‘John Paul II’s dedication to young people revitalized the face of the Catholic Church’

.- Emily Stimpson, a graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, was 25 when she first read Karol Wojtyla (who would soon to be Pope John Paul II)’s book, ‘Love and Responsibility.’ “Through his eyes,” she says, “I saw for the first time just how precious and how miraculous each human life is. I also came to understand my own dignity, not just as a person, but as a woman. John Paul II opened my eyes to a world of beauty and truth that I never knew existed.”

Known for his tremendous love for young people, many in the U.S. are remembering Pope John Paul II, who died Saturday at the Vatican, for the profound strides he made in reaching out to the youth of the Church.

Fr. Michael Scanlon T.O.R., chancellor of Ohio’s Franciscan University of Steubenville, said that he credits the pope’s proclamation of the “New Evangelization” as one of the key inspirations for the University’s development over the years.

"The most important occasion for the University”, Fr. Scanlon said, “was when I presented him with an honorary doctoral degree as well as a spiritual bouquet from hundreds of our students…The pope read each student's name and kept repeating, 'Ahh, the students, good.' Subsequently on very many occasions he mentioned Franciscan University to people, saying, 'Ahhh, a good university.'"

John Peirick, a junior theology major at Franciscan University said that, "I still have sorrow that this pope who is the model of my faith and the only pope I've ever known has died, but there's a sense of joy. The Church is gaining a new great saint, and he is no longer suffering but passing on to his next great adventure of living in the glory of God."

Jennifer Swanson, spokesperson for the international Catholic youth ministry, Life Teen, said Saturday that, “John Paul II's dedication to the youth of the world has revitalized the face of the Catholic Church. Life Teen, Inc. is grateful to the contributions made by the Holy Father during his time as Pope, including his commitment to World Youth Days.”

Life Teen said that earlier in the year, they produced a music video for teens around the world “honoring the life and holy example of the Pontiff, based on a rap song, Giovanni Paolo, written by Tom Booth, accompanied by Fr. Stan Fortuna.”

“The video”, Swanson said, “serves not just as a biography, but as a tribute to the Pontiff's courageous life.”

Barbara Morgan, a theology professor at Franciscan University added that she thinks John Paul would be saying, 'Don't be afraid of me not being here, and don't be afraid of what is happening in the world.”

“In Toronto, at World Youth Day 2002, he chronicled for the young people 80 years of dark things: Nazism, communism, terrorism. Yet he went on to say that there is nothing that can crush the hope that the Holy Spirit gives…That was coming from a man who was arrested by the Nazis and came within a hair's-breadth of going to a concentration camp.”

Added Stimpson: “He had the mind of a genius, the soul of a saint, and the heart of a poet. There is more loveliness in the world because he lived in it.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: