Thousands of faithful Catholics carry torches in a procession in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Oct. 11, 1962, the opening day of the historic Second Vatican Council. Over a three-year period, more than 2,000 bishops from around the world issued 16 landmark documents, which championed a more inclusive, less hierarchical and open church.
Credit Girolamo Di Majo / AP
Pope John XXIII waves a hand in blessing during the opening day of Vatican II, on Oct. 11, 1962. The newly elected pope surprised many Catholics by convening the gathering, the first of its kind in nearly a century.
Credit Raoul Fornezza / AP
Pope John XXIII is carried on a portable throne down the aisle in St. Peter's Basilica on Oct. 11, 1962. Despite the pontiff's call for openness, certain issues — such as priestly celibacy — remained off-limits.
At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.
Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.
As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.
Ken Rensink found his calling, teaching special education, after a debilitating accident when he was 19. Now 47, he talked about his journey with friend and colleague Laurel Hill-Ward at StoryCorps in Chico, Calif.
Ken Rensink's path to special education teaching began when he was 19, just one day after he completed his training for the U.S. Army Reserves. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car, hit a telephone pole and nearly lost his life.
"I was paralyzed from the waist down," Ken told friend Laurel Hill-Ward, a Chico State University professor who trains special education teachers. "My left arm was so weak, I could barely hold a plastic cup of water."
The deadline for voter registration for this year’s elections is Tuesday, October 9. Have you registered?
Regrettably, political and legal battles over voter identification laws compel me to ask, "Have you registered correctly?"
“One percent rapper” Nikki Minaj proclaimed that she intended to vote for Mitt Romney, but later a charged public discovered that darling Nikki hasn’t registered to vote. We’ll chalk that up as an oversight. However, several rappers have made it clear that they’re not voting.
Louisiana lawmakers are heading into classrooms starting this week, as part of the national Legislators Back to School Program.
Started in 1999, the program encourages lawmakers to spend a day visiting classrooms to tell students what it's like to be an elected official. The program is an initiative of the National Conference of State Legislators.
The Times-Picayune reports that lawmakers will begin stopping by classrooms this week and continue to participate in the program throughout the year.
The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk have a Friday morning ceremony to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action. It culminates with a motorcycle ride led by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
Since 1979, the third Friday in September has been a national day to recognize U.S. service members who were held prisoner or remain missing, and their families.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is giving $1 million to a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans in northeast Louisiana.
The funds will go to the Wellspring Alliance for Families Inc., a group based in Monroe that provides housing for homeless veterans.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., says the money comes from a VA program that seeks to help veterans who are in the most need of aid — such as women with children, those from American-Indian tribes and those with drug addiction and mental health problems.