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Broken Bay Institue  Mission & Spirituality E-News
www.bbi.catholic.edu.au No. 11 | 06 September 2012

The Broken Bay Institute strives to respond to the faith education and ministry formation needs of individuals, parishes, schools and ministry groups within the local Church.


By Catherine Thom

Congar, in a spirit of availability to the Vatican Council said, ‘It is because I have (somehow or other) followed what I believe to be the will and the call of God. It is he who managed everything, prepared everything. At the Council itself, I have no other rule except to make him direct everything. 

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Feature Article
A letter to Mother Church from a Gen X

By Alice Priest

I write to you on this the occasion of your fiftieth anniversary- 50 years since you, ancient Mother, set upon your aggiornamento. Congratulations to you, the arrested , eternal, throwing open your windows to the particularity of a new time, to modernity, to me.

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'To live is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often’ (John H. Newman)

By Sonia Wagner SGS

The Church going into Vatican II was ostensibly in goodhealth. Whereas previous councils had responded to schism or attack, the focus of this Council was to be radically different.

From the Director - To break trust is a serious issue

By Fr Garry Walker

People have always been intrigued by the seal of confession; it is generally accepted, certainly among Catholics, that a priest will never ’tell’ what he has heard in confession even if he has to suffer or even die to maintain the integrity of the seal of confession. Sixty nine years ago last month a young New Zealand Columban priest, Fr Vernon Douglas, was caught up in events that cost him his life.

I was in Rome studying during Vatican II

By Mary Campion op

My dominant image of Vatican II is the cerise and white of the bishops’ vestments against the grey of St Peter’s basilica as the bishops made their way to the buses after a session. The Vatican newspaper, Observatore Romano, gave good coverage of the session. We were amazed that bishops could disagree. They also learned the hard way to limit the time bishops speak!

Of Football games and Faith- Comparing Vatican II to State of Origin

By David McGovern

At first blush, Vatican II would seem to have little in common with a game of football. But at the risk of being accused of blasphemy, the recent State of Origin battle has got me thinking about the moment Pope John XX111 sought to ’open a window’ on the Catholic Church.

Reflection On Vatican II

By Paul McCabe

Going through some old documents recently, I came across the press card I obtained while studying in Rome during the Second Vatican Council in 1963. Cards were issued by the Vatican Press Office to accredited journalists, and entitled holders to receive all press releases, and to gain admittance to press conferences. My card officially identified me as “Giornalista McCabe delGiornaleAction”. “Action” was a fictional publication of the Armidale YCW of which my brother Tom was then a member.

Vatican II and its Beginnings

By Janette Gray

The Second Vatican Council was a passionate, Spirit-filled awakening to the Church’s role in our times. Even though this is sometimes lost in the distance between then and now, it is worth celebrating how it has shaped our understanding today.

Vatican II- It’s boring’

By Peter Brock

One Sunday Bishop Bill Brennan of Toowoomba ( not to be confused with his nephew of the same name, from Wagga Wagga) and Bishop James O’Collins of Ballarat came for lunch. Afterwards a group of Australian students gathered around them for a yarn. Someone asked, ‘What’s the Council really like?’ Bishop Brennan replied, ‘it’s interesting.’ Bishop O’Collins said dryly, ‘it’s boring’.

Vatican News

Prayers from the Bishop of Rome, Benedict XV1 about prisoners and young people

What’s On
  • 8th Annual Australian Bonhoeffer Conference
  • The Threads of My Story
  • Peace with People, Peace with Our Planet, A Franciscan Perspective
  • Vatican II: An Event of Grace
Book Review: Stories and Jokes circulating during Vatican II

A riddle was circulated: If Cardinal Ottovani, Cardinal Siri and another conservative cardinal were on a raft in the middle of the sea, who would be saved?
Answer: ‘The Church’.

Vatican II - New Books

For those who are interested in understanding contemporary Catholicism in the light of Vatican II, here are two new releases which provide insightful commentary on the history, development and outcomes of Vatican II.

Featured Websites: Fair Trade Products from Peru

Fair Trade Products from Peru.

Final message of Vatican II to the Youth of the world

Read by Gregorio Cardinal Agagianian of the Roman Curia, assisted by Joseph Ritter of St Louis and Valerian Cardinal Cardinal Gracias of Bombay


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