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Featured Article: Our Black Shepherds - Given the traditional European/American profile of the Church in the United States, there has always been urgings from the smaller ethnic groupings, Hispanic, African American, Italian, Polish, Asian, etc to have episcopal representation. And each group has its own story to tell with getting bishops appointed. Read Full Story

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Joannes Paulus II, Magnus

Joannes Paulus II, Magnus ~ By Rev. John J. Raphael, SSJBrilliant, courageous, teacher, healer-reconciler, prolific, world traveled, guardian of divinely revealed truth, globally loved, admired, shepherd, theologian, protector of the unborn, friend of the young, guardian of the aged, the infirmed, the poor, the weak, Vicar of Christ, Servant of the Servants of God, priest, bishop, pope. These are a few, but perhaps some of the more significant terms and titles that identify and describe one of the greatest men to grace the world stage during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, our late and beloved Pope John Paul II - Karol Jozef Wojtyla - son of Poland, child of Mary, brother of Jesus, Pastor of the Universal Church, gift to the world.

I write simply as a priest whose vocation was fostered, nourished, brought to fruition, and until just a few days ago, exercised under the pontificate of this most remarkable man of God. Under the pontificate and in the light which shone through Pope John Paul II are to be found many vocations such as mine. We are the priests who will forever be in debt to the Pope who came from a far country to shepherd the flock of Peter in the Eternal City and throughout the world. Many greater minds belonging to theologians, historians, political scientists and the like will reflect on the life and thought of this Pope. They will rightly examine his life and influence in light of the impact it has had on their respective disciplines. But on the eve of the celebration of the Mass of Requiem for our beloved Pontiff, I simply reflect on what he has meant to me.

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