Hello, my name is Paul Sanders and I am parish priest of Holy Cross, Carshalton. I was very happy to accept the invitation of Derek Reeve to be involved in Call to Action as we celebrate the 50th birthday of the beginning of the Vatican Council. We have so much to be grateful for to that Council. To illustrate that with a personal story: on Sunday afternoons I go to the parish church at Nunhead to celebrate Mass for the Ecuadorian community there. When I am vesting in the sacristy I try and remember to say a prayer for my parents who were married in that sacristy about 80 years ago (my father not being a Catholic the welcome of the church building for their wedding was not offered them). We, their children grew up knowing our father was not quite the same as us because we had the Faith. While he faithfully played his part in our Catholic upbringing, the only stand he took was as we had baked haddock for Friday lunch he insisted on a lamb chop for himself (and who can blame him!). When the Vatican Council met, and published its documents, we were introduced to episcopal collegiality, an understandable liturgy and other things, but in some respects the greater thing was the atmosphere and attitude and respect for others for which we owe thanks to John XXIII, Paul VI, Cardinal Suenens, John Courtney Murray and so many others, as the Vatican’s windows were opened and the world for whom Christ gave his Gospel was acknowledged and a new attitude of brotherhood and sisterhood was shown to all people. Since the Council many parishes have changed as the People of God share their skills for the growth of the community and the priest is no longer isolated and ‘expert’ in everything; it might be argued that this anticipates a more active collegiality with the bishops helping the Holy See. In the nature of things there are fewer people now who lived through the years of the Council and I feel it is part of our responsibility to try and pass on the true riches of that event , and of the wonderful seeds that were sown then and afterwards and some of the fruit they have borne.