Tag Archive: john paul ii

October 22: Blessed John Paul II

October 22nd is the feast day of Blessed John Paul II, the second time his feast has been observed since his beatification.  Since he is not canonized yet, the feast day is not observed everywhere at this stage.  However, we can observe the feast in the Liturgy here in Ottawa.

One of my favourite memories of John Paul II is from when he visited Australia for the beatification of the now Saint Mary of the Cross (MacKillop) in January 1995.  During one of the nights of his stay in Sydney, a small crowd of people gathered outside the cardinal’s residence where the Pope was staying.  We were singing songs and cheering, and eventually he came out onto the balcony.  I recall that he had a walking stick at the time, and he playfully swung it in time with our singing, obviously enjoying the moment.  You can imagine the cheers of “Viva il papa!” as he did that.

As a young and new[er] priest at the time of the end of his life, he made a deep impression on me by his faithful perseverance in his ministry.  Even when he was visibly weakened he didn’t stop, carrying his cross for the sake of Christ’s bride, the Church.  Who could forget that moment towards the end of his life when he came to the window of the papal apartments to bless the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square, but he couldn’t speak.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that the blessed John Paul the Second
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

— Collect for the Mass.


I received the following information today:

MEMORIAL IN HONOUR OF BLESSED POPE JOHN PAUL II:  Monday, Oct. 22nd, 2012: Pope Benedict has given the Ottawa archdiocese permission to have a liturgical day in honour of Blessed Pope John Paul II. This memorial occurs this week. Ottawa is the only diocese in Canada to enjoy this privilege. At all scheduled Masses at Saint Patrick’s Basilica (  7 AM,  8 AM 12:15 PM, 4:30 PM)  for Monday of  next week, the Mass will be in honour of this great pope. Special leaflets with the Mass texts of Pope John Paul II will be available in the church on Monday at the Nepean and Kent Street entrances.

CELEBRATING THE MEMORY OF BLESSED JOHN PAUL II, POPE:   Join Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., along with His Excellency, Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, for a great celebration in memory of our blessed pope.  Holy Mass will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by a concert with internationally renowned soprano Maria Knapik, and her guests which will include: Ralitsa Tcholakova, violinist; Marcin Klejdysz, violinist from Poland; Francesca Bailey, conductor and director of Saint Patrick’s Adoremus and Maryvale Academy Choirs.  The concert, will include music selections by composers: J.S. Bach; W.A. Mozart; F. Mendelssohn; Ch. Gounod; J. Maksymiuk, A.L. Webber; and G. Bacewicz.  The concert will be held on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 6:15 p.m. at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, (Sussex Drive at St. Patrick Street). Free Admission.  All are welcome to attend.

Poster: Poster_Oct_22_12


The pontificate of Blessed Pope John Paul II may be rightly described as a tireless call to recognize the Church’s challenge to be faithful to her divinely-given mission in a totally secularized society and to respond to the challenge by means of a new evangelization. A new evangelization is teaching the faith through preaching, catechesis and all forms of Catholic education; celebrating the faith in the Sacraments and in their extension through prayer and devotion, and living the faith through the practice of the virtues, all as if for the first time, that is, with the engagement and energy of the first disciples and of the first missionaries to our native place.

— Cardinal Burke speaking at the Kenya Canon Law Convention, 30 August 2012

Source: ZENIT

When we had to choose topics for the research paper which accounts for 25% of the mark of our JCL programme (the Licentiate in Canon Law), I eventually decided that I wanted to write something to honour Blessed John Paul II.  At the time of commencing the project it was the year of his beatification.

As supreme legislator of the Church, looking at John Paul II’s canonical contributions is a vast topic.  For the purposes of the paper, my topic was narrowed to a consideration of his canonical contributions through the lens of three of his Apostolic Constitutions associated with the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church, the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, and his reform of the Roman Curia.  Since my lens was his own Apostolic Constitutions, the paper could be subtitled, “Blessed John Paul II’s canonical contributions in his own words.”

My paper is in the final stages of production now, and my supervising professor has given the green light for submission.

Anyone interested can have a look at the current version of the draft here: Seminar Paper – Adrian Sharp (pdf 2012 03 12) [UPDATE: Since originally posting this, I’ve corrected a number of typographical errors.  The link currently showing is the revised edition].


Theology of the Body for couples

Here’s a great idea for couples and spouses … an upcoming workshop at the end of March.

PDF of the flyer here: Living in love flyer A5

More: PMRC: Parish & Marriage Resource Centre.



Te Deum laudamus!

BLESSED JOHN PAUL II, 18.V.1920 – 2.IV.2005, Beatified: 1 May 2011

Thank-you Blessed John Paul II for your intercession, and helping me to turn this:

into this:

I handed in today the major paper for my licentiate in canon law … hoorah!  Please God any revisions to get to the final draft won’t be too painful!

After having some initial difficulty settling on a topic for the paper, I decided that I wanted to write something in honour of our beloved John Paul II since it was his beatification year.  So, the topic that was approved for me to write on was

Canonical Contributions of Blessed John Paul II:Through the Lens of the Apostolic Constitutions Sacrae disciplinae leges, Pastor bonus, and Sacri Canones.

