For the next several years we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. There is a great resource for observing this historic event produced right here in our own parish by your fellow parishioners. It is about 40 different personal reflections, each one on a different document or facet of VCII. Each week a different reflection is available in the pamphlet racks in the back of the church, but a much wider selection is available at the parish website, www.staustin.org. Currently FIVE different reflections are available, and more will be added as time goes by. Hopefully YOU will be inspired to submit your own reflection on VCII.
There are two ways to find the reflections on our website. The easy way is to watch the scrolling picture in the upper left of the home page and when it comes to the picture that says on top “THE YEAR OF FAITH” and on the bottom “Click to read parishioner reflections” just click anywhere on the picture. For those more technically prone who enjoy navigating web pages, put your cursor on the grey headline banner over the word “FORMATION.” This produces a drop-down menu, the last item of which is “YEAR OF FAITH.” Click on that and you will come to a short page that, not surprisingly, is a description of the Year of Faith. Anyway, on the left of that page is a column labeled “LINKS.” The first item in that column has the snappy title: “Parishioner Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.” Click on that and you at last arrive at the page with the St. Austin parishioners’ personal reflections on VCII. To go directly to the webpage, just type. (Or my technical director says you can just type www.staustin.org/V2Reflections into your web browser.)
It is worth the effort to go to this page because in addition to the personal reflections on VCII, there are links to a great many other resources. There is a timeline for VCII, videos on the history of VCII, synopsis of the VCII documents if you want to get just the gist of them, the full and complete versions of all the Vatican Council II documents – in several languages – and various commentaries on the meaning of Vatican II from different points of view. My favorite is the last one, the blog by Fr. William Grimm, a Maryknoll priest in Japan. So enjoy!
While you are navigating around our parish website, I recommend you place your cursor on the word “ABOUT” on the grey banner on the home page. On the drop-down menu that appears, click on the line that says “Parish Staff.” On that page you can see two very nice videos – one an interview with Fr. René Constanza and the other with Deacon Billy Atkins, giving you a chance to meet and learn about them in a more relaxed, personal way. Eventually we will add video interviews with other staff members, such as Fr. Bob Cary.
While you are on the parish website, why not upload a picture of your family to the parish online picture directory? Help make this resource a great help for the parish staff (with so many new Paulists here this would be a fantastic help), and for all of the parish. You may even find out who that is who always sits in front of you at church! The only way I know to do this is go to the parish website, www.staustin.org, on the top grey banner go to the word “COMMUNICATIONS.” On the drop-down menu that appears click on Weekly Bulletins. Then click on Bulletin – October 14, 2012. When that loads scroll down to about the fifth page, where the right hand column is titled: “Are you ready for our online directory?” There you will find instructions to upload your family photo. Pretty neat. (Or as my technical director points out, visit www.staustin.org/churchdb and look for the Directory instruction page.)
Our parish website is a great resource and tool. I encourage you to take advantage of it.