John Paul II, We Love You!
World Youth Day Reflections, 1984-2005
Edited by Barbara Murray
World Youth Day and its international gatherings mark Pope John Paul II's greatest achievement in his relationship with young Catholics around the world. Through these gatherings, the pope challenges young people to follow Jesus and to live a life of commitment, hope, and love for all.
With excerpts from the pope's official addresses at World Youth Days past, reflections by youth from around the world, and an eight-page insert full of color photos, John Paul II, We Love You captures in words and pictures the magic and mystery of two decades of World Youth Days, from Rome to Buenos Aires, from Manila to Denver and beyond.
Copyright: Dec. 1, 2004
Size: 6 x 9
Length: 144 pages
By Maggie McCarty, Good Shepherd Center, Baltimore, Maryland
By Rev. Len Wenke, pastor of Saint Anthony Church, Cincinnati, Ohio; former executive director, National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Inc.
By Sr. Jude Ruggeri, ASCJ, director of the Office for Youth and Young Adults, Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida; chair of the Executive Committee of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM)
The Catholic Standard and Times
John Paul II, We Love You; World Youth Day Reflections, 1984-2005, edited by Barbara A. Murray, is a collection of the inspiring words of Pope John Paul II and the youth who attended the celebrations.
If you have attended, sponsored, hosted, funded, volunteered or prayed for, or helped to plan a Youth Day, you may smile in remembrance as you read the thoughtful reflections that capture the magic and mystery of two decades of those celebrations. In St. Peter's Square in Rome, in March, 1985, for instance, a young woman named Melissa observed: "The Holy Father challenged us to find Christ in the Eucharist and each other. He passionately advocated the truth of our vocation—to be God's people and to shine like we are sons and daughters of a King, because, literally, we are."
Following Youth Day in Denver, in August, 1993, a young man named Paul commented: "Many people believe that this gathering was a tremendous event for the entire Church in the U.S. For young people, it was a moment to be proud of their faith, to publicly demonstrate their faith. It was a moment to realize . . . they were part of a community much larger than their parish or even diocese. Standing on the hillside, looking down at 300,000 other young people, you knew you were part of something bigger than yourself."
In a third reflection in the book, a young woman who is also named Melissa commented in January, 1995, regarding a World Youth Day celebration in Manila, Philippines: "The Holy Father continues to reach out to the youth and the whole world in his pursuit of holiness, to build his civilization of love. He was a mentor to me as a college student; I read his encyclicals, his books on philosophy, social teaching, and much more. Now, as a young adult, I am in the midst of reading his biography. His life has been a distinct testimony to the beauty of God's grace, when a single soul hands over their freedom to God's will so completely. Thank you, sweet Holy Father, for saying "Yes" to the Lord, not just yesterday, but every day. The world is indebted to your dedication, and immensely blessed by your gift."
The book of reflections "brings to mind fond memories, and yet stresses the real importance of these worldwide gatherings," said Father Len Wenke, former executive director of World Youth Day.