It’s almost strange to think that a Polish priest became one of the main intercessors and patron saints of a group of group of people in Texas on their computers. Yes, John Paul II was pope when the internet was coming of age, but he was born in the 1920s and he barely ever even used a computer.
At the beginning of our apostolate, we knew that we need some intercession and help to carry out our mission. The name that we agreed on quickly was John Paul II. All of us on the board are part of the JP2 Generation. We grew up and were formed in our faith when he was in the office of Pope, and his ministry left an undeniable impact on all of our lives.
There is a profound beauty of the Church’s universality, and it goes beyond the early limitations of this world. Even though I never had a chance to have a conversation with him or celebrate mass with him, like millions of others, I felt a very strong connection with John Paul II. When he spoke, I always felt like he was talking to me. When he died 10 years ago, it felt as personal as the death of a family member.
One of the greatest calls from John Paul II was for a new generation to spread the same Gospel in new ways. He called it “The New Evangelization,” and it inspired many great initiatives to work for the sake to bring the Good News to this new generation in a way that speaks to them.
Now the Church has a new saint that has been raised to the altar so that we can have a powerful intercession and example in our mission. It brings me so much hope to see the millions that filled St Peter’s square and the surrounding streets to celebrate thee great men. John Paul II and John XXIII planted seeds that are still bearing fruits for the Church today. Our personal faith and our organization of Austin CNM are fruits themselves.
Sometimes the bond still feels so close that it was difficult to celebrate his canonization without missing him. I love Francis, and Benedict XVI even more, but we will always be part of the JP2 generation. Until we get to meet and thank John Paul II in Heaven, we are confident of his prayers.
JP2, we still love you.
Saint John Paul the Great and Saint John XXIII, pray for us.