Guiding Questions

We’re inviting members from our Vatican II generation to share their memories of that founding era of progressive Catholic activism (starting around 1962). Below are some guiding questions to help aid you in these reflections, or to help you interview a loved one about these valuable memories. Please note: these guiding questions are just a starting point– please feel free to adapt and add to them as needed.

If you want to more briefly share your memories of the Vatican II era, you can fill out our People’s History of Vatican II survey.

Guiding Questions:

  • What are your earliest memories of the Catholic Church? How are they different from the Church you know today?
  • How old were you around the time of the Second Vatican Council (approximately 1962-1965)?
  • What did you think (if anything) about the Second Vatican Council as it was in session? Was it discussed in your parish, Catholic school, news, family dinner table? What did members of your Catholic community seem to think of it?
  • Did you have any hopes for the Second Vatican Council as it was in session? Did those hopes come to pass?
  • When did you first start to see Vatican II reforms implemented (examples: changes to the mass, Catholic sisters’ dress, changes in leadership styles)? How long did it take for these changes to “trickle down” to you? What changes did you notice first? What did you think of these changes at the time?
  • How would you have imagined the “future of the Church” in the 1960’s? In the 1970’s? How do you imagine that future today?
  • How have your understandings of the Church, liturgy, laity, priesthood or sacrament been impacted by the reforms of Vatican II?
  • What do you think that we, as a Church, gained through the reforms of the Second Vatican Council? What, if anything, do you think has been lost?
  • What reforms are you still waiting for? What, if anything, would you like to see from a “Vatican III”?

Learn more about the People’s History of Vatican II