Cardinal to Commemorate Vatican II at Saint Xavier University

Francis Cardinal George will cap off a week at Saint Xavier University commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

By Tony Bara

Francis Cardinal George will cap off a week at Saint Xavier University commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

The Cardinal will deliver his address entitled “Vatican II and its Consequences, Intended and Otherwise” on Friday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Butler Reception Room. In the days leading up to this event, the Office for University Ministry, together with the Department of Religious Studies and the Sister Josetta Butler, R.S.M. Fund, will be hosting a number of events.

An art exhibit featuring the Second Vatican Council-themed works of Franklin McMahon on Monday, February 25 will launch the commemoration. Tuesday will feature a Vatican II trivia game in the student diner. On Wednesday, a traditional “Tridentine Mass,” completely in Latin, will be held in McDonough Chapel at noon. Dr. Edward Hahnenberg, a notable theologian, will deliver an address on Thursday evening. Finally, on Friday, a noon Mass and Latin Benediction will precede the Cardinal’s address later that evening.

All events will be open to local Catholic parishioners, the SXU community and the general public.

Graziano Marcheschi, Executive Director for University Ministry, hopes that the Vatican II commemoration will help students understand what he calls “the single most important religious event of the 20th century.”

  The Second Vatican Council took place between 1962 and 1965 to address a number of issues involving the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It ended up making a number of dramatic changes regarding church practice.

Marcheschi discussed what he felt were the three most significant changes that the Council brought.

The first, he said, was that Vatican II decided that all people “are called to holiness through whatever vocation God gives them.” No longer did the priests and other clergy have a monopoly on being “holy.”

He said a second major change was the shift from the universal Latin Mass to the vernacular Mass, in which everyone could celebrate in his or her own language. “The Liturgy has become more accessible to the people.”

Finally, he cited the Catholic Church’s “openness to other faiths” as a third result of Vatican II. Irrespective of religion, “The salvation of Christ was made universally to all people of good will,” said Marcheschi.

When asked whether the Catholic Church is once again approaching a turning point right now in the world, Marcheschi maintained that in terms of dogma and practice, the Church is not about to change. He does believe, however, that the role of the laity is rapidly transforming. As the number of clergy is decreasing, the role of ordinary Catholics is increasing. “I think that is where the future is going,” he believes.

For more information regarding specific events, dates, and times, contact Saint Xavier University Ministry at 773-298-3900 or universityministry@sxu.edu.

Be sure to visit The Xavierite's official website at www.sxustudentmedia.com.

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