Thursday, 19th April 2018

John Paul II Biographical Profile

Posted on 27. Apr, 2014 in Featured, NEWS

papal visitJOHN PAUL II

KAROL JÓZEF WOJTYŁA, elected Pope on 16 October 1978, was
born in Wadowice, Poland, on 18 May 1920.

He was the third of three children born to Karol Wojtyła and Emilia
Kaczorowska, who died in 1929. His elder brother Edmund, a
physician, died in 1932, and his father, Karol, a non-commissioned
officer in the army, died in 1941.

He was nine years old when he received his First Communion and
eighteen when he received the Sacrament of Confirmation. After
completing high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in the Jagellonian
University of Krakow in 1938.

When the occupying Nazi forces closed the University in 1939,
Karol worked (1940-1944) in a quarry and then in the Solvay
chemical factory to earn a living and to avoid deportation to Germany.

Feeling called to the priesthood, he began his studies in 1942 in
the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by the Archbishop
Adam Stefan Sapieha. During that time, he was one of the organizers
of the “Rhapsodic Theatre”, which was also clandestine.

After the war, Karol continued his studies in the major seminary,
newly reopened, and in the school of theology at the Jagellonian
University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on 1 November
1946. Father Wojtyła was then sent by Cardinal Sapieha to Rome,
where he attained a doctorate in theology (1948). He wrote his
dissertation on faith as understood in the works of Saint John of
the Cross. While a student in Rome, he spent his vacations
exercising pastoral ministry among Polish emigrants in France,
Belgium and Holland.

In 1948, Father Wojtyła returned to Poland and was appointed a
curate in the parish church of Niegowić, near Krakow, and later at
Saint Florian in the city. He was a university chaplain until 1951,
when he again undertook studies in philosophy and theology. In
1953, Father Wojtyła presented a dissertation at the Jagellonian
University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian
ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler. Later he
became professor of moral theology and ethics in the major
seminary of Krakow and in the theology faculty of Lublin.

On 4 July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Father Wojtyła auxiliary
bishop of Krakow, with the titular see of Ombi. Archbishop
Eugeniusz Baziak ordained him in Wawel Cathedral (Krakow)
on 28 September 1958.

On 13 January 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Wojtyła as
Archbishop of Krakow and subsequently, on 26 June 1967, created
him a Cardinal.

Bishop Wojtyła took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962-
1965) and made a significant contribution to the drafting of the
Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He also took part in the five assemblies
of the Synod of Bishops prior to the start of his Pontificate.

On 16 October 1978, Cardinal Wojtyła was elected Pope and on 22
October he began his ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.

Pope John Paul II made 146 pastoral visits in Italy and, as the Bishop
of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 322 Roman parishes. His
international apostolic journeys numbered 104 and were expressions
of the constant pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter for
all the Churches.

His principal documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic
Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters.
He also wrote five books: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October
1994); Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly
Ordination (November 1996); Roman Triptych, meditations in
poetry (March 2003); Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way (May 2004)
and Memory and Identity (February 2005).

Pope John Paul II celebrated 147 beatifications, during which he
proclaimed 1,338 blesseds, and 51 canonizations, for a total of 482
saints. He called 9 consistories, in which he created 231 Cardinals
(plus one in pectore). He also presided at 6 plenary meetings of the
College of Cardinals.

From 1978, Pope John Paul II convoked 15 assemblies of the Synod
of Bishops: 6 ordinary general sessions (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990,
1994 and 2001), 1 extraordinary general session (1985) and 8
special sessions (1980, 1991,1994,1995,1997,1998 (2) and 1999).

On 3 May 1981, an attempt was made on Pope John Paul II’s life
in Saint Peter’s Square. Saved by the maternal hand of the Mother
of God, following a lengthy stay in the hospital, he forgave the
attempted assassin and, aware of having received a great gift,
intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity.

Pope John Paul II also demonstrated his pastoral concern by
erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions,
and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and the
Oriental Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the
Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee Year of 2000,
in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual
experiences. He also attracted young people by beginning the
celebration of World Youth Day.

