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Open this Year of Faith


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When I look back at the unexpected turns my life has taken, two things -- very much related -- stand out. The first is becoming Catholic. The second is having eight children. I suppose when I say "related," I really mean "dependent." The truth is that I never would have gone beyond the first two children if I had remained an Evangelical Protestant. Actually, I've told our kids more than once that most of them owe their existence to RCIA.

But, if I look just one step further, it is clear to me that I never would have come into full communion with the Catholic Church if it wasn't for Vatican II. It isn't because Latin, or chapel veils, or the priest facing away from me would have been deal-breakers. They wouldn't have been. Actually, most of the visible changes didn't make that much of a difference to me. And some of how the Council was implemented was awkward, unwieldy, even unwise. But what was less openly visible -- the Church's confident new openness to the world -- changed my life.

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