Earlier this year, I was invited by our community of Daughters of St. Paul in Johannesburg, South Africa, to take part in a two-year program running up to the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope John XXIII announced his intention to call for a council Jan. 25, 1959, a mere three months into his pontificate. He convoked the council on Oct. 11, 1962, and Pope Paul VI closed the council Dec. 8, 1965.
The program is titled "Hope&Joy," drawn from the opening words of the final document of Vatican II, "Gaudium et spes," or "The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World." This document was not envisioned or planned before the council convened like the others, but emerged from the work and input of the council participants, and, one might surmise, their associates and consultants and the Holy Spirit. It was promulgated on Dec. 7, 1965, one day before the end of the Second Vatican Council. (I am not sure yet why they chose hope and joy rather than the exact translation "joy and hope.")