When Blessed Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11, 1962, his hopes — and those of the Church — were to ordain a "new Pentecost."

His successors, most notably Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have reiterated the Council’s central task to guard the deposit of Christian doctrine that has been continuous through the centuries and to make the Church more accessible to the world so that all people would receive Christ’s love.

Our page-one story on the 50th anniversary of the historic — and often misinterpreted — Council sets the tone for EWTN’s and the Register’s extensive coverage of this important event in the Church’s history.

The celebration of the Council coincides with our yearlong coverage of the Year of Faith, Oct. 11-Nov. 24, 2013, called for by Pope Benedict XVI.

Keeping these tremendous opportunities for spiritual growth in mind, I pray that all of you will reflect on the true spirit of Vatican II and that by study, introspection and prayer, the Year of Faith may be a fruitful one for you, your families and our Church.

God bless you!