Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council Lay Ministry lecture at Clarke University PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sallyann McCarthy   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:25

“The Laity after Vatican II: Collaboration in Ministry,” a lecture by Dr. Zeni Fox on Sunday, December 2, 2012, will begin at 2:00 pm in Terence Donaghoe Hall, Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa.  Parking will be available in campus lots on Clarke Drive.  The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture is the second in the series “Celebrating Vatican II: Sharing the Vision” sponsored by the Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi Valley as a gift to the Church in the Year of Faith.

The series, designed to review and renew understanding and appreciation of the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church which opened 50 years ago, examines four key themes of the Council – its history and structure, the role of the laity and lay ministry, liturgical reform, and the role of the church in the world.

Dr. Fox, Professor of Pastoral Theology at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, describes the call to an awareness of lay ministry as one of the great fruits of Vatican II. Her works include Called and Chosen: Toward a Spirituality for Lay Leaders, and New Ecclesial Ministry: Lay Professionals Serving the Church.

Widely regarded as an expert on lay ministry, Dr. Fox describes laypeople as “the disciples of Jesus who share responsibility for the mission of the church.”  Indeed, she has noted, without the laity, who comprise more than 99 percent of the church, the church’s mission could not be realized.

“It grew up like dandelions in the spring, just here, there, and everywhere,” says Fox of professional lay ministry. “This phenomenon has a grassroots dynamic.”

“Even before the Second Vatican Council,” Fox says is describing the role of the laity, “Pope John XIII said that we need to pay attention to the signs of the times and ask ourselves, ‘Where is it that God is moving among us at this time?’ ”

There is no registration or admission charge for the lecture series which explores the enduring significance of Vatican II, the most important event in Roman Catholicism in four centuries, and probes its implications for the present and future.  Hailed for its spirit of open-mindedness and change, Vatican II was referred to as a “bringing up to date” or aggiornamento of the Church in the modern world by Pope John XXIII in 1959. The term became a key word in describing the Council, which has been called “one of the most important religious events of the 20th century.”

Follow-up sessions to each of the lectures will be offered in the cities where the sponsoring congregations minister.

Future programs in the series will include:

* Dr. Massimo Faggioli speaking on “Liturgical Reform: the Crucial Impact and Legacy of Vatican II” at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Hiawatha, Ia., on February 24, 2013.

Dr. Faggioli studied and taught in Europe before becoming Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Thomas University, St. Paul Minnesota.  Specializing in the history of Christianity, his most  recent books are “Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning,” and “True Reform:  Liturgy and Ecclesiology in the Sacrosanctum Concilium.” He will reflect on how the liturgical constitution is central to the achievements of Vatican II, to the core theology of the Council and to its impact on Catholicism throughout the world.

* Dr. Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA addressing “The Church in the Modern World: Vatican II’s Challenge for Our Time,” on April 21, 2013, at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Church, Clinton.

Dr. Weisenbeck, a Canon lawyer and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, will describe Vatican II’s invitation to read the signs of the times and  to respond in dedicated service.  Panelists, including Most Rev. Daniel Turley, OSA, Bishop of the Diocese of Chulucanas, Peru, will reflect on ways the Church is called to solidarity with the people of God throughout the world.

“Celebrating Vatican II: Sharing the Vision” is sponsored by the Carmelite Nuns, Eldridge, Ia.; Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport, Ia.; Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse, Wis.; Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sinsinawa, Wis.; Sisters of Mercy, West-Midwest Region, Omaha, Neb.;  Benedictine Sisters, Rock Island, Ill.; Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Ia.; and Sisters of Charity BVM, Sisters of the Presentation, Sisters of St, Francis, Sisters of the Visitation, and Trappistine Nuns, all of Dubuque, Ia.  The October program is hosted by St. Ambrose University. The December program is co-sponsored by Clarke University.

For details see www.facebook.com/catholicsisters

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