Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Walking through St. Peter's Square the other day, I noticed a father playing with his three year old daughter.

He picked her up, put her on one of the small pillars in the square and held out his arms for her to jump and for him to catch her.

The first time, the little girl looked unsure.

She hesitated, looked down at her feet and then back a her father.

Her father gestured to her as if to say "I'm going to catch you," and after a bit more hesitation, she hopped into his arms.

There, in her father's arms she smiled the biggest smile.

Seeing her throw herself into his arms made me pause to watch even more intently.

Her father then put her back on the pillar and held out his arms again, inviting her to jump once more.

Again, she looked tentatively at her feet and at her father.

She readied herself and, with a little less hesitation, hopped once again into her father's open arms.

And then he put her back on the pillar again. And she jumped again into his arms, with more confidence.

And is it not the case with us and God the Father? Each time He holds out His arms to catch us and invites us to trust that He will catch us. We hesitate. Finally we jump. We find ourselves back in another position where we have to throw ourselves into His arms, abandon ourselves to him. We hesitate less, knowing that He caught us before and seeing that He is still holding out His arms for us to jump into. And again and again until we slowly learn to place all our trust in His loving providence.

The Cause of John Paul II: For the Record...

Almost every Catholic news source in the English language has reprinted the CNS article from last year mentioning prayer cards with the piece of John Paul II's cassock. The reporter, Cindy Wooden, did a really good job and even quoted the source she spoke to, a certain Franciscan, Br. Chris Gaffrey. Ms. Wooden did not write anything indicating my function at the Office of the Postulation, yet it seems that almost the entire English speaking Catholic world has assumed that I am either the Postulator or the man in charge of the relics. Letters stream in to the Office of the Postulation addressed to me with checks made out in my name. Now while the attention is nice, I figured this would all just die down and people would stop addressing the letters to me. Well, it hasn't died down. More than a year after the CNS article, people are still addressing their letters and checks to me.

Thank you. I certainly appreciate the fact that so many people are supporting the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of John Paul II.

But I feel that, for the record, I must state the following:

1. I am not the man in charge of the "relics" (the prayers cards with the ex indumentis - piece of John Paul II's cassock).

2. I am not the Postulator. The Postulator's name is Msgr. Slawomir Oder, a very nice priest from Poland who works in the Office of the Diocese of Rome.

3. I do not have an official position at the Office of the Postulation.

4. I am only a seminarian who volunteers by helping the Office of the Postulation with translations from Italian to English.

Please do address your letters to Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the Postulator of the Cause. In sending donations, please make out the checks to "Cause for Beatification and Canonization of John Paul II." The mailing address of the Office of the Postulation is: Office of the Postulation for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God John Paul II, Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano, 6/A - 00184 Rome, Italy.

Thanks so much. JPII, we love you!