A series at St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland will explore the Second Vatican Council in depth. Presentations and discussions will include history of the Council, the contents of some documents and current relevance of the Council's teachings.
The series, open to anyone, is scheduled for 11 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month beginning Nov. 11 and ending June 9. Sessions will be held in the parish's community center.
On Nov. 11, Msgr. Charles Lienert, former pastor of St. Andrew, will discuss how the Council came to be, its participants, its procedures, and some of its principal documents and teachings.
“I was studying theology during those exciting days of the Second Vatican Council," Msgr. Lienert says. "I spent the first half of my years of ministry trying to implement the great vision of the Council, and the second half trying to further and defend the vision. We can’t turn back now.”
Bishop Remi DeRoo was present at all four sessions of the Council. On Dec. 9, he will preach at the 9:30 a.m. Eucharist and then lead a session. Retired Bishop of Victoria, British Columbia, he is being called a "Pilgrim of the Second Vatican Council." His aim, he says, is to rejoice with people "in joy and hope as the Vatican II document on the Church in the Modern World suggests."
On Jan. 13, parish liturgist Michael Prendergast will speak on Vatican II’s vision of the liturgy. Founder of Sacred Liturgy Ministries, he'll discuss liturgy as the work of the people and the Council's call for full, conscious and active participation in liturgy and life.
Maria Fleming, former pastoral associate at St. Andrew and current theology teacher at St. Mary’s Academy, will present the first four chapters of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) on Feb. 10. Lumen Gentium established "People of God" as the dominant image for the church. Solidifying the image was its placement prior to the description of the hierarchical structure of the church. The constitution's third chapter on the hierarchy moves away from monarchical terms to collegial ones.
On March 10, Rene Sanchez, professor of theology at the University of Portland, will focus on the implications of the call to holiness which is found in Lumen Gentium. He'll pay particular attention to the universal call to holiness made to all people of the church, distinction of gifts found within the church and the place of the Spirit in understanding the church's identity as defined by the end times.
On April 14, Fleming and Sanchez will be on a panel seeking listeners' response to Lumen Gentium.
On May 12, the subjects are ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. Mary Jo Tully, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland and a specialist on the topics, will speak.
Among the documents of Vatican II, the Decree on Ecumenism and the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions probably received the most attention from those outside the church. Both are based on Catholic theology and tradition. The presentation will examine what both documents ask of all people of good will in relation to other Christians and religious traditions
The forum will review the main points of the series on June 9. It will examine the implications of Vatican II’s teaching for the Body of Christ as members attempt to proclaim and live the Gospel. The session will look forward to the continuing series on the Council, which will run through 2015.