Saturday, March 25, 2017
   
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Church and Pope

Papal Audience: Handshake with John Paul II, the Holy Father

A couple years ago, just a few months after I had two new knees replaced by Dr. Sridhar, my Sacred Heart - St. Gerard combined choir (I was a director then) made a trip planned to the Vatican to sing at St. Peter's - and also to meet the Pope for the Wednesday Papal gathering.

Handshake with the Holy FatherFor a number of days before that particular Wednesday, the entire choir traveled Venice - Padua - Florence - Sienna - Assisi and Rome - a fabulous trip! Along the way, my husband Dick was my official wheelchair pusher - since he was not sure whether I was going to be able to hold up on the cobblestones. The doctor had said I'd be OK - but it didn't take long to realize, Italy has some "hard roads" to travel - so the rented wheel chair was probably the best $100 Dick ever spent.

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Pope John Paul II Legacy

As I write this article, the pope has just undergone tracheotomy surgery. This surgery is done to save life but at the expense of permanent damage. The throat of a patient is cut to allow more air to get to the lungs through a special tube. My mother had the same surgery a year before she passed away, so I know how many inconveniences this brings. The patient need to learn talking, eating, and bathing with the tube inside; the mucus that gathers in the tube needs to be suctioned away. This surgery is done as a last resort, since it makes the life of the patient and people around him difficult.

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Are Poles good Catholics?

The latest presidential election in the USA showed how religion and moral values are important in American society. I this article I focus on Poland and how Poland stands on religious issues as compared to the rest of Europe.

First of all - why is Poland so different than the rest of Europe in the aspect of religion? Why do Poles insist that Christianity should be mentioned as a fundamental of the European Constitution whereas the rest of Europe, especially the Western Europe, opposes it so much?

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John Paul II: 25th Anniversary of the Pontificate

I was hesitating to write an article about the Polish pope. John Paul II is still here with us, although his body is weak, his mind is still strong. I still believe that the pope is 'not finished' yet, as some people and mass media would like to see him, debating his possible successors already. I also did not want to write just one more very general article about the pope. So, I am not going to start talking about his birth and his career, I would just focus on some aspects of his activities and my memories of him. Let me focus here on pope's pilgrimages and his influence into the common person in Poland in the aspect of the political system which we had and his influence on the world.

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Pope John Paul II: Pilgrimages to Poland

Every pope's visit in Poland was a festivity, a very special event for almost all Poles. Every time he was leaving - it was hard to go back to the everyday routine.

During his first pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979, the pope was talking about human dignity. He prayed: "Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth". He was referring also to Polish Christian heritage, to our rich history before communism. He also built amazing bond with young people because of his sense of humor, energy and youthfulness. When people listened to the pope, they realized that they have inner strength. They looked around at the countless crowds and they realized they have also power because there is so many of them who want the same! The pope breached a strict censorship in mass media since his sermons were often broadcast live.

Read more: Pope John Paul II: Pilgrimages to Poland

   

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