Francis Cardinal George to speak during SXU’s weeklong Vatican II 50th Anniversary celebration

Saint Xavier University (SXU) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council with a week of events titled “Vatican II: The Legacy Unfolding” from Mon., Feb. 25 to Fri., March 1. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held at SXU’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St.


Vatican II, which was held from 1962 to 1965, was an ecumenical council that addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. This assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders was the first held in nearly 100 years, and brought thousands of cardinals, bishops, and other church officials, as well as invited auditors and experts to Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.


“The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report”

4 to 5:30 p.m. with curator’s presentation at 5 p.m., Mon., Feb. 25, Butler Reception Room

Art exhibit opening and reception featuring the original works of artist/reporter Franklin McMahon. McMahon’s work took him around the world for more than half a century with his seminal work at the birth of the civil rights movement, during the formation of the European Council and from the hall of Vatican II as well as many political, cultural and religious events. Refreshments will be served. Curator Kathleen Van Ella will speak at 5 p.m. about the nature and significance of McMahon’s artworks.


Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Latin Mass

Noon, Wed., Feb. 27, McDonough Chapel of the Mother of Mercy

Experience and celebrate the Divine Liturgy as it was celebrated for 500 years before Vatican II. The “extraordinary form,” more commonly known as the Tridentine Mass, will be celebrated.


“Vatican II: True Compass for the New Millennium”

6:30 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 28, Butler Reception Room

Edward P. Hahnenberg, Ph.D., of John Carroll University will deliver this address that explores what happened at Vatican II, as well as why the personalities and dramatic events of the Council (one of the most significant religious events of the 20th century) prompted Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to call it the “true compass” for the Catholic Church in the 21st century.


Noon Mass and Benediction

Noon, Fri., March 1, McDonough Chapel of the Mother of Mercy

First Friday Mass in English, followed by Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Latin as it was done before Vatican II.


“Vatican II and its Consequences, Intended and Otherwise”

6:30 p.m., Fri., March 1, Butler Reception Room

Archbishop of Chicago Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., will give a major address followed by a question-and-answer session. Cardinal George will reflect on how the life of the Catholic Church has moved in the past 50 years both in accord with the hopes of the Council fathers and in ways unforeseen by them as they authored and approved the Council documents.

A night prayer with Cardinal George and a reception will immediately follow.


“Vatican II: The Legacy Unfolding” is sponsored by the Office for University Ministry, the Sister Josetta Butler, R.S.M. Fund, and the Department of Religious Studies. For more information, please contact the Office for University Ministry at (773) 298-3900.