Re: Pope John Paul Comes to Chicago 1979
Date: January 04, 2015 09:11PM
I watched the Pope's Grant Park event from a high rise facing the park and took photos...it was an amazing crowd.
I also was a student at Five Holy Martyrs in the early sixties. our pastor was Aux. bishop Alfred Abramowicz, the roommate in Poland at the seminary with Karol Woltwa - aka Pope John Paul ii.
"Crazy Father Karol" as some of us very young students called him, should spend is annual summer, month long, sabbatical at FHM with his old friend Alfred.
He would play softball with us, eat in the cafeteria, sit and talk with groups of kids and was just a nice priest that was on sabbatical.
But some days, he would be walking and in another world, he didn't see anyone or hear anything, like he was in a trance....that's why some of us called him "crazy father Karol", because he was so very different that even children knew it.
Once, I saw him leaning out of his third floor room in the rectory, spitting, and watching the saliva fall...over and over, trancelike....
I owned my childhood home in the neighborhood when he came back as Pope. It was his first trip out of the Vatican, I remember it was only about a month after his election.
The mass he said at FHM was in the parking lot, a special Papal stage was built and is still there. People near the church parking lot build makeshift decks on the highly pitched roofs of their two flats and three flats to make viewing platforms. Some were forty feet off the ground!
I always wanted to make a coloring book of those days as a child with the Pope and call it "Me and the Pope" to tell children the story of knowing a living saint.
Life is amazing.