Unfinished Pentecost tells the story of the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath through the eyes of men and women religious who witnessed that remarkable turning point as students in Rome (1962-65) and whose subsequent lives were strongly influenced by the shock waves that continue to reverberate. In oral history style, those who viewed Vatican II up close, reflect back with a half-century’s hindsight on how the experience helped shape who they are today. Because their time studying in Rome coincided with the Council, they have become known as “The Council Class.” Energized and inspired by their experiences, they returned to the U.S. to begin, or continue, their ministries in a changed country during a very turbulent time. Many became disillusioned by resistance in the Church to the Council’s call for reform, and a good number subsequently left active ministry to start families and pursue other careers. Those who remained active had their own struggles to contend with. The book includes a brief, user-friendly overview of the Council for those who need a refresher, then plunges into the “conversations,” which give readers a vivid sense of the broad conflicts, tensions, and fault lines existing within the current Catholic Church. Those issues include celibacy, ordination of women, reform of Church governance, ecumenism, religious liberty, primacy of conscience, and the future of the Church. But it also includes stories of the personal growing pains that led to hard-won wisdom. Personalities come through, in their own voices, and the reader gets to know a number of remarkable individuals. The applications extend beyond the Catholic Church to any institution attempting to remain viable as the times around them change.Ken Trainor is a lifelong, “free-range” Catholic who spent the 7 years immediately following Vatican II in the Chicago Archdiocesan seminary system. He left the seminary to study in Rome, then completed his B.A. in Literature at Loyola University of Chicago. Some years later, he added a master’s degree in creative writing from Colorado State University. A storyteller, chronicler of life and occasional provocateur, he has been a community journalist and newspaper editor in Oak Park, Illinois, for the past 22 years. Since 1985, he has honed his storytelling skills as a weekly columnist for a series of newspapers in Ft. Collins, Colorado; Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; and Oak Park. In the 1990s, he wrote a monthly parenting column for Chicago Parent Magazine. His son, Dylan was frequently the focus. In addition to other awards, he has been named best columnist by the Illinois Press Association four times. Examples of his work can be found at OakPark.com. He was born and raised and is back living in Oak Park, the village that gave the world Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway, whose footsteps he has followed (up to a point). His first book, We Dare to Say, was published by ACTA Publications in 2007. Most of all, he enjoys telling the stories of inspiring people, which is how this book came about.
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