In one of the annual seminars I attended, a priest-speaker asked who among us knew of Vatican II. I promptly raised my hand, glanced around and, to my chagrin, discovered that there was only one other raising her hand. Instead of showing curiosity why others didn’t know about it, the priest smiled, which struck me as strange. And he proceeded to his topic without saying anything more about Vatican II.
I related the incident to my parish priest who had the grace to shake his head, and explain that not even priests know much about Vatican II, unless they had it as part of their studies. I found this sad, very sad: An event that brought the Roman Catholic Church to addressing issues of the 20th century, in addition to confronting itself and proclaiming the truths it teaches in contemporary language, is important in the lives of Roman Catholics, especially the laity, like me.
Two months ago, while attending a Bible seminar on parables, I was going through several new books of Claretian Publications when I stumbled on a book that nearly emptied my wallet. I wanted to buy another book, but because the price was already beyond my budget for books, I decided to go to the Claretian bookstore just a corner away from my house in UP Village and reserved a copy.
Since then, these two books have satisfied my current craving to know more about Vatican II, revisiting the key points of eight conciliar documents. And I had the privilege of reading the journal of one peritus who contributed much to the theological framework of the 16 Vatican II documents.
The two books are: “Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II” by Richard R. Gaillardetz and Catherine E. Clifford; and “My Journal of the Council” by Yves Congar OP, translated from French by Mary John Ronayne OP and Mary Cecily Boulding OP, with English translation editor Denis Minnis OP.
—ROSARIO K. GARCIA,