Decrees and Declarations)  

    • Eastern-Rite Catholic Churches
    • Bishops, Priests, Laity, Religious Life, Ecumenism, Missions, and the Church and Non-Christians
    • Social Media, Christian Education, and Religious Freedom
    • Reading for the next session: Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)

    Session 6 (November 9): The Church in the World as it is Today (Gaudium et Spes) and the Enduring Legacy of Vatican II  

    • The Church and humanity
    • Some problems: marriage and family, culture, economics, politics, war and peace
    • The Legacy of Vatican II: the past, the present, and the future

Register now!

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We’d be very grateful if you would donate what you can to help keep this program going. We will turn down no one due to financial need. Your support helps us make these classes more accessible to more people. If you can’t afford to make a donation, just email Deacon Fred Totah at totah.fred@sfarch.org and let him know you’d like a scholarship. No one will be turned down. No questions will be asked.

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