Great Risks Had to be Taken

The Jesuit Response to the Second Vatican Council, 1958 - 2018

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Patrick J. Howell
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Cascade Books
    , February
     236 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Stephen Schloesser forthcoming.


The renovation of the Jesuits after the Second Vatican Council has been a sign of hope and a cause for consternation. Especially during the turbulence right after the Council, the Jesuits were in the eye of the storm. In this historical memoir, Patrick Howell gives personal insight into how the Council impacted the Society of Jesus and precipitated a radical rethinking of the mission of the Jesuits today. The Council mandated a return of religious orders to the vision of their founders. The Jesuits fortunately had a strong, charismatic founder in St. Ignatius of Loyola with a rich religious and intellectual tradition. By rediscovering their spiritual heritage and restructuring their mission around the signs of the times and the needs of the world, the Jesuits were able to move adroitly into the twenty-first century as a continuing dynamic force for the Church and for the world. 

Howell brings a unique personal perspective to the nature and style of the Church prior to the Council and “an insider’s view” throughout his fifty-seven years as a Jesuit in which he has met many of the personages, witnessed all the changes, and been a direct participant in many of them.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Patrick J. Howell is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Seattle University.


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