Who Was St. John Paul II?
The Great Pope St. John Paul II was a shepherd who guided the Church into the new millennium with a testimony of hope.
Karol Jozef Wotjlya was born in Wadowice, Poland, in 1920, and lived there until attending college at the Jagellonian University of Krakow. As a child he learned to deal with hardships and tragic events, having lost his mother when he was 9 years old, a brother at age 12, his father nine years later, and living under Nazi occupation of his homeland during World War II.
He was ordained a priest in 1946, and a little more than 30 years later, was created a Cardinal in 1967 by Pope Paul VI. He was elected Pope in 1978 and served until his death in 2005, becoming the second longest serving pope in modern history. He was the first non-Italian to become pope since the 16th century, and became well-known for his courageous confrontation of communism, the embrace of various cultures and people around the world, brilliant teachings on family life, the theology of the body, and organized the greatest works among young people at gatherings around the globe at his World Youth Day events.
He was canonised on April 27, 2014, along with Pope John Paul XXIII, by Pope Francis, and we encourage you to read more about one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century.
Our church is fully devoted to furthering the teachings and beliefs of St. John Paul II, which he brilliantly conveyed when saying, “To believe in Christ means to desire unity; to desire unity means to desire the Church; to desire the Church means to desire the communion of grace that corresponds to the Father’s plan from all eternity.” St. Pope John Paul II’s Twelfth Encyclical, Ut Unum Sunt (That They May Be One), May 25, 1995.
The philosophy of St. John Paul II and his charismatic deposit of faith is what we are striving to follow and reflect at our church. Just as St. John Paul II reached out to many people to inspire a unified Christianity, we, too, extend an invitation to anyone on the journey to know Christ. Inspired by our parish’s namesake, we are eager to seek God’s Word, to experience it fully in our lives and to share it with others.
St. John Paul II understood the importance of family as it relates to the Church on earth. “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live,” he said. Our parish family consists of individuals at many stages of their faith journey, and we offer every opportunity for them to strengthen their relationship with Christ as they help to strengthen the Church. From catechism to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), we follow St. John Paul II’s call to unite people as the family of God.