Communion of Saints: April 2005 Archives

Holy Fathers, Church Fathers


Today, our Holy Father, Benedict XVI formally began his Pontificate. It may be fitting that today is the anniversary of the "re-birth" of another Father. On this date in the year 387, at the Easter Vigil, the man whom we now know as St. Augustine, and his son Adeodatus, were baptized by St. Ambrose. Augustine’s mother, Monica, was present to see her prayers answered. Augustine was never a Holy Father, but this date certainly marks the new birth of a Church Father.

John Paul II, 1920 – 2005


I hardly know what to say on the death of our Holy Father. I am a convert and as such, he is the only pope I have ever known. I would be lying if I said he did not play a large part in my conversion to Catholicism.

I suppose the thing that I so admired about him, when I was still a Presbyterian, was his personal courage, what I would now call fortitude. Unlike the denomination I grew up in, one that had lost, and continues to lose, its way; John Paul was clearly a man who knew what he stood for and was unafraid to proclaim the Truth to the world. I knew, finally, I wanted a part of that.


I have never, as a Catholic, been through the death of a pope. Previously, the death of a pope was a significant world event, but little more. Now, it means the loss of a shepherd. It means that I, along with the rest of the Church, face a time of uncertainty. Who will be the next Holy Father? Will he remain faithful and strong? Will he be the Rock that I have so come to count on?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, nor does anyone else. I think that the lesson for us all is still the example of John Paul II. I find it significant that he passed from us during the Easter season. It seems almost impossible to mourn and weep in the time of the great celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection. I think the Holy Father would not have wanted it any other way. I believe that, rather than mourning, he would want us to rejoice in his life and look ahead with courage and faith, “Be not afraid.”

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This page is a archive of entries in the Communion of Saints category from April 2005.

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