REMEMBERING "PAPA"


Here is a poster of Pope John Paul II in the vestibule of our chapel. Today we celebrated a Memorial Mass and prayed the Office of the Dead for the Holy Father, part of the suffrages for the dead which we must, according to our Nuns' Constitutions, offer upon the death of a pope. Each sister must also pray the Seven Penitential Psalms or five decades of the Rosary for the repose of his soul. Of course, this is not so much an obligation, but a honor. Our chaplain, Fr. Kieran Fergus, O.P., preached a beautiful homily at today's Mass, remarking upon how John Paul II truly imitated Christ in reaching out to all people, not just Catholics but to everyone. Several of us experienced that "reaching out" in person, when we saw the pope at Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica in Newark, NJ, on October 4, 1995. It was an incredible, unforgettable, and overwhelming experience!