.- A museum exhibit on the legacy of Blessed John Paul II will begin its U.S. tour at New Orleansâ Notre Dame Seminary in February 2013.
Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans made the announcement âwith great joy and excitementâ at an April 13 press conference.
âReceiving this exhibit is not only a great honor for our archdiocese, but an opportunity for us to enter more deeply into our work of evangelization, carrying on the legacy of Bl. John Paul II,â the archbishop said. âPope Benedict XVI has named the upcoming year a âYear of Faithâ and by hosting this exhibit, we are attempting to answer his call.â
The new exhibit, titled âI Have Come To You Again,â has over 100 items from the personal possessions of Bl. John Paul II. The items come from the Pope John Paul II Center in Krakow, Poland and from the Vatican Collections.
The Lubbock, Texas-based National Exhibits Association is running the exhibit tour under the leadership of Father Malcolm Neyland, its president and executive director.
âNever before has a collection of the personal belongings of a Roman Catholic Pope been on display in the United States,â the association said April 13, noting that during his pontificate, Bl. John Paul II visited the U.S. seven times.
His âimmense faith and great courage were inspirational and admired by Christians and non-Christians alike throughout the world,â the organizers said.
The exhibit will be open on the Notre Dame Seminary Campus from February through April 2013. Its contents are divided into four sections: Karol Wojtylaâs childhood and adolescence, from 1920-1938; Karol Wojtylaâs years in Poland as a laborer, priest, bishop, archbishop and cardinal from 1939 -1978; his years as Pope from 1978 until his death in 2005; and the wake of his papacy up through his beatification.
The curator of the exhibit is Prof. Francesco Buranelli, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission of the Cultural Patrimony of the Church. He has previously served as the general director of the Vatican Museum.
Many close advisors of the late pontiff have contributed essays for the exhibition catalogue, including Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general for Vatican City; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals; Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for Laity; and Msgr. Stanislaw Oder, the postulator for John Paul IIâs canonization.
The National Exhibits Association is working with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce to bring the exhibit to New Orleans. Stops are also planned for Seattle, Wash. and Washington, D.C.
Archbishop Aymond urged the local community to visit the exhibit to âexperience and witness Bl. John Paul IIâs life and ministry.â He also asked for prayers for the exhibitâs success.
The National Exhibits Association is seeking donations to meet the expenses of the exhibit. More information about the exhibit is available at the associationâs website http://www.nationalexhibits.org.