Thursday, April 2, 2015

Remembering John Paul II: 10th Anniversary of His Death

At 9:37 p.m. on the evening of April 2, 2005, (a Saturday) Pope John Paul II died.

I will never forget it, not only because I loved him more than I realized until heard that news, but also for the company I was keeping at that moment. Mama T, Smock Mama, Steven Riddle and I were sitting in the Rockfish Grill dawdling over a long, enjoyable lunch. As I wrote the next day...
We were in a restaurant but it was as if we were in a soundproof bubble. Nothing else existed except the four of us and our shared, mingled sadness and joy. Tears flowed and we clasped hands and shared prayer together for our pope and our church. What an odd "coincidence" for us to be together to share that moment ... as if I believed in coincidence. In fact, my husband has said three times that he still can't believe how odd it was that I was with those St. Blog's parishioners at that time (and he doesn't repeat himself like that).
Of course, as much as I loved John Paul II, it must be admitted that no one is perfect. For instance, I can't believe he didn't use a Mac. But we will overlook these little flaws.

For one thing I feel sure he'd have enjoyed listening to A Good Story is Hard to Find on any device he had handy, Mac or not.

Today we are living in an age of instant communications. But do you realize what a unique form of communication prayer is? Prayer enables us to meet God at the most profound level of our being. It connects us directly to God, the living God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in a constant exchange of love.
Pope John Paul II
Celebration with Youth, St. Louis, 1999
The above photo and quote is one of a series that I did during those days of mourning afterward. I like looking through them. They remind me of what a treasure he was for the Church ... and for me.

It is so odd to realize that he became an official saint so fast. Though, of course, the Church was just affirming what we all knew when John Paul the Great was among us. How blessed I am to have been a Catholic in the days of his papacy.
This was written much later but is my review of Peggy Noonan's book, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father. I highly recommend it and there are several good links in that review as well.


  1. I can pinpoint my decision to become a Catholic to the time of his death and also to then Cardinal Ratzinger's powerful witness during the days following.

    Also: I miss the Summa Mamas: where are they now?

    1. I miss them too. I don't know ... I guess they are just living life ...

      What a wonderful thing that that time changed your life so much. Thank you for telling me. :-)