‘Vatican II: An Event of Grace’ eConference


Above all else, Vatican II was an engagement with the modern world through a
Christ-centred mission.

The ‘Vatican II - An Event of Grace’ national eConference will go to the heart of the Church’s mission in the modern world, tracking the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in our time.

The seventh national eConference organised by The Broken Bay Institute in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, ‘Vatican II - An Event of Grace’ will be broadcast live from 10.30am to 3pm on Wednesday 10 October.

More than 40,000 from across Australia and 28 other countries are expected to participate, with the broadcast streamed to halls, parishes, schools, community centres and homes in every Diocese in Australia and to communities abroad.

Three venues within the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have registered to act as
‘e-sites’ for the broadcast: Institute for Mission in Blacktown, St Anthony of Padua Toongabbie Parish and Our Lady of Lebanon Church Community Youth & Pastoral Centre in Harris Park.

It is important to register if planning to attend the broadcast at one of the Diocesan
e-sites or elsewhere. You can register at: http://grace.vividas.com/

As well as through the eConference website, individual registrations can also be made though The Broken Bay Institute - Ph: 02 9847 072 or E: econference@bbi.catholic.edu.au

For more details on attending the Institute For Mission e-site, click here.

Exploring our relationship with God and each other

Bishop Michael Putney
Bishop Michael Putney.

The eConference broadcast will commence 50 years almost to the day after the opening of the first session of Vatican II in October 1962.

So much about the practice and complexion of Catholicism has changed since Vatican II that it is timely on this golden anniversary to go back to the Council’s teachings, manifest in the 16 documents that sprang from it, and unpack their meaning and effect in our times.

Above all else, Vatican II was an engagement with the modern world through a Christ-centred mission. The Council’s vision was of an outward-looking people, buoyant and hope-filled, secure in their faith tradition in the Gospels and ready to engage in the social sciences and media to communicate the Good News of Christ to people of all walks and persuasions.

eConference keynote speaker, Bishop Michael Putney - a leading expert on ecumenism - reiterates this mission is alive and well today.

“The Council was inviting us into new kinds of relationships,” Bishop Putney said.

“In my first talk I will focus on the relationship with God that the Council explores, and in my second talk I will be focusing on our relationships with each other and other communities and groups within the larger human family.

“Communion and dialogue are two constant themes of Vatican II, as well as the fresh expression of the role of the scriptures in our Catholic life. I will also be reflecting on the way we might approach the Council at this point of history, describing its place in the larger Tradition, and the key moments of its reception in the past 50 years, as well as drawing attention to the interconnections of all of the various teachings found within its documents.”

Christ is in our time, in each of us and in our world

Sister Maryanne Confoy RSC
Sister Maryanne Confoy RSC.

The second keynote speaker is Sister Maryanne Confoy RSC. At the time of Vatican II, she was a young religious woman wearing the veil and habit of a Sister of Charity.

Today Sr Maryanne’s devotion to the Charity’s mission to the poor continues in adult faith formation, though the veil has long since gone.

Sr Maryanne said Vatican II was the impetus to push her into exploring “the world of religious faith, human faith, religion and spirituality”. Her teaching vocation expanded. She graduated from Boston College with a PhD in Theology and Education and returned to Australia to teach theology and spirituality.

“I’ve had an extraordinary education and I’ve seen the world in a way I could not possibly have dreamed of it,” Sr Maryanne said.

Periods of her life since have seen her working and studying in China, South America, India, Bangladesh, Ireland and the United States.

At the eConference Sr Maryanne will address two topics: ‘The Baptismal call to holiness - a call to personal and communal ministry’ and ‘Baptismal Ministry in a pluralist world’.

In this Year of Grace, Sr Maryanne said we can draw nourishment in “the grace commitment” of the bishops who were gathered at Vatican II.

“Theirs was a movement towards freedom, truth and the revelation that God’s love is for all people and that it is an all inclusive, all embracing love,” she said.

“How do we understand that in a world that teaches us how to be competitive, to be different? How do we grow in Christ in a world that teaches us that it’s all about ‘number one’? How do we learn to serve with authenticity and integrity?”

Sr Maryanne said Vatican II taught that the Paschal mystery of life, death and resurrection is the great proclamation that our time of uncertainty and anguish needs to hear like a bell ringing in the darkness.

“We cannot be so preoccupied with the empty tomb that it is at the expense of the risen Christ. Christ is in our time, alive and well in us, in our world, in our struggles.”

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