A Tribute to Papa

A Tribute to Papa

Today is the anniversary of the death of our dear papa, John Paul II. Two years ago Dom and I, just recently engaged, were at a conference with Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Dom was working for CWNews at that point and thus was frequently dodging back to the lobby to check on the latest news so he could post the update on CWN when it came. We were pretty certain it could come that day. When the news did come, Fr. Clark, whose parish was hosting the conference, quietly told Scott who then led us in prayer. There, among my brothers and sisters in faith, at the threshold of my new life with Dom, I paused to pray for our dear Papa and remembered what my sister had said the day before: imagine him dancing with Mother Teresa. Oh the joy in heaven!

Many people have been sharing their reflections and remembrances on this anniversary, but so far the best thing I’ve seen on the internet on the subject is Elizabeth Foss’s reflection. She shares her memories and experiences, here, a loving tribute to the Papa we all loved.

Update: Another beautiful reflection from Karen Edmisten. I especially love this part:

… although I knew his prayers for �all the faithful� included me, I also knew that on a practical level, JPII didn�t know me. He didn�t know for whom or for what I prayed, he didn�t know my private struggles and many weaknesses. He didn�t know how much I personally needed him. Now he does.

As I prayed at Mass, on Divine Mercy Sunday, I felt an overwhelming need to cry out to my papa. I asked him to pray for me. I felt drenched in his love and paternal concern as I imagined his beaming face. I felt convinced, down to my bones, that he now knows. He knows every private struggle that I reveal to him in prayer and he will lay them before my Heavenly Father�s throne, in urgent and loving intercession. He is now present to me as never before.

Another update: Oh, I’m crying again! Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men

writes about her son Simeon, who like so many children I know, like my own nephew JohnPaul, was spontaneously attracted to John Paul II, in love with him not because of parental prompting but because he was our Papa and inspired such love:

“Oh, Simeon,” I said gently,“Pope John Paul died today.”

He looked at me with surprise. This was the first he had heard that the Pope was even unwell. He hadn’t been expecting this like I had been.

“Really?” he asked as his eyes filled with tears.

“Oh Simeon,” I said and embraced him. As he sobbed in my arms, I let go my own emotions and cried, too. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, I saw my six year old son in some way as an equal. Not so much that he had grown up or that I had become very little, but we met somehow on a plane outside of time. For one beautiful moment, my son and I were a brother and sister in the Faith, comforting one another because we had lost our dearly beloved “Papa in Rome.”


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  • I really love this hymn but it is also the occasion for one of the funniest (to me) family stories I have.  I had to take my home-schooled child to RE class for two weeks before he made his First Confession and Communion with that group.  He came home in tears and told me that they had practiced this song and he hadn’t quite learned it but he had to sing it in the confessional and he just couldn’t.  He absolutely would NOT believe that I KNEW that he didn’t have to sing it for confession, it was for Communion.  I hadn’t been in class so how could I know.  I had to call the Director and have her tell him that I was right.  She reported this to the priest and he howled with laughter and swore he WAS going to demand it in the confessional.  Sorry about the caps but there’s no other way to tell this story.