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Vatican II

What is Vatican II? Many of the important events from the 1960s and 1970s that are discussed in this site, including changes to the architecture and decoration of the chapel, the dress of the Sisters, the schedule within the Convent and the relationships between the Sisters and other figures from the Roman Catholic Church, such as the priests, were based on Vatican II. The full name of Vatican II was The Second Vatican Council. The Roman Catholic Church held council, to meet and discuss issues over a period of three years, between 1962 and 1965.

This council was ecumenical, meaning that the participants had doctrinal differences, or differences in the ways they expressed their religious beliefs. These meetings and discussions were held in order to arrange liturgical and organizational reforms in the Roman Catholic Church, and to change the hierarchy of Church officials and how they presented services to their congregations.

In addition to attempting to transcend the various differences in belief systems of Catholics around the world, the Church wanted to include the laity, the people who were not priests, nuns, monks and other ordained Catholics. After Vatican II, services could be held in English, French and other languages, where they were only in Latin prior to these decisions. The altar in the chapel at St. Ann's, and many other churches, was turned around, so that the priest faced the congregation, instead of performing his religious duties in secrecy. The Sisters no longer had to dress in the Holy Habit, and could wear the same clothes as everybody else. Some were happy about the changes brought by Vatican II, but others, who had lived their whole lives as Catholics under the old way of doing things, had a difficult time adjusting.