Keynote Speakers

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ  & Dr. Michael Attridge

The keynote speakers will each give a lecture to all symposium participants.


Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ

Archbishop Prendergast entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He holds Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University, a Masters and Doctorate of Theology from St. Mary’s University. He taught at the Atlantic School of Theology and was Rector of Regis College from 1981 to 1987 and Dean of Theology from 1991 to 1994. When nominated as Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto he was a visiting Professor at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. He was installed as Archbishop of Halifax in 1998, then named Archbishop of Ottawa May 2007. After serving on the Canadian Bishops' Commission for Relations with Associations of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Laity, Bishop Prendergast is now a member of the CCCB Theology Commission and co-chair of the national Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue. Aside from other pastoral involvements, Bishop Prendergast is a teacher, writer and retreat giver. For several years he has written a weekly Scripture column in the Catholic Register. He has recently written Living God’s Word: Reflections on the Sunday Readings for Year C, published by Novalis, the final volume of a three book series.  


Dr. Michael Attridge

Dr. Michael Attridge in 2003, his PhD in Theology with a dissertation on the Christology of the Second Vatican Council. In 2002, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the ecclesiastical faculty, Regis College, Toronto. He joined the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael's in 2004, as Assistant Professor. His research is on the reception and hermeneutics of Vatican II and more recently on the influence and impact of Vatican II in Canada. He is the editor of two books: In God's Hands: Essays on the Church and Ecumenism in Honour of Michael A. Fahey (Peeters, 2006), and Jews and Catholics Together: Celebrating the Legacy of Nostra Aetate (Novalis, 2007). Two other edited works will appear in 2011/2012: Vatican II in Canada (University of Ottawa Press, 2011), and The Contribution of Canadian Anglican Theologian Eugene R. Fairweather to Vatican II (Peeters/Leuven). In 2010, he began a new research project on the contributions of Bishops Alexander Carter and Emmett Carter to Vatican II, the Canadian church, and society.


Keynote Address

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ
Liturgy and Life
In October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI recalled, “I have often insisted on the need to the ‘letter’ of the Council―that is to its texts―also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and...I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them. Reference to the documents saves us from extremes of anachronistic nostalgia and running too far ahead, and allows what is new to be welcomed in a context of continuity.”

I see my presentation as an exploration of this theme by attending to two of the key texts of the Second Vatican Council, the Constitution on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum concilium) and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes). My paper I will explore the link between the Church’s interior life of prayer and the way that that inner life leads to the transformation of society through Christian engagement in the world, including the crucial issues of our time those of the sacredness of life and work for justice and peace.


Dr. Michael Attridge
Canadian Bishops and Vatican II: New Investigations
Much scholarly work has been done on the Second Vatican Council in the past fifty years. Historical and theological commentaries, colloquia on the reception and implementation of Vatican II and debates about the interpretation of the Council have helped to further our understanding of this great, twentieth-century, ecclesial event. In the past twenty years, aided by access to the personal archives of many Council attendees, the focus has been on reconstructing what happened at Vatican II: Who were the lead protagonists? How did they shape the Council agenda? What was their intention? etc. The focus has been on Belgian, Dutch, German and French influences on Vatican II, including the important contributions of Francophone Canadians. Much less work though has been done on the other Canadian bishops at the Council. Thus, using recent archival research, this paper will begin to investigate the importance of some of these other Canadians at Vatican II and how the Council, in turn, influenced them in shaping Canadian Church and society.