Vatican journalists remember John Paul II in new book

Giovanni Paolo II, raccontato da chi lo ha ‘raccontato’”, edited by Angela Ambrogetti and Raffaele Iaria.

A newly published book gathers the memories of 13 journalists and communications specialists about John Paul II, including those of Fr. Giorgio Costantino, spokesman of the Synod of Bishops.

“Giovanni Paolo II, raccontato da chi lo ha ‘raccontato’”, or “John Paul II, as reported by those who ‘reported’ him”, edited by Angela Ambrogetti and Raffaele Iaria and published by Tau Editrice, discusses the 26-year pontificate of Bl. John Paul II, who will be canonized together with John XXIII April 27.

Among the contributors are Emanuele Roncalli, Gian Franco Svidercoschi, and Fr. Costantino, who has been the Synod of Bishops’ representative since 1990.

Fr. Costantino’s chapter shares stories of Bl. John Paul II’s commitment to the synod, which he knew “very well, as he had taken part in each of the assemblies except the first one, in 1967.”

“He had in fact been invited to that assembly,” Fr. Costantino wrote, “but he chose not to take part, out of solidarity with Cardinal Wyszynski, Primate of Poland, whom the (communist) Polish authorities denied a visa to go to Rome.”

This story, he recounted, was told “during a dinner the Pope shared with spokesmen of various languages and the then-director of the Holy See press office, Joaquin Navarro Valls.”

Bl. John Paul II often shared his views during meals, which were an occasion for informal exchanges with those working at the Synod of Bishops.

“At the final lunch of the 1990 Synod of Bishops, John Paul II spoke off the cuff, stressing that he ‘noted an increasing spirituality and maturity. My hopes have not been vain. This tool of the collegiality of bishops is efficient’”, recounted Fr. Costantino.

According to Fr. Costantino, the late Pope held the synod to express apostolic tradition as well as a collegial and primatial structure.

He also related that Bl. John Paul II would lunch with the spokesmen, “asking for information about each Vaticanista. He showed that he knew both their faces and names, and that he read their articles. It was an always-open window to the world.”


Voices

Appreciating the gift of memory

Anne Hansen

Why do we hold on to so many things in closets, garages and storage units? What is it about the birth announcement of an adult child or the high school diploma of an elderly grandparent that keeps these objects carefully saved rather than discarded? They are of no use to anyone and take up space. Yet they are precious and difficult to part with.

 

 

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Events

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January 25, 2015

  • Saturday, January 24

    Building Bridges through Intercultural Competency: A Symposium on the Future of Education and Ministry in the Church, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles. Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will deliver a keynote address, which will be followed by two panel discussions on issues of intercultural competency and diversity featuring experts and practitioners working in Catholic education and other ministries in Southern California and across the United States. For more information, please contact the LMU School of Education Office of the Dean at (310) 258-8768.

    Life in the Spirit Seminar, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Registration 8:30 a.m.), Incarnation School Auditorium, 1001, N Brand Blvd., Glendale. Led by Fr. Bill Adams C.S.s.R. (818) 421-1354.

    Journey Through Grief, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes. (310) 377-4867.

    “One Life, One Light” Requiem for the Unborn, 6 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles.

  • Sunday, January 25

    44th Annual Whale Fiesta, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro. Free. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium celebrates marine mammals and the beginning of the migration of the Pacific gray whales along Southern California. Activities include building a life-sized whale out of sand, “Great Duct Tape Whale Contest” and “Whale Dynamics,” where participants will be transformed into a single “living whale.” (310) 548-7562.

    “Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change” with director Jayasri Majumdar Hart, 3-5 p.m., St. Bernadette Parish, 3825 Don Felipe Dr., Los Angeles. A discussion with Ms. Hart will follow the screening.  Free.

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