2005-04-07 / Other News

Residents, Clergy Mourn Passing Of John Paul II

By Charles Rogers

Residents, Clergy Mourn Passing Of John Paul II

Parishioners gathered at Our Lady of Miracles Church at special memorial Mass Monday night.
Anthony J. WihlborgParishioners gathered at Our Lady of Miracles Church at special memorial Mass Monday night. Anthony J. Wihlborg The Catholic faithful from Canarsie to Marine Park to Mill Basin and East Flatbush joined with the rest of the world to mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II last Saturday.

It was 9:37 p.m. on April 2 that the 84-year old pontiff breathed his final breath after a long illness that saw him enter the hospital twice in recent weeks, both times returning home to the Vatican. He slowly turned worse, refusing last week to enter the hospital for a third time, preferring to stay at the Vatican, although knowing he was reaching his final days on Earth.

Pope John Paul II
toroverdePope John Paul II toroverde Local Catholics were joined by others of all faiths as they gracefully and mournfully paid their respects. Many flocked to area churches shortly after the announcement, which came Saturday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time, that the leader of more than a billion Catholics worldwide had died.

Churches here received directions from Archbishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Brooklyn diocese as to what particular memorial services they would hold, leaving specific itineraries up to the individual parishes. The Shrine of St. Jude held a special Mass to pray for Pope John Paul while he lay gravely ill last Saturday morning, before he passed away. All of the Catholic churches had special prayers said during regular Masses Sunday. Monday morning, Mary Queen of Heaven Church held a memorial service at 10 a.m. They announced this week that they will hold another memorial Mass on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Our Lady of Miracles Church held a memorial service last Monday evening at 7:30 p.m., Holy Family Church presented a service last night and officials at the Shrine of St. Jude said they will hold a memorial Mass tomorrow evening, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

At Canarsie's Shrine of St. Jude, Pastor Msgr. John Delendick said he had recently been reading some of the works of Pope John Paul II, such as "In My Own Words," and "Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium" and noted, "I am amazed not only at his energy, but his intelligence. He was so vibrant! He grew up with Nazism and Communism all around him and became special among men. He will be missed."

Holy Family Church's pastor, Father John Amman, said, "He was a pope for everybody. He loved to be with people and wanted to do all he could to make the church a better church and the world a better world. He taught us how to live with the Lord and, of course, how to die with the Lord."

In Marine Park, Father Jamie Gigantiello, pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven, said "The passing of Pope John Paul II is a great loss to the church and to the whole world. We will miss his message of love, peace and respect for all people. He was a pioneer in respecting the dignity of life. He will be greatly missed."

Father John Hughes, pastor of Our Lady of Miracles Church, said he admired the pontiff's feelings for children. " I admired so much histremendous devotion to young people throughout the world," he said. "We join with all the world in mourning the passing of Pope John Paul II."

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