In the fall of 1979, Pope John Paul II, the 264th successor to the Apostle Peter, visited the United States. He was only the second pope to visit the U.S., and the first ever to visit the city of Chicago. He had been to the Windy City once before, as a cardinal; but his visit as Pope assumed a great importance to Catholics in that city and around the world.
In a whirlwind 37-hour trip on October 4-6, the Holy Father addressed 350 American bishops at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, where he said the Church under his leadership would continue to oppose abortion, extramarital sex, homosexuality and divorce.
And with the skyscrapers of Chicago’s Loop in the background, he said Mass in Grant Park for an estimated 200,000 people from all ages, races and religions–the largest mass ever celebrated in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune quoted from his homily:
“Looking at you, I see people who have thrown their destinies together and now write a common history. . . . This is the way America was conceived; this is what she was called to be. . . . But there is another reality that I see when I look at you. . . . your unity as members of the People of God.”
In this video, he leads the bishops, clergy and religious, and lay people gathered in Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral in singing the Our Father (Pater Noster). He has quite a strong voice!