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Pope John Paul- A man of outreach

Pope John Paul- A man of outreach


Local Bishop Robert Rivas has described the late Holy Father John Paul the second as a man of “outreach.” In an interview with the SEARCHLIGHT Bishop Rivas said the late Pope was “like a magnet and was a great communicator who was not afraid to spread the love of Christ.”

Bishop Rivas said Pope John Paul stood up for his faith and proclaimed it wherever he went without forcing it on you. He noted, “it didn’t matter if you were Hindu, Jew, Atheist, Communist or Muslim, John Paul was able to bring together all religious and non-religious leaders to pray for peace and to work in the interest of peace. He didn’t work under the pretext of worldly power but of the Higher Power. The world, not just the Catholics would miss him.” {{more}}

Bishop Rivas, who indicated that he knew the Pope very well, said that he had mass with The Holy Father eight times and meals with him six times before he passed away. Rivas indicated that “John Paul was a leader who remembered you, however small or insignificant you appeared.”

He said that this was one of the things that made him a great leader. The Bishop said he took an interest in the smallest Diocese and connected with them. He stated that whoever replaces the Pope would have to live up to many accomplishments that preceded the late leader of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Rivas said Pope John Paul was able to attract the young people more than any age group, even on his deathbed. He said that this was evident in the thousands of young faces that gathered whenever the Pope traveled the world and were outside praying for him when he was ill.

Bishop Rivas noted that the Pope’s last words were to young people. He quoted the Pope as saying: “I went in search of them and found them and now they have come to me. Thank them for me.”

Pope John Paul the Second died on April 2 peacefully in Rome after lingering several weeks weakened by surgery.

The Diocese of Kingstown in communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world has been mourning his passing. A special memorial mass was arranged on April 7 at 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption on North River Road, Kingstown.

Bishop Rivas, clergy, religious faithful, dignitaries and other well wishers were expected to participate in the event. A book of condolences was also placed at the Cathedral for persons who wished to express sympathy on the death of the Pope.

Monsignor Michael Stewart who is pursuing his doctorate in Rome will be representing the local Catholic Church.