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December First Friday Lecture Looks Back at Second Vatican Council


December First Friday Lecture Looks Back at Second Vatican Council

Fr. William Graf, Chair of the Religious Studies Department and the William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies, will present “50 Years After Vatican II: A Look Back at the Convening of the Second Vatican Council” for the First Friday Lecture on December 6.  The lecture will take place in Coleman Chapel in Murphy Hall at 10:00 a.m., and will include a 9:00 a.m. mass, followed by breakfast.

To understand the exciting times of the Second Vatican Council (October 1962-December 1965), Graf will briefly explore its origins and the turbulent sessions that took place over three years. Why would a 77-year-old Pope want to call an ecumenical council? Why would the Curia want to question any possible changes? The last five Popes (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI) played a role during those sessions; while Pope Francis was not yet ordained a priest.

Graf is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester who first came to Fisher in January 1982 on a part-time basis. Aside from teaching, he has also served on a variety of committees including the Academic Standing Committee and the Catholic Heritage sub-committee of the College's Board of Trustees. As a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, he has been the Coordinator of the Priestly Life and Ministry Committee and served as a psychological consultant for the Marriage Tribunal. In recent months, he has given a variety of presentations locally and abroad in Ireland. His years in the classroom, as well as 53 years in parish ministry, allowed him the opportunity to witness the theory and practice of the various documents that flowed from the exciting times of Vatican II. 

The First Friday Lecture Series is designed for individuals who are interested in hearing learned perspectives on a variety of topics from members of the St. John Fisher College community.

Parking is available in Lot X and V near Murphy Hall. For more information about the lecture series or to register for the lecture, please call (585) 385-7350 or email

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