Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pope John Paul II: Two Years Later

When I went to Rome one of the things I was determined to get to was Pope John Paul II's tomb. It would be the closest I had ever gotten to my hero.

I felt a little bad that I was strolling right by so many other Popes. We have an extraordinary history with our Popes. However, being raised by John Paul, I felt the most connected to him and that I owed him so much of who I am to him.

I'm not going to lie. When I got there, I couldn't hold back the tears...again. Even two years later, I still found I miss him a great deal. There must be lots of pilgrims who need time with him because there is an area that is roped off so that people can sit and pray...or cry, as I did.

For me it was a graced time to sit and thank JPII for his sacrifices, prayer, encouragement, love and teaching. It was the closest, in body, that I've ever been to my hero, though I love that I can talk to him anytime I want now.

What really blessed me-and will stick with me for a long time-is watching the pilgrims going by. Many of the over 50 crowd seemed to meander on past his tomb. Now, maybe they weren't Catholic or weren't as attached to him as I am. But nearly every pilgrim who was 40 and under stopped, said a prayer, blew him a kiss and took some time at his tomb. Even better was watching high schoolers shush each other and say a prayer. They didn't have to be told: They got him. They knew he loved them. They know what he gave them. And they are our next leaders.



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