Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
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Bishop William S. Skylstad: On the death of Pope John Paul II
the Inland Register
(From the April 7, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
For over 26 years, Pope John Paul II has served the Roman Catholic Church as its chief shepherd. His passing brings sadness to those he has helped guide for the past quarter-century.
Internationally, Pope John Paul II made over 100 pastoral visits to other nations during the course of his pontificate. His greeting to each nation upon arrival was to kneel and kiss the ground, indicating his humble respect for other peoples and other cultures.
His was a ministry of presence, especially to the poor and to youth. Many Catholics of Eastern Washington encountered the Holy Father, personally or during public occasions, either during his visits to the United States, or during pilgrimages to Rome, or at World Youth Day events.
He bore the responsibility of leading some 1 billion Catholics worldwide. Yet that responsibility never diminished his personal warmth, his primary ministry as a priest and pastor.
Prayers for Pope John Paul have been included in Masses celebrated in Eastern Washington for more than 25 years. That custom continues today, as parishes are asked to hold prayer services and celebrate Masses for the deceased pope. We join our prayers with the Church throughout the world as we mourn his death, yet celebrate his passing to eternal life.
A Memorial Mass for Pope John Paul II will be celebrated Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, 1115 W. Riverside Ave. in Spokane.