Catholics pray to mourn the Pope of Popes
WHILE millions of people wit- nessed Pope John Paul II's funeral yesterday, Catholics around Glad- stone stopped to remember a man described as the 'Pope of Popes'.
Local Catholic schools and par-ishes staged Liturgies, special prayer services and requiem masses during the week to cele- brate the life of a man who was not only a religious leader, but a lin- guist, an academic and a poet.
Chanel College principal Ste- phen Cook said the life of Pope John Paul II had been a major point of discussion for students at the college throughout the week.
'Knowledge of the Pope's achievements range from age to age, depending on the individual's experience of the world, and while most students wouldn't have expe- rienced his influence directly, they understand the vital role he played in the international scene and the work he did for human rights, disarmament, peace and justice for the poor and op-pressed,' Mr Cook said.
As a mature Catholic, Mr Cook said his personal reaction to the Pope's death had been one of sad- ness, but also of celebration.
'There's a certain amount of sadness attached to it. On the one hand it's sad for us who no longer have his leadership and spiritual guidance, but on the other side it's a celebration of his life and the fact he has gone to his eternal re- ward,' he said.
At a Liturgy staged yesterday at the school, Mr Cook said he spoke to students about the different stages of the Pope's life, his achievements and what he was like as a person.
Local Catholic primary schools, including St John's and Star of the Sea School also staged liturgies, prayers at assembly and other cer-emonies to commemorate the life of Pope John Paul II.