Statement of The Most Reverend John J. Myers
For Release :
On the death of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II
With the Church throughout the world and people of good will everywhere, we mourn the passing of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The third longest papacy in the history of the Church has come to an end; as we commend our Holy Father to the love and mercy of our God, we thank the Lord for his service in the Petrine ministry.
To enumerate his many accomplishments and deeds of service to the Church and the human family would literally fill volumes. Both the Catholic and secular media will serve us well as we reflect on this giant among the servants of God and God’s people in the days ahead. May he rest in peace.
From the moment I heard of his election in 1978, I had a deep personal sense that this man would be very important for the Church, and would be important in my own life. Both have proved to be the case. Each time I have met the Pope since then, my intuition has been confirmed.
We have all been blessed by his strength, his wisdom, his faith, his devotion to both God and His people, and an immense sense of humor. I recall when I first met him in 1987 after he called me to be a bishop, he smiled and said to me, “My, you are a young bishop.” A few years ago when I was in Rome, he said the same thing to me, and I replied, “But Holy Father, I am now the same age you were when you were elected pope.” He just smiled back slyly and said, “Not any more.”
During these days of solemn mourning, I ask that the faithful of the Archdiocese take every opportunity to come together in prayerful remembrance to pray for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II. Especially in this Year of the Eucharist, let us gather at Mass to pray together that “John Paul, our pope, whom God made Vicar of Peter and shepherd of the Church, may rejoice forever in the vision of His glory.”