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The Spirit of Vatican II

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The Spirit of Vatican II


"[A] deeply researched but lively social history that uses the affecting story of [McDannell's] own mother as the narrative thread…. This is indispensable history for today’s Catholics—and others—to learn, and McDannell has told the tale well and with a depth and context that places the council in time and space, but also acknowledges a conciliar spirit that blows where it will."--Publisher's Weekly


"Part social history, part family memoir, Colleen McDannell's The Spirit of Vatican II beautifully evokes the dramatic transformation of Catholicism in the middle decades of the twentieth century. The way she entwines her stories of family and church is a breath of fresh air all its own. "--Leigh E. Schmidt, Charles Warren Professor of American Religious History at Harvard University


"A vividly described and richly detailed history of American Catholic lives in the thrilling, challenging era of Vatican II. In a way that only she can do, Colleen McDannell's story ranges from a gripping account of the unfolding work of the Council fathers to how a young wife and mother — her own mother, whose life is the heart of this book —e xperienced the times. McDannell brings readers very close to what these times felt like to Catholics, especially Catholic women, in their changing church and in the changed world around them, and she makes clear women’s central role in enacting the spirit of the Council in their parishes and schools. Colleen McDannell is a great historian and The Spirit of Vatican II is a masterwork. "--Robert Orsi, author of The Madonna of 115th Street and Thank You, Saint Jude



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