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Archive for Saint John Paul

Being named after Saint John Paul the Great (a town where it’s common, and 1 young John Paul who is attending the canonization)

On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday when Pope John Paul II will officially enter the canon of saints of Christ’s Church, many families in the town of Ave Maria are also planning a feast day for their sons – or their Sister! It is fitting that a town where one of the streets is named “Pope John Paul II Boulevard” – a town whose founding was inspired by that pope’s “new evangelization” – has so many boys and young men named after that extraordinary man.

His papacy saw a rise in the popularity of the name “John Paul” for newborns in the USA as shown in this graphic, with spikes in popularity based on events in his life:

Pope John Paul Newborn Names Ave Maria

How many newborns were named “John Paul” in the USA each year?

Of course not everyone bearing the name received it as a newborn boy. Sister John Paul, OP, who teaches in Ave Maria at Donahue Catholic, received the name when she entered Religious life.

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“I received the name John Paul as my religious name the day I received the holy habit of St. Dominic, August 5, 2001. ‘John Paul II, we love you!'” – window at the Mother House of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist

Among the estimated dozen John Paul’s in Ave Maria, several have provided photographs, below.

John Paul R

John Paul Raiger

John Paul K

John Paul Klucik

John Paul T

John Paul Tamisiea

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John Paul Moore, who made his First Holy Communion today.

John Paul and Rhodora M

John Paul Moore – born second – was blessed while in the womb with his twin sister Rhodora by John Paul II. And while the parents had no idea they were having twins, the Pope knew because he gave them two extra rosaries (instead of one extra) for the baby!

One lucky Ave Maria boy bearing the name is having the trip of a lifetime with his mother – they traveled to Rome to attend tomorrow’s canonization ceremony! John Paul Allan’s friends and neighbors have been able to follow his special pilgrimage via Facebook. Mrs. Allan owns a Catholic gift and book store and home school supply store called By Way of the Family that she named after a phrase from Saint Pope John Paul”s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”

John Paul Allan and his mother on their canonization pilgrimage in Rome.

John Paul Allan and his mother Chelsea with the Vatican in background on their canonization pilgrimage in Rome.

John Paul A 1

Pope John Paul II canonization banner over the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica with John Paul Allan standing under it at St. Peter’s Basilica.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John XXIII the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John XXIII the day before his canonization.

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John Paul Allan and his mom Chelsea sent this image showing where they are standing in line at 3:00 AM on the eve of John Paul II’s canonization.

 

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Pontificate of Hope (that continues to inspire our town)

This reflection (below), penned by Cistercian Father Edmund Waldstein after St. John Paul was beatified in 2011, highlights what many Catholics of my generation found in his Petrine ministry: hope. That hope in the nature of who we are as creatures of a Creator will continue to fuel the flame that is the Gospel. That hope is precisely why the Ave Maria projects were founded.

We can look forward with hope to the writing and teaching of theologian Pater Edmund, and of his theologian parents Michael and Susan here in Ave Maria, who have done much already to spread this good news that is St. John Paul’s theology – especially his Theology of the Body.

Sancrucensis

The author's first encounter with Bl. Pope John Paul II

My confrere Pater Johannes Paul and I went to Rome with a group of pilgrims for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. It was tremendously moving and all that sort of thing, but the trip was also kind of exhausting and so I actually fell asleep during the sermon at the Beatification Mass. Reading the sermon when I got back, I was struck by the following passage, in which Pope Benedict gives a remarkably pithy summary of the center of his predecessor’s teaching:

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