Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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God is in the clouds

A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends




By Patti Murphy Dohn

Their bags are packed, boarding passes are printed, and all those passports are ready to be stamped as our young pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other dioceses around our nation head to the airport.

The occasion?
World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II.

Praying for our WYD pilgrims:

Let us join together each day and offer up this prayer for all those attending this year’s WYD celebration with Pope Francis.

Fashioned on the official prayer from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this version can be used each day by the parishes and families of our pilgrims. 


A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends: 
(Based on the World Youth Day Prayer for the United States from USCCB)

God our Father,
Be with our young people on their pilgrim journey of faith.
Give them the grace and courage to step forward
in faith and hope on the road ahead. 

Lord Jesus,
Open their eyes to see Your face in all those they encounter. 
Open their ears to hear Your voice in those who are often ignored. 
Open their hearts that they might be faithful disciples of mercy and truth. 

Holy Spirit,
Transform them. Empower them to give of themselves to the poor;
to welcome the lost; to forgive those who hurt them; 
to comfort those who suffer and are marginalized. 
Bless all those who travel on mission from the United States of America
to Krakow in Poland, Land of Divine Mercy, 
to join the universal Church for World Youth Day.
Bless, too, those who celebrate stateside, united in faith and joy. 
Like the disciples who journeyed up the mountain
to witness the Transfiguration, 
May this experience be an encounter
that strengthens them for their work in the world. 
Through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
patroness of our nation,
May they be worthy witnesses of their faith,
humble representatives of our country,
and inspired missionaries
bringing peace, hope, and mercy into our communities. Amen.

Saint James the Apostle, 
patron of pilgrim travelers, 
pray for them.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, 
young faithful witness from our native land, 
pray for them. 

Saint Therese of Lisieux, 
patroness of missionaries and advocate for youth, 
pray for them. 

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, 
man of the beatitudes and patron of young adults, 
pray for them. 

Saint John Paul II, 
son of Poland and patron of World Youth Day, 
pray for them.  

Amen!

—-

Read more of my reminiscences on World Youth Day:




For more information on World Youth Day: 

1. Visit the World Youth Day page on the website of the U.S. Catholic Bishops;

2. The Catholic Review will provide daily coverage about their experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow” 


 

July 21, 2016 09:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Throwback Thursday: A brief history of World Youth Day


The logo for the 2016 WYD in Kraków was designed by Monika Rybczyńska: Read about the symbolism in her design here.

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"You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope.”
—The greeting of Pope John Paul II to youth during his papal inauguration Mass on October 22, 1978

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In less than two weeks, hundreds of thousands of young people and youth ministers from all over the world will descend upon Kraków, Poland for World Youth Day 2016

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will be represented among the huge crowds. A delegation of 40 young adults, led by Father Matt Buening, Catholic chaplain at Towson University, as well as seminarians Matt Himes and Tyler Kline, will be in attendance. Local teen groups from Mount de Sales Academy and St. Mary’s Church, Annapolis are traveling to Poland as well. 

The Catholic Review will have up-to-date coverage each day from Maureen Cromer, who will blog about her experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow.”  

Why Kraków?

The homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II is the perfect location for a celebration for World Youth Day (WYD) during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. This year’s theme, which was one of three Beatitude-inspired WYD themes announced by Pope Francis in 2013, is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt 5:7) 


During the 1983-1984 Holy Year of the Redemption (which marked 1950 years after Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection), as well as the 1985 United Nation’s International Youth Year, Pope John Paul II invited young people to come to Rome to pray with him each year on Palm (Passion) Sunday. Though organizers initially expected about 60,000 to attend, crowds ranged from 250,000 in 1984 to 300,000 in 1985. These youth from many nations, who gathered with the Holy Father at the Vatican, affirmed their desire to be actively connected to Christ and their Catholic faith.  

The next year, in December of 1985, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of local events, which he called “World Youth Days,” to be held on the diocesan level every Palm Sunday, commencing in 1986. The Holy Father would also attend international gatherings for WYD, to be held every two or three years in different countries which he would select. 

Pope John Paul II reflected on these early youth events in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994):

“No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them.  Those days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations."

International celebrations: 

The first international World Youth Day was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987. Pope John Paul II also presided over seven more before his death in 2005. They were held in the following locations: 

  • Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1989;
  • Częstochowa, Poland, 1991;
  • Denver, Colorado, 1993;  
  • Manila, Philippines, 1995;
  • Paris, France, 1997;
  • Rome, 2000 for the Jubilee Year;
  • Toronto, Canada, 2002;



Above: Then-Archbishop of Baltimore William H. Keeler took this photo in the helicopter with Pope John Paul II, who was praying his rosary when he sees the enormous crowd gathered in Cherry Creek State Park for the WYD-Denver closing Mass on Aug. 15, 1993.
He later told the youth there:
“Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life.”
(Photo by Archbishop W. H. Keeler)

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To the 800,000 youth gathered at the closing vigil in Toronto in 2002, which would be the last international WYD for Pope John Paul II:

“When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.” 

—Pope John Paul II, July 28, 2002, Toronto

-----


Pope Benedict and Pope Francis continue the legacy of WYD:

Four months after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI presided over World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany (August, 2005), followed by Sydney, Australia (2008), and Madrid, Spain (2011).



Pope Benedict greets the crowds after arriving at WYD in Madrid (AP photo).

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Pope Francis, who was elected in March of 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict, traveled to Rio de Janeiro just four months later for WYD (July, 2013). At the closing Mass at Copacabana beach, he joyfully announced that he would meet again with youth from all over the world for WYD 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of now-Saint John Paul II. 




