This year, the Commission of the Fellowship Awards of the John Paul II Foundation sent 30 people from Belarus, Ukraine and Uzbekistan for the qualification and preparatory course. These young people are planning to study: pedagogy, psychology, musicology, European studies, sociology, history, studies on touring and cultural tourism, English philology, journalism, economics, management, and computer science.
The course began with a written exam of Polish language, which allowed to classify participants into smaller groups for further work. From the first days, young people have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the Polish language and also to take some classes in the field of their interest in order to demonstrate their intellectual abilities. An important part of each day is the Mass at the House’s Chapel celebrated by Rev. Franciszek. Young people eagerly participate in the preparation of the daily liturgy by reading the lessons from the Scripture, ministry service by the altar, and singing. In the spare time there are group activities, sport games, and time to walk around the city.
After eight years of construction, the shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II in Krakow is finished in time for the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who will venture to Poland later this July.
A statue of the late pope stands in the center, outside the church, welcoming all those to the Holy Door of Mercy with his famous words above the main door, "Have no fear! Open wide the door to Christ!”
Inside, the sanctuary is beautifully adorned with paintings and gold-trimmed mosaics representing the life of John Paul II and Gospel parables.
The idea for the center was proposed by Cardinal Stanisaw Dziwisz, the private secretary of John Paul II. He wanted to have a space built to remember the life of the Polish Pope in his home country, in the place where a young Karol Wojtya worked during World War II as a factory worker.
Sunday May 22, 2016 was for our Hamburg’s parish community a special day. We celebrated the 96th anniversary of birth of St. John Paul II. On this occasion, at all nine Masses, we were entrusting our intentions and prayers to His intercession. At the church entrances, members of the John Paul II Foundation Chapter were distributing books about John Paul II and an image of John Paul II with a prayer.
Especially for this day, the newest book was shipped from a bookstore in Poland. That book “Unforgettable, John Paul II in memories of friends and co-workers”, which includes a unique conversation with Pope Benedict XVI was distributed among parishioners. There was a chance to make a voluntary donation for the John Paul II Foundation in Rome as well as the individual donation, so-called “The gift of the heart.” Collected funds were transferred to Rome.
From the beginning of the Saint John Paul II Papacy, Mariko became a fervent and loyal admirer of our Pope. Since the establishment in 1983 of our Foundation, she became a loyal supporter and annual benefactor of our educational and charitable activities in Rome and around the world. Always generous and extremely gracious, her Catholic Faith inspired all who met her. We are grateful to have known her and for time spent with her. Twice she was welcomed by the Holy Father, SaintJohn Paul II, and received His blessings and thanks for her merciful and charitable heart. Briefed on her activities, Saint John Paul II was always glad to see her.