Vatican II & the Catholic Vision

Memory Lane

My heart ached as I read Bernard P. Prusak’s article “Turning Point” (September 28). I was thirty-three years old when Vatican II opened. I was married and had four children at that time, but I was barely hanging on to my Catholic faith. My husband Francis and I considered leaving the faith, but somehow we stayed.

So many of the church’s ideas seemed unacceptable to me. Even as a twelve-year-old, I decided that if Miriam, my Methodist bosom buddy, wasn’t going to heaven, as the Catholic Church was telling me, then I didn’t want to be there either. I also had been severely reprimanded by my priest for asking to be an altar server at that time. When I was a high-school sophomore and asked him for more information about Martin Luther, he blew his stack and called me a bad Catholic for asking.

Those and other experiences caused me to ask, “Why am I even a Catholic?” So when Vatican II opened my husband and I eagerly awaited the outcome. Our local Catholic weekly published the entirety of every document that came out of the council. My husband and I practically raced to the mailbox on our farm every Thursday to see what the bishops were saying. It was a heady time to be a Catholic. The documents on the church in the modern world and on ecumenism were our favorites. At...

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