Pastor's Note

Fr. Jim


Greetings in Christ to you all!

Monday, May 18 marked the centenary of the birth of Pope St. John Paul II. Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland, he would survive the Nazi invasion of Poland and the iron fist of Communist rule. Karol attended seminary secretly, when to do so
would bring a death sentence from the Nazis. He would go on to be ordained a priest, archbishop of Krakow, and would be made a cardinal, participating in the Second Vatican Council. He was elected Pope in 1978, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. He became one of the longestserving Popes in modern history, and certainly the most widely travelled, having visited numerous countries on apostolic visits. One of the more treasured moments in the history of my seminary came when he visited in October
1995. New seminarians are still invited to pray and given a blessing at the pew where he prayed.

It is difficult to assess the impact Pope St. John Paul II had in the space of a column like this, but it is no
understatement to say that it was colossal. He became an example of what a priest, a bishop, and a pope is to be. Of his many successes, however, perhaps the most notable was the reminder he gave that faith is not only relevant in the modern world, it is vital. So many ideologies in the past two centuries have sought to replace God, to make Him obsolete, but they have all failed to satisfy. God alone suffices to fill our deepest needs. By his life and ministry, Pope St. John Paul II was a living sign of how the grace of God enriches and enlivens the human person. Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!

Fr. Ken Kirkman