Sydney to celebrate John Paul II's beatification


John Paull II Beatification News Story
Pope John Paul II kisses a baby as he is welcomed by the faithful in Canberra on 24 November 1986. Photo: AAP Image

Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral forecourt will host a special festival event from midday Sunday 1 May in celebration of John Paul II's beatification.

The highlight of the event will be the super-sized screening of Catholic social networking site's live cross to Rome at 6pm for the Beatification Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

The afternoon of adoration and festivities prior to the live cross will include food stalls, music and entertainment with Gary Pinto and Polish dancers, an international photographic exhibition of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in the Cathedral and JP II documentaries on the big screen.

Being Divine Mercy Sunday - a special day in the life of John Paul II and the day he died (2 April 2005) - there will be a special service in the Cathedral at 3pm. Adoration will also be available.

Cardinal Pell will bless the bronze statue of John Paul II outside the western wall facing College Street at 4pm. At 4.30pm, Cardinal Pell will celebrate Mass with a number of Sydney’s Polish priests and parish priests concelebrating.

As John Paul II had a great affection for young people and initiated World Youth Day, young people will be playing a significant role in the 4.30pm Mass. Some will carry the World Youth Day Sydney Cross into the Cathedral while others will take part in the readings.

John Paul II was admired by people of all faiths and beyond, evidenced by those who were in St Peter’s Square for his funeral, still the largest funeral to be held anywhere in the world. Those from many other faiths will be attending the Mass and watching the live webcast on Sunday where they will honour and respect not only a great Pope, but a great world leader who helped deliver many thousands their freedom and their dignity.

Many from the Italian community and also the Polish community will be attending including Poland’s Consul General, Daniel R Gromann.

The beatification is also significant for Jewish people, given Pope John Paul II’s recognition of Holocaust memorials and religious sites and the importance he placed on Jewish and Catholic relations.

The President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Yasir Miller will be attending the Mass and the 6pm screening of the Beatification Mass.

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