No other Pope met as many people as Pope John Paul II. More
than 17.6 million pilgrims attended his Wednesday General Audiences
(which numbered over 1,160). This does not include any of
the other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8
million pilgrims in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000 alone). He met
millions of the faithful in the course of his pastoral visits in Italy
and throughout the world. He also received numerous government
officials in audience, including 38 official visits and 738 audiences
and meetings with Heads of State, as well as 246 audiences and
meetings with Prime Ministers.

Pope John Paul II died in the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on
Saturday, 2 April 2005, the vigil of Sunday in albis or Divine Mercy
Sunday, which he had instituted. On 8 April, his solemn funeral
was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square and he was buried in the
crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on 1 May 2011 by
Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate successor and for many years
his valued collaborator as Prefect for the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith.

Booklet for the Celebration of the Canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II, 27 April 2014

Pope John XIII Biographical Profile

Posted on 27. Apr, 2014 in Featured, NEWS


ANGELO GIUSEPPE RONCALLI was born in Sotto il Monte, in the
Diocese and Province of Bergamo, on 25 November 1881. The
fourth of thirteen children, he was baptized that same day. Under
the guidance of an outstanding parish priest, Father Francesco
Rebuzzini, he received a profound ecclesiastical formation which
would sustain him in difficulty and inspire him in the works of
the apostolate.

He received Confirmation and First Communion in 1889 and
entered the Seminary of Bergamo in 1892, where he remained for
studies in classics and theology until his second year of theology.
As a fourteen-year-old boy, he began drawing up the spiritual notes
which he would keep in various ways until his death, and would
later be collected in the Journal of a Soul. It was there that he began
the practice of regular spiritual direction. On 1 March 1896, the
spiritual director of the Seminary of Bergamo, Father Luigi lsacchi,
enrolled him in the Secular Franciscan Order, whose Rule he
professed on 23 May 1897.

From 1901 to 1905 he studied at the Pontifical Roman Seminary,
where he benefited from a scholarship of the Diocese of Bergamo
for qualified seminarians. In the meantime he completed a year
of military service. He was ordained a priest in Rome on 10 August
1904 in the Church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo in Piazza
del Popolo. In 1905, he was named secretary to the new Bishop
of Bergamo, the Most Reverend Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi.
He served as secretary until 1914, accompanying the Bishop on his
pastoral visits and taking part in his numerous pastoral initiatives,
including a Synod, the editorship of the monthly journal La Vita
Diocesana. pilgrimages and various social works. He also taught
history, patrology and apologetics in the Seminary. In 1910, when
the statutes of Catholic Action were revised, the Bishop entrusted
him with the pastoral care of Catholic women (section V). He
wrote for Bergamo’s daily Catholic newspaper, and he was a diligent,
profound and effective preacher.

These were the years of his profound contact with sainted Bishops:
Saint Charles Borromeo (whose Atti della Visita Apostolica, completed
in Bergamo in 1575 he would later publish), Saint Francis de
Sales and Blessed Gregorio Barbarigo. They were also years of great
pastoral activity at the side of Bishop Radini Tedeschi. When the
latter died in 1914, Father Roncalli continued his priestly ministry
as a seminary professor and a spiritual assistant to various ecclesiastical

When Italy entered the war in 1915, he was called to military service
as a sergeant medic. A year later, he became a military chaplain
serving military hospitals behind the lines, and coordinated
the spiritual and moral care of soldiers. At the end of the war he
opened a “Home for Students” and served as a chaplain for students.
In 1919, he was appointed spiritual director of the Seminary.

1921 marked the beginning of the second phase of his life: his service
to the Holy See. Called to Rome by Pope Benedict XV to be
the President for Italy of the central council of the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, he visited many Italian dioceses and organized
missionary circles. In 1925 Pope Pius XI named him Apostolic Visitor
to Bulgaria, elevating him to the episcopal dignity with the titular see
of Areopolis. He chose as his episcopal motto Obtedientia et Pax,
which served as the programme of his Iife.

Ordained bishop in Rome on 19 March 1925, he arrived in Sophia
on 25 April. Subsequently named the first Apostolic Delegate to
Bulgaria, Archbishop Roncalli remained there until1934, visiting
the Catholic communities and fostering respectful relations with
other Christian communities. He was present and offered ready
charitable assistance during the earthquake of 1928. He quietly
endured misunderstandings and the difficulties of a ministry marked
by halting progress. He grew in self-knowledge and confidence,
and in abandonment to Christ crucified.

On 27 November 1934, he was named Apostolic Delegate in Turkey
and Greece. His new assignment covered a vast area. The Catholic
Church was present in many ways throughout the young Turkish
Republic which was in the process of renewing and organizing
itself. His ministry to Catholics was demanding and he became
known for his respectful manner and dialogue with the Orthodox
and Muslims. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was in
Greece, which was devastated by fighting. He sought to gain information
about prisoners of war and he helped to save many Jews by
giving them transit visas issued by the Apostolic Delegation. On
6 December 1944, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Paris by
Pope Pius XII.

During the final months of the war and the first months of peace,
Archbishop Roncalli assisted prisoners of war and worked to restore
stability to the life of the Church in France. He visited the French
shrines and participated in popular feasts and more significant
religious events. He was attentive, prudent and trusting in
his approach to the new pastoral initiatives undertaken by bishops
and priests in France. He constantly sought to embody evangelical
simplicity, even in dealing with the most complex diplomatic issues.
His pastoral desire to be a priest in every situation sustained him.
His deep piety found daily expression in prolonged moments
of prayer and meditation.

On 12 January 1953 he was created Cardinal and on 25 January he
was named Patriarch of Venice. He was delighted to devote himself
in the last years of his life to a directly pastoral ministry, an
aspiration he had always cherished as a priest. He was a wise and
resourceful pastor, following in the footsteps of the holy Bishops
whom he had always venerated: Saint Lawrence Giustiniani, the
first Patriarch of Venice, and Saint Pius X. As he grew older, his
trust in the Lord increased, within the context of an active,
enterprising and joyful ministry.

Following the death of Pius XII, he was elected Pope on 28 October
1958, taking the name John XXIII. In the five years of his pontificate
he appeared to the world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd.
Meek and gentle, resourceful and courageous, simple and ever
active, he undertook various corporal and spiritual works
of mercy, visiting prisoners and the sick, welcoming people of all
nations and religions, demonstrating an exquisite sense of fatherhood
to everyone. His social magisterium was contained in the Encyc1icals
Mater et Magistra (1961) and Pacem in Terris (1963).

He convoked the Synod of Rome, instituted the Commission for
the Revision of the Code of Canon Law, and convened the Second
Vatican Ecumenical Council. As Bishop of Rome, he visited parishes
and churches in the historical centre and in the outskirts.
People saw in him a reflection of benignitas evangelica and called
him the “good Pope”. A profound spirit of prayer sustained him.
He embodied, as the driving force behind a movement of renewal
of the Church, the peace of one who trusts completely in the Lord.
He advanced resolutely along the paths of evangelization,
ecumenism and dialogue, and showed a paternal concern to reach
out to those of his children most in need.

He died the evening of 3 June 1963, the day after Pentecost, in a
profound spirit of abandonment to Jesus, of longing for his embrace,
and surrounded by the prayers of the entire world, which seemed
to gathered at his bedside to breathe with him the love of the Father.

John XXIII was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II on 3 September
2000 in Saint Peter’s Square, during the celebration of the Great Jubilee
of the Year 2000.

Prayer Card Month of May

Posted on 25. Apr, 2014 in Uncategorized

RisenLordClick on the link to open a pdf file of the Parish Monthly Prayer Card.

Bulletin – Sunday 20 April 2014

Posted on 16. Apr, 2014 in Parish Bulletin

If you would like to download the bulletin, please click on the link below.

20 April 2014