Close Encounters with Pope John Paul II

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Here are a few photos from visits to Rome that I made with students from the St. Philip Neri Newman Center at the University of Tulsa.

In 2000, we were lucky to attend a special Mass for the 80th birthday of JPII.    In 2004, we attended both a papal audience and the Canonization Mass for six saints, including a favorite of mine, St. Gianna Beretta Molla.

I’ve also included a photo from 2011, when I was honored to attend the JPII’s Beatification Mass.  I traveled there with Fr. Roderick Vonhogen and was lucky to also attend the Vatican Bloggers Conference held the next day.  I met several notable Catholic bloggers then who I now count as friends.  You can read my posts from then herehere, and here.

In a few days. Pope John Paul II will himself be canonized, along with Pope John XXIII.  While I won’t be there physically, I’m quite sure that I’ll be there spiritually, following along with all the coverage, hearkening back to the times when I was actually in the presence of a saint.