Canonization: Spiritual and pastoral experience

Pilgrims pack St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII on April 27. (STEPHEN DRISCOLL/CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY)

What was so amazing about the canonization of Popes Saint John XXIII and John Paul II was the complete absence of any triumphalism. The entire liturgy was a prayerful experience for all who were gathered as disciples of Jesus.

Pope Francis set the tone immediately by allowing the liturgy to convey the depth of the moment. Nothing was added to focus upon the person of the two new saints; rather, we were all invited to enter deeply into their love for God, their devotion to Jesus Christ, and their untiring efforts to bring Jesus to the world in new and fresh ways.

Even though hundreds of thousands of people were gathered near and far to St. Peter’s, not once did I hear the refrain, “Viva il Papa.” And why? Because this celebration was about their incredible discipleship with Jesus and their carrying on the tradition of Peter and his successors down through the ages.

Their sanctity was shown to be within the grasp of every single one of us — not for a few chosen ones with lofty titles and positions in the Church. Pope Francis made it clear that as the Sunday Gospel pointed out so well, each of us is invited to see and touch the wounds of Jesus — his wounded and risen Body serving as the entry point for our own spiritual journey. And that invitation from our Risen Jesus is for each one of us — what a grace, what a gift!

I was struck by the large numbers of young people present all over Rome for this important milestone in the history of the Church. All came because of their own yearning to draw closer to Jesus, to allow Jesus to impact their own lives, and to follow the great virtues of two astounding disciples and shepherds of Jesus.

Never before were two popes canonized at the same time, and never before were two living popes present at that Liturgy of Canonization. I doubt that anyone in the future will ever witness what unfolded yesterday in the Piazza of St. Peter’s.

It’s notable that both popes were led into significant suffering, following the example of Jesus. What a great witness for us! So many of us suffer from illness, abandonment, hardships, personal and family tragedies, and various reversals. The “good news” is that bearing those with faith and constancy brings us ever more deeply into the life of Jesus!

May each one of us draw closer to our Risen Savior, Jesus, and be inspired to live out the heroic discipleship that Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II exemplified. 


Voices

Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.

Events

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February 6, 2016

  • Saturday, February, 6

    Second Annual Sisters of Notre Dame Nun Run 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run, 8 a.m., Hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame and La Reina High School and Middle School in Thousand Oaks. Course starts on Dover Avenue in Thousand Oaks and finishes in front of La Reina School. Open to runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels. Professional chip timing technology will be provided to 5K runners by Vendurance Sports. Participants will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last); pancake breakfast available after the race. Pre-registration is $35 per person for the 5K, and $25 for the 1-Mile. All proceeds support the Sisters of Notre Dame Life and Ministry Fund, allowing the sisters to continue their ministries in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. For more information, contact Chloe Vieira at cvieira@sndca.org, or visit sndca.org/nunrun. 

    Math Competition for Middle School Students & Problem-Solving Workshop for Teachers, 7:45 a.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead.A mathematics competition for fifth through eighth grade students. The 44th annual event will offer awards for the highest scoring individual and teams. Participants must register by Feb. 2 atwww.boscotech.edu/events. Space is limited. The cost is $8 per individual and $5 per person for teams of four or more, up to 15. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m.; one-hour test starts at 9 a.m. Free activities offered and food available for purchase. Award ceremony follows the competition at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Valeria De Luna at MathCompetition@boscotech.edu.

     

    San Fernando Regional Day of Prayer for the RCIA, 1 - 4:30 p.m., St. John Baptist De La Salle Church, 16555 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. An afternoon of prayer for those who will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Lent. Catechumens, candidates, sponsors and team members will come together in prayer with Bishop Joseph V. Brennan. To register or for more information, contact Sandy Cole at (818) 368-1514 or dre@sjbdls.org.

     

    Second Annual Valentine's Dinner/Dance, 7 p.m., St. James School - O'Gorman Center, 4625 Garnet St., Torrance.Dance music from the 50's to the present; $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit our seminarians. For more information, call the parish office at (310) 372-5228, or Ely at (310) 944-3355.  

     

    Snowflake Swing Dinner/Dance, 6 p.m. to midnight,St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1523 Golden Gate Ave., Los Angeles. Great food, door prizes and dancing (assorted music), featuring the LA Trio. Tickets $25; RSVP by Feb. 2. For reservations, call Liza at (323) 664-1305 or Renee at (213) 413-3036. 

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