Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 19, 2007
Doug Roche revisits impact of Vatican II
Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award winner calls for seminars, workshops to mark 50th anniversary
- WCR photo by Glen Argan
Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award winner Doug Roche was likened to Dalai Lama and former vice president Al Gore by Fr. Mike McCaffery.
By GLEN ARGAN
Douglas Roche has challenged Newman Theological College to hold seminars and workshops to mark the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII convoking the Second Vatican Council.
"What has Vatican II meant for the Church? How has Catholic life changed - liturgically, culturally, ecumenically? What does the council continue to say today about the conditions needed to build peace in the world?" Roche asked Nov. 13.
The former WCR editor, MP and senator said the seminars and workshops should commemorate the 50th anniversary of the day Pope John made his surprise announcement that there would be a council - Jan. 25, 2009.
Roche made his call at a luncheon at which he received the Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award from Newman College.
"Our whole community would benefit from renewed attention to the teachings of this historic council," he said.
Named to commemorate Newman College's seventh president, the award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Christian community and beyond.
Newman should hold the seminars - "perhaps in association with the Western Catholic Reporter" - because the two institutions "have done much through the years to extend knowledge and deepen understanding of what it means to be the people of God following Christ," Roche said.
"In their own ways, each is a repository for these sacred teachings."
Roche paid tribute to the late Archbishop Anthony Jordan, who as head of the Edmonton Archdiocese, called Roche to Edmonton to establish the WCR in 1965. Jordan "reposed a confidence in me that was probably unmerited, but which nonetheless challenged me to grow in faith and dedication to the full meaning of Vatican II."
At the award ceremony, today's shepherd, Archbishop Richard Smith, was one of many who paid tribute to Roche.
"The work of Senator Roche clearly stems from the heart of the Gospel itself," Smith said. He "has promoted the reconciliation for which Our Lord has given his life."
"Without voices like his we might let our vigilance wane and we do so at our peril," Smith said of Roche's decades-long crusade for nuclear disarmament.
Father Michael McCaffery, past chancellor of the archdiocese, compared Roche with the Dalai Lama and former U.S. vice president Al Gore. "He is someone concerned about building peace and about the global world in which we live."
"Above all, Doug is a person of hope in a screwed-up world," McCaffery said.