Vatican II@50 is a series of programs recognizing the worldwide impact of the Second Vatican Council, convened 50 years ago in 1962 by the enormously influential Pope John XXIII. Among the great legacies of Vatican II are increased tolerance of other religious traditions, a celebration of people’s growing awareness of human dignity, and a renewed perspective on sacred music and art. The Rothko Chapel, John and Dominique de Menil’s gift to Houston, now recognized as an international spiritual landmark, would not exist without the achievement of Vatican II. Vatican II @ 50 will address these and other important questions with lectures, concerts and conversations that focus on the common vision of Vatican II, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel.
Peter F. Steinfels is an American journalist and educator best known for his writings on religious topics. From 1990 to 2010, he wrote a column called "Beliefs" for the religion section of the New York Times. He is a professor at Fordham University and co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture. Steinfels has also written several books, including The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America's Politics and A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.