“Vatican II at 50” was the topic of a daylong symposium at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora on Oct. 23. Among the presenters were Father Gabriel Scarfia, OFM (left), professor of theology at the seminary, and Father Peter Drilling, president and rector of the seminary.
“The impact of Vatican II has been enormous,” Father Drilling said. “We need to work even more together (today) to move the Church forward. You can’t just leave it to the priests to do it. We’ve learned over the last 50 years that we all have to be working together.”
Father Drilling recalled when he was first ordained a priest the work of the council was beginning to take hold. He was assigned to Mother of Divine Grace Parish in Cheektowaga in the fall of 1968. “It was wonderful. Al the new ways in which everybody could get involved. We started to look for people to proclaim the scripture at Mass on Sundays. People came forward. We worked on how to understand the scriptures better. The lay people began to start teaching in the religious education program, trained by the sisters. It was wonderful to see the burgeoning of new ways in which the laity could become involved in the active ministry of the Church.”
Father Gabriel Scarfia, OFM, professor of systematic theology at the seminary, was part of a panel with Father Drilling that addressed the Dogmatic Constitution on the Churchy. He quoted Pope John XXIII: “What this (Vatican II) council is really about is the Church in relationship to herself, and her relationship to outside influences.”
About 150 people attended the symposium, which featured seminary faculty, staff and seminary associates, highlighting the resources available through Christ the King Seminary.