Compared to other courses, I’m sure this paper isn’t that long (43pp + bibliography), however it is the longest thing I’ve ever written.  It is nice to be one step closer to coming home!

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!





Since I’ve been “spending so much time with Blessed John Paul II” of late – writing my paper – I was very interested to read a story in a recent issue of Kairos from Melbourne.

It recalls the visit the Holy Father made to the parish of St Leo the Great, Altona North, during his 1986 visit to Australia.

Fr O’Rourke [who was parish priest at the time] said the visit had a unifying effect on St Leo the Great parish.

“It showed the people in the parish that they really had the same faith life that the Pope stood for and upheld and that the people in their ordinary living possess Christ in the same way.

“It was a typical Australian parish. We didn’t have a grand church; it was fairly simple, with a flat roof, a flat-sided church, quite small. But it was alive with people, love, and excitement because of the Pope.

“The Pope said that ‘we all need Christ’s look of love, every individual, every family, every parish, the whole world needs the love of Christ our redeemer and we receive this love through the Church. Christ communicates his love through the word of God and the sacraments which are offered to you each day in St Leo’s parish’,” Fr O’Rourke said.

“That was the explanation, I suppose, of what was being highlighted: that Christ was valuable to everybody regardless of what their status in life was and we were just lucky to be a parish that had that truth driven home to us in a spectacular kind of way. That Christ is with people all through our lives and through history – to me that was the gift that we received that day: to be affirmed about Christ in our lives.”

It’s a great article about a great pope!

Read it here: http://www.cam.org.au/catholic-heritage/postmarking-the-visit-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.html

I found the story here in Kairos, pp. 36-37.



“[T]he techniques needed to bring Christ to a people that has never heard of him (something the Church has been doing since Pentecost) are one thing; the techniques needed to bring him to a new generation within a basically Christianized culture (something the Church does with every new generation) are something else. But the techniques needed to bring Christ to a people or culture that thinks it has already tried Christ and thinks Him a failure (or worse, thinks Him a cover for indifference to suffering, exploitation of the innocent, impotence to affect human lives, various forms of rapaciousness in the name of divine destiny, and so on), those techniques are something else yet again. And it is this third situation, one wherein the Church faces not so much a non-Christian culture but a de-Christianized one, which confronts the Church in the Western world today. It is this situation, never before faced by the Church—certainly not on a large scale—that I suggest underlies most of the startling summons to a New Evangelization.”

— Edward N. Peters,  “An Introduction to the Canonical Achievements of Pope John Paul II,” in Ave Maria Law Review, 6 (2007), p. 26.  See here.


Fr Dennis Byrnes of Lismore, Australia, has written an excellent reflection which appeared in the August 2011 issue of AD2000, which concisely presents some of the papal (and other) teaching on the new evangelisation.

In addressing the directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome on 14 May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said: “Catholic activity at every level needs to be infused with missionary spirit. We are living in a world marked by new forms of slavery and injustice and the Church must evangelise constantly and fearlessly. This evangelisation must begin with a firm faith and an enthusiastic desire to share it with others. New problems and new forms of slavery, in fact, are emerging in our time.”

Again Benedict asks us to confront through new evangelisation the “Culture of Death” so evident in our world.

So how do we empower the new evangelisation of which the Holy Father speaks? How do we challenge the so-called First World, which is well off and rich but uncertain about its future, and the developing countries where, partly because of a globalisation that is so often overly profit-driven, there’s an increase in the masses of the poor, of emigrants and of the oppressed, among whom the light of hope grows weak? …

Read the whole article here.


Homily for Mass, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa

[Readings: Gen 1:26 – 2:3;  Ps 90;  Mt 25:14-30]

The dignity of human labour was a theme close to the heart of Blessed John Paul II.  He issued an encyclical titled “On human work” in 1981.  By our work, whatever form it might take, we share in a special way in the work of Jesus Christ.  The Council Fathers of Vatican II said, “For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every [person].  He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart.  Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin” (GS 22).

For Jesus, his whole life and mission was his work.  He said that he was always doing the work of His Father.  In all the ‘work’ Jesus did, he was constantly united with His Father.  He was continuing the work of creation, and accomplishing the redemption and sanctification of humankind.

Whatever work we do, therefore, if done in union with Jesus, also participates in God’s work of creating, redeeming, and sanctifying – ourselves, and the whole world.  Therefore we can speak about the dignity of our work.  Our work is not just meant to make us cogs in the economic machinery, and it shouldn’t just be seen as a means to accumulate goods and possessions.  It has a bigger purpose.

John Paul II taught: Jesus, The “divine Worker of Nazareth” also “reminds us that ‘life is more than food’ and that work is for man, not man for work. What makes a life great is not the entity of gain, nor the type of profession, or the level of the career. Man is worth infinitely more than the goods he produces or possesses.”

On this labor day let’s rejoice that through the work that God gives us to do each day we have a means of sharing in the work of Christ.  May everything we do or say be in the name of the Lord with thanksgiving to God [Communion ant.] and may the Lord give success to the work of our hands [Entrance ant].

See also my other post for Labour Day.