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U.S. Catholics, Pope Had a Special Bond
AP ^ | 4/28/11

Posted on 04/28/2011 5:48:24 AM PDT by marshmallow

RALEIGH, N.C. — The upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II is being greeted by millions of American Catholics almost like an honor for a hometown hero.

The Polish pontiff had a special bond with the U.S. He visited the U.S. seven times between 1979 and 1999, including stops in places such as Des Moines, Denver and Columbia, S.C., along with the more familiar Catholic strongholds.

His enduring popularity can be partially gauged in the enthusiasm greeting his beatification. Masses are being offered in dioceses across the country, and Catholic bookstores are putting out special displays of books and memorabilia tied to the beatification.

At least 30 schools around the U.S. are named for Pope John Paul II, with several of them hosting special Masses, art shows or other programs to coincide with Sunday's beatification in Rome. A delegation of faculty members from Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., has already left for Rome, according to Headmaster Faustin Weber.

But the bond between a Polish pope focused on the problems of Eastern Europe under Communist domination and the American public wasn't necessarily a natural one. The late pope worked to develop that kinship by frequent travel and by turning his attention to young people, a group previously overlooked by many popes and religious leaders.

He created World Youth Day, a pilgrimage that draws hundreds of thousands of young Catholics to locations around the world.

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TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach

1 posted on 04/28/2011 5:48:25 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

JPII was a good pope and God sure knows how to pick the right man at a time of crisis. With JPII, Ronald Magnus and Maggie as His tools, God brought down communism. With Benedict, God is cleaning house in His Church and reuniting the lungs of The Church.

2 posted on 04/28/2011 6:04:00 AM PDT by Cronos (Christian, redneck, rube and proud of it!)
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