Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Church and Pope

Polish-born pontiff becomes Blessed John Paul II

WARSAW-On Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day he himself had instituted, the late Pope John Paul II joined the ranks of the blesseds who are one step away from Catholic sainthood.  Millions of Poles watched live broadcasts of the beatification in their homes, and at least 100,000 traveled to Rome for the event. They were among some 1.5 million pilgrims from all over the world who had converged on the Vatican to hear Pope Benedict XVI proclaim in Latin: "Through our Apostolic authority we give our assent for the Venerable Servant of God, John Paul II, Pope, to henceforth be called blessed and for his feast day to be observed on October 22nd of each year." That was the date of his 1978 papal inauguration.

Read more: Polish-born pontiff becomes Blessed John Paul II


First Communion in Poland: Past and Present.

Recently we celebrated my daughter's First Communion in Idaho. It reminded me of my First Communion Celebration in my parish church in Krakow Poland over thirty years ago. Also, I was able to locate some of my mother's family photographs that are over 70 years old.

elzbieta gwiozdzik komunia

First Communion in Polish Family in Silesia - about 1930

Read more: First Communion in Poland: Past and Present.


Unitarians' Polish Roots

While Poland is usually thought of as a staunchly Roman Catholic country, the founding of another popular Christian denomination, the Unitarians, can be traced to that nation. Unitarians' main belief is a rejection of the Trinity, that is, belief that God is incarnate in three forms, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is rejected. Instead, they believe in God as a single entity and in Christ as a divine teacher but not as a God. Freedom of religious thought and rationalism are hallmarks of Unitarianism.

Read more: Unitarians' Polish Roots


John Paul's II - Polish Pope's Legacy

When I write these words - our first Polish pope, Karol Wojtyla, the most important man from our land is on the verge between the life and the death. The vigils are kept in churches all over Poland.

Our Polish pope changed the papacy in many ways - he was charismatic and spiritual leader, but also a very warm and down to earth person. He wrote books and poems - but he also worked physically as a young men and liked sport. His many interests helped him to understand people with different backgrounds and cultures better than anybody else. This pope did not do anything because he wanted to please the press, public opinion or poll, he did it because of conviction.

Read more: John Paul's II - Polish Pope's Legacy


Remembering the Pope

I remember the smile on my Dad's face and how excited he was as a Polish American when a Polish Pope was chosen! Pope John Paul II was a hero to our family right from the start. We followed his wonderful achievements throughout his life with pride, tears and smiles. I will never forget my first visit to Poland to teach English with my husband and son just after communism ended. It was evident that they were so very proud of him and the impact and influence of John Paul II was so visible everywhere. Yes, he was a hero, in Poland, in the world and in our hearts.

Read more: Remembering the Pope


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This is Brande from Uganda with a photo of Ela, my daughter.

Polish Pottery

Polish pottery