Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pick a Pope...Any Pope

Photo from USCCB website
So which of these two popes is your favorite? Not a very objective question is it? Each pope serves in a different context with gifts and challenges of those years. I come from the JPII generation. But, the lasting impact from St. John XXIII is significant. He is known for opening wide the Church to the Holy Spirit through the Second Vatican Council. As a post-Vatican II-born-Catholic, one of the greatest fruits I see of the council today is the universal call to holiness. It was thought that priests and nuns were the ones meant to become holy--not so!  Every man, woman and child is called to be holy and we are supposed to help one another get there. My simple summary of Vatican II!
Quotes USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) chose to highlight.
Quotes highlighting St. John XXIII's use of humor.
What is your favorite quote?
Pope John Paul II was a cool pope!  He came to Washington, D.C., when I was in 5th grade. I was a student at Visitation Academy and we all went with our bright yellow T-shirts that had "Witamy" on the front--"welcome" in Polish. Needless to say, we were so far back in the crowd and so short we couldn't see much of anything. Someone did hold me up for a glimpse and the pope was as big as an ant in the far distance. He did drive by standing up in the sunroof of the limo. We got a good look as he cruised by. 

I was also at World Youth Day in Toronto. It was amazing how he interacted with the thousands of young people present. One way he did this was responding over the sound system to groups or individuals who called out to him.

Pope John Paul II was the first pope I ever "knew." He became pope when I was in 4th grade which is also when I started attending Visitation Academy and received my First Communion. Did you know the John Paul II Cultural Center is being turned into a shrine in Washington, D.C.?

So who is the best of these popes? Is that a fair question? I have heard comments, but each of these human men with their flaws, like us, has served the Church in the context of their time and with the gifts they brought to it and the ways in which they grew.

So how about Pope Francis? What will we say when we look back at his time? Hopefully, it will be much like how he began:

No comments:

Post a Comment