Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
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The Year of Faith

The YEAR OF FAITH begins today on this 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII, whose feast day we celebrate today as well, had called the council in 1959. This elderly pope who no one thought would do much shook up the Vatican and the Church by calling for a council of the hierarchy of the entire Church. He did not intend for the gathering to define any new doctrine but to re-present our faith in words and actions that better fit the modern world. WHAT we believe was not touched; HOW WE TALK ABOUT AND ACT ON WHAT WE BELIEVE was renewed. The Gospel message has to be spoken to every culture and age and that often requires new presentation.

Pope John faced some serious opposition from the heads of the various Vatican offices. Those curial officials saw no need--some even saw a danger--in opening up the internal working of the Church to all of the bishop of the world. Pope John calmly and convincingly assured them that they were not the only ones who understood what the Church is all about. If anything, Vatican II restated firmly the universal role of each and every bishop.

It might be good for all of us to re-read the documents of the Council. I know that I hear a lot of statements concerning what Vatican II said or did. It may be good during this Year of Faith to go back and read the message of the council in the words of the Council Fathers who wrote the documents that have such a fantastic influence on our Church today.


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