Three million people gathered on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the closing Mass of WYD 2013 with Pope Francis.
(Photo: AP/ Felipe Dana)


WYD 2016 in Kraków:

According to Rome Reports, registrations for this upcoming WYD have been received from thousands of youth representing 107 countries, along with more than 10,000 priests, over 800 bishops and almost 50 cardinals. Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and the United States are the five countries with the most registrations. 

As Pope Francis prepares to join our young people in Kraków, organizers are expecting as many as 2 million to attend the overnight vigil and closing Mass on July 31.

These young people who gather in Kraków next week are in for one of the most exhilarating spiritual experiences of their lifetime. Not only will they meet people from around the world, attend catechetical sessions and Mass each day, but they will have countless opportunities to open their hearts to hear God’s call to live a life of mercy as they experience His love in new and profound ways. 

Let’s keep all the youth in our prayers.
God is good!





-----

Read more of my reminisces on World Youth Day here in:


July 14, 2016 01:59
By Patti Murphy Dohn


On practicing good humor: Another look at the prayer of Saint Thomas More 



"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes."
-Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose feast we celebrate today.

The effects of Snowmageddon:  

The Holy Spirit has been hinting to me lately about the need for more good humor. Reminders have come in the form of articles and social media content to some of the circumstances, big and small, of our daily retired life. 

The historic weather events of the past week have brought about a need for some levity too, don't you agree? 

The massive blizzard, now known as Snowmageddon 2016, dumped more than two feet of snow to the mid-Atlantic region. The slow progress of many county snow plows brought about frustration in a lot of neighborhoods, making it necessary for many people to call on the virtue of patience. 

Potential chair wars broke out in urban areas over shoveled-out parking spots. And most schools have closed for the week leaving parents with the daily challenge of keeping their children fed and clothed in fresh snow outerwear, while troubleshooting cries of boredom and sibling rivalry. 

Oh my… 

And it was during all this chaos that one of my Florida neighbors found this photo of Pope Francis on my older Facebook feed. What an animated photo of the Holy Father laughing and filled with joy!



(Photo by Luca Zennaro/Pool via Reuters)


This photo by Luca Zennaro was often linked thirteen months ago to news accounts of the Holy Father’s December 22, 2014 address to the Roman Curia. In an otherwise sober year-end address, the Holy Father shared with these Vatican officials that he prays daily to English martyr Saint Thomas More for the gift of good humor, citing that a healthy dose of humor is very beneficial.


“An apostle must make an effort to be courteous, serene, enthusiastic and joyful, a person who transmits joy everywhere he goes. A heart filled with God is a happy heart which radiates an infectious joy: it is immediately evident! So let us not lose that joyful, humorous and even self-deprecating spirit which makes people amiable even in difficult situations. How beneficial is a good dose of humour! We would do well to recite often the prayer of St. Thomas More. I say it every day, and it helps.”

Clementine Hall, Monday, 22 December 2014

I’m thinking today that perhaps all of us should consider making this beautiful prayer part of our daily prayer life. Our days could be richer for the laughter and light-hearted discourses that come our way! 




Prayer for Good Humor:
by Saint Thomas More

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. 
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. 
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good 
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, 
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. 
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, 
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” 
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. 
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, 
and to be able to share it with others.
Amen.


May all of us have more laughter and gracious good humor in our lives!

God is good… All the time!


January 28, 2016 02:13
By Patti Murphy Dohn


On practicing good humor: Another look at the prayer of Saint Thomas More 



"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes."
-Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose feast we celebrate today.

The effects of Snowmageddon:  

The Holy Spirit has been hinting to me lately about the need for more good humor. Reminders have come in the form of articles and social media content to some of the circumstances, big and small, of our daily retired life. 

The historic weather events of the past week have brought about a need for some levity too, don't you agree? 

The massive blizzard, now known as Snowmageddon 2016, dumped more than two feet of snow to the mid-Atlantic region. The slow progress of many county snow plows brought about frustration in a lot of neighborhoods, making it necessary for many people to call on the virtue of patience. 

Potential chair wars broke out in urban areas over shoveled-out parking spots. And most schools have closed for the week leaving parents with the daily challenge of keeping their children fed and clothed in fresh snow outerwear, while troubleshooting cries of boredom and sibling rivalry. 

Oh my… 

And it was during all this chaos that one of my Florida neighbors found this photo of Pope Francis on my older Facebook feed. What an animated photo of the Holy Father laughing and filled with joy!



(Photo by Luca Zennaro/Pool via Reuters)


This photo by Luca Zennaro was often linked thirteen months ago to news accounts of the Holy Father’s December 22, 2014 address to the Roman Curia. In an otherwise sober year-end address, the Holy Father shared with these Vatican officials that he prays daily to English martyr Saint Thomas More for the gift of good humor, citing that a healthy dose of humor is very beneficial.


“An apostle must make an effort to be courteous, serene, enthusiastic and joyful, a person who transmits joy everywhere he goes. A heart filled with God is a happy heart which radiates an infectious joy: it is immediately evident! So let us not lose that joyful, humorous and even self-deprecating spirit which makes people amiable even in difficult situations. How beneficial is a good dose of humour! We would do well to recite often the prayer of St. Thomas More. I say it every day, and it helps.”

Clementine Hall, Monday, 22 December 2014

I’m thinking today that perhaps all of us should consider making this beautiful prayer part of our daily prayer life. Our days could be richer for the laughter and light-hearted discourses that come our way! 




Prayer for