"The stuff priests are made of…" UPDATED

Wow, a great photo via the Crescat, who recounts the story she found here and marvels at "the stuff priests are made of":4 June 1962. Navy chaplain Luis Padillo was giving last rites to dying soldiers as sniper fire surrounded him. A wounded soldier pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them. Hector Rondón Lovera, who had to lie flat to avoid getting shot, later said that he was unsure how he managed to take this picture. [See all pi … [Read more...]

Exile: The Past is Prologue


Pope John Paul II and Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin MeiToday at mass, our priest - by no means a reactionary sort - remarked on the Gospel reading for the day, which was Jn 10:31-42. I took notes, but still am paraphrasing a little:"I think the men who wanted to stone Jesus were offended that he would come in their era, that he would intrude on their time with his messianic talk. Because it's one thing to look for and hope for Messiah, and quite another to have to encounter Messiah - … [Read more...]

Two Popes, One leader

From the National Catholic Register. Very well-worth reading.The new name fit John Paul’s larger-than-life presence. He was, in one iconic description, the "spark that flew forth from Poland to set fire to the whole world." He rallied huge crowds of people as a bishop in Poland, and as Pope. In the images we remember, he is often driving through a sea of people in his popemobile, or standing in front of an ocean of faces with his arms raised.Pope Benedict XVI’s name also fits his very dif … [Read more...]

A month gone, we remember John Paul the Great

My li'l brother Thom directed me to this site; he wanted me to enjoy the many political cartoons celebrating JPII, but if you keep scrolling, you'll see how college students in Poland lighted their dorms upon his death. And then, there is this little gem, which I actually have in my CD rack but had quite forgotten:JPtG singing the Pater Nostre. He begins the song about two minutes or so into it, but the music accompanying his speaking is also very lovely.It is only a month since he is … [Read more...]

More debunking of the “JPII held back women” myth

A very good article sent my way by my dear little brother, Thom, who is the most truly CENTRIST person I know, always fair.Anyway - here are women who knew John Paul the Great, and who advanced in their work because of him, speaking about the changes he has wrought:"If you knock the issue of ordination off the table, women have advanced significantly," even at the Vatican, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in Rome this week.The Vatican … [Read more...]

Why wasn’t JPII put into the ground in a simple shroud

Since today is 3 years since the very affecting funeral of John Paul II, thought I'd repost:An email from a reader:I'm asking this because I think you will answer me respectfully. The service today was beautiful but wasn't it too much? Jesus was buried in a simple shroud, and he was God. What we saw today bordered on idolatry. I have no problems with Catholics, I do believe you are Christians, but I think you are misguided on this.Sigh. Really, I am NOT an apologist. I have no energy for it, … [Read more...]

Final thoughts

At first I thought I would have loved to have live-blogged the funeral of Pope John Paul the Great, but it wasn't necessary, was it? The images, the spontaneous outbursts of applause and cheering - it was most eloquent. But I did have a few thoughts:Today, an event occured which was witnessed by the whole world. A million people knelt in prayer on the cobblestone of St. Peter's. Hundreds of thousands of people publicly received communion in this, the year of the Eucharist. Leaders from all over … [Read more...]

Live-blogging the funeral if blogger will allow it

5:20 AM I am so glad that CNN has John Allen. He really is excellent. And how reverent, now is this Liturgy of the Eucharist.5:00 AM Not a bad homily from Ratzinger. I DO love all the chanting - particularly the chanting of the Gospel in Latin, and I thought the priest chanted it very well. I recall once visiting an Orthodox church, Latin rite, and pretty much the whole Mass was chanted. Between the icons, the chanting...for an hour it felt like we'd left earth and gone to heaven.4:45 AM In the … [Read more...]

Doh! Forgot about Noonan

You have probably read it already, but if you haven't go read her assessment on JPII's part in bringing down communism.Then, I have linked to this already, back when I was live-blogging last weekend, but if you missed it you really MUST read it. Noonan's very moving and exceedingly well-written piece on a a papal audience she attended 'way back in 2002. It's an absolute gem.And this is NOT by Noonan, but by Susan Vigilante, and it's a small, charming piece of a work in progress a book I must get … [Read more...]

The Polish Seminarian and the Jewish Girl he Saved

I'd heard this story but never heard it told before by a member of Edith Zierer's family. It is the very touching account of what happened when a young Jewish girl, released from Nazi prison and cold, hungry, too ill to walk, encountered a Polish Catholic named Karol Wojtyla, a year before his ordination. In January 1945, at 13, she emerged from a Nazi labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland, a waif on the verge of death. Separated from her family, unaware that her mother had been killed by the … [Read more...]