Friday, April 01, 2005

Stories about the pope

A woman named Joanne left a beautiful account of how the pope affected her life as a comment on one of the posts. I'm posting it here so that it will stand out more. If anyone else has any personal stories or remembrances about the pope they would like posted, just leave them as a comment and I'll transfer it to a post (or email me at:

From Joanne: He is the Pope who prayed me back into full practice of my faith. After my connection became tenuous in my twenties, I saw him on TV, praying in a Marian chapel in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, my home diocese. I saw the joy in the people around him, and in my heart I heard a call to come home come home to the joy that was my birthright. And I started going to Mass again. Then I made the brave move and walked through the velvet curtain into a confessional (after more than a decade away) and looked myself in the face again. I feel deeply indebted to him in a personal way.He is a little older than my dad. I think that I am beginning to feel the burden of that great generation's imminent passing. He makes me proud to be Catholic. I can't bear the thought of losing him, but it is so painful to see how he suffers. What it cost him in the last few public appearances just to raise his hand to bless us.


Joanne said...

I'm honored that you would post my humble comment.

A rough day today. At times like this it's hard for me to be a Catholic out in the big cold world. Who would understand if I broke down and wept in the middle of a meeting in the land of the rich and famous overlooking Central Park?

At least tomorrow I can be down at my parish, it's the last day of religious ed for my my 9 year olds. It will be easier to be with people who are of one heart in this sad time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joanne,
God Bless you! Your message has awaken the faithful catholic child, long hidden, who believed with all her heart that Jesus knew and understood my every thought, word and deed. I started and ended every day with a prayer to my Blessed Mother to guide and protect me. When did I get lost in the crowd? Why did I wander for so long?

Great sadness and grief, eventually, led me out of the blinding hot sun, one Sunday in California. When I heard the voice of an angel sing..."Glory to God in the highest, and Peace to His people on earth" I felt I was finally home. The sights and sounds of my childlike faith. What had I forgotten? I was strong then...

The Holy Father held the light of truth, while I was so lost, confused and weak. By standing strong and true, like a beacon in the storm he led me home. In his loving quest to reach out to the least of us, throughout the world, he truly became "The Pope of the People".

God Bless the youth, who bathed in the light of his love, they stayed on course faithfully with such clarity!

Pope John Paul II taught me to forgive and seek forgiveness. If he could forgive the man who tried to kill him, why did I protect and feed my trivial grudges? If he could humbly apologize to the Jewish people for the sins of the Catholic Church, how dare I pass the buck again? The powerful grace of a gift from the Father!

Because I'm slow, I'm only just now starting to understand the lessons of suffering, illness and dying. Once again, the Holy Father, sheds the light, for me to follow. I know he is safely home!