Priesthood of the People: Community Legacies of Vatican II

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From 1962-1965, the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican—aka Vatican II—shook the world by convening Catholic clergy from all over the world to reflect on how the Church should interact with the forces of the modern world. In the following decades, this new openness would ripple outward to local parishes, including those here in San Antonio. According to Father David Garcia—Administrator of Mission Concepcion, Director of the Old Spanish Missions in San Antonio, and this month’s guest commentator—Vatican II created a “priesthood of the people” that led to masses in Spanish as well as English, celebrations of Guadalupe, and numerous organizations both inside and outside the church dedicated to new values of community engagement and social change. Ultimately, this shift in mindset within the Church would change the course of San Antonio political history, influencing the formation of numerous organizations such as Las Hermanas, PADRES, and COPS/Metro, which even today is on the forefront of local struggles for social justice and political representation. Sister Yolanda Tarango of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word provides additional commentary.

Joint Meeting of Las Hermanas and PADRES.

Originally a part of the city’s Tricentennial arts activities, Hidden Histories is a monthly, magazine-format video series that pursues and preserves the stories, lives, and places that make San Antonio and surrounding regions an inspiring cultural treasure. Now in its second season, Hidden Histories continues to premiere monthly screenings live in our studio, free of charge. Each screening uncovers important cultural histories of the region by featuring archival interviews with community leaders; significant performances by musicians, dancers and poets; interactions with working artists; lost documentaries; forgotten narrative films; and vintage discussions of important community issues.

All episodes can be viewed for free either live at URBAN-15 studio (2500 S. Presa 78210) or online at

After each live screening, all episodes are archived online for 24/7 access at

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