Blessed John Paul II Parish Celebrates
On October 19th, Blessed John Paul II Parish in Perth Amboy, NJ celebrated its first birthday. This was a very special feast because this parish is the only parish in the whole diocese named after Blessed John Paul II. The parish is led by the redemptorist priests (Fr. Waldemar Latkowski is the pastor) who work very hard to accommodate the needs of the English, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese speaking parishioners.
The evening began with the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Bishop Paul Bootkoski, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen. During the Mass, we were all reminded of what a wonderful person Blessed John Paul II was and taught to go out and live by his words, “A man is not great by what he has but by what he shares with others.” There was also time to venerate to Blessed John Paul II’s relics.
Immediately following the Mass, a beautiful reception in the school’s auditorium took place. All the parishioners and guests gathered to continue celebrating this feast. This year the celebration of the patron saint of the parish had only a Polish character to it, being that every year a different nationality will be able to express Blessed John Paul II through their own culture.
In the school auditorium, a magnificent power point presentation was displayed which showed the elements of the history and culture that influenced Karol Wojtyla. Following the presentation, the Polish Folk Dance Group “Maki” from Lakewood Polish School performed the dances from different regions of Poland. As the leader of this group mentioned “Polish dance is very special to all of us and tonight we would like to dedicate these dances for you, but also for the fathers who work very hard in this parish: Fr. Waldemar, Fr. Lukasz, Fr. Jacek and Fr. Stanislaw. So please enjoy our performance and, for a while, make believe you are walking in John Paul II’s footsteps where everything began in the land rich in tradition and culture. Imagine you are in Poland dancing the Polonez, Krakowiak, and many other dances together with Karol Wojtyla.” Their beautiful and colorful costumes greatly awakened the interest of all the guests. Delicious and traditional Polish food was served to all in attendance.
This feast was a very special day to all being that Blessed John Paul II will become a saint on April 27, 2014. For more information about Blessed John Paul II’s parish events, please visit their website www.johnpaulsecond.com
– Ula Pawka