John Paul II apparently took great care of meeting old friends.
He always remembered them. The last such school meeting at Castel Gandolfo lasted almost a week. It was in 1998 for the 60th anniversary of the baccalaureate. They ate together, prayed, walked, and sang. (…) And when we were planning a trip to Poland, he always said that he would like to meet with this one or that one. We had to know in advance because special passes had to be organized for everyone.
Where did such meetings take place?
Usually they came to the residence, or to the sacristy, after the mass. We’ve always been looking for a free moment. And then the Holy Father could meet his friends. But these were not long meetings. Rather just a welcome, a few sentences. For some so much and for some just little. I have always admired the Holy Father also for the fact that although he had all the problems of the Church and the world in his mind, he remembered to take care of a meeting with someone from the kayak past time or from Wadowice, for example from the theater. If it depended only on him, he would have more time for each of these friends. But everything depended on the tense pilgrimage plan and dozens of appointments that had to be realized.
Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki
“Most liked Tuesdays” M Publishing House, Krakow 2008