An Occasion of Great Joy

Today’s announcement that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has approved the cause for canonization of two of his beloved predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, is an occasion of great joy for the entire Church!

These two great Popes each had a profound impact on the Church and the world.  In beginning the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII helped present the timeless teaching of Jesus and His Church in the modern age.  And, Pope John Paul II helped to bring that teaching to every corner of the globe, as a tireless missionary for the faith.

I know that today’s news has gladdened the hearts of the faithful throughout the world, just as it did for me.  I look forward to being with Pope Francis when he raises to the altars of sainthood these two tremendous apostles of Jesus.

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One Response to “An Occasion of Great Joy”

  1. mike robinson says:

    On Easter Sunday and again this weekend, Pope Francis declared that there is hardly any work more crucial in and for our Church than the New Evangelization. He even called for “all hands on deck,” i.e. for every practicing Catholic, clerical, religious, or lay, to assist in this all-important labor of love.
    Though I left the priesthood years ago (in good standing), and went on to marry and raise six children, I hear this call reaching me, ears, heart, and soul. I had actually been quite busy at the job long before he sounded the call. I was busy praying at my kneeler in Fishkill and jotting down a record of the hopes and hurts of my fellow kneelers. My wife and many priests and religious friends encouraged me to type these into a little book called A Squeaky Kneeler, quite a unique story and perspective on things Catholic. I accepted their challenge with my main goal being the return of sheep to the fold. Within a week after publication, I read this response from a man in Arizona: “Upon reading…I returned to my Church after so many years away, found my old pew, and even bent to kiss my kneeler, whom I had missed more than I knew.” My writing was worth it – for that man alone. But if it had such an impact, should I stop there?
    My book continues to find widespread readership, and I have been so welcomed even to
    speak in other denominations’ houses. Dear Christoph Arnold, upon reading, invited me and
    my entire family to dine with him and his. In February, Cardinal Dolan, when you visited my
    parish, I handed you a copy, and you said, “Maybe you can be a guest on my show.” In the
    book I present Pope John XXIII and you as two of the brightest lights of Hope for our multi-
    fractured Church. I hope that I am not wrong. Many of your own clergy who try to shoot down
    my high hopes, telling me that you are just another man who loves to hear himself speak, present a gloomy picture far different than my Glorious one of you as a true successor of Good John. He was my first hero as a child, and few could ever replace him. Theirs presents an attitude which, I fear, is worse than any recent scandal. I will pray that you will be truly open to the work of the Spirit, Whom your sheep do Love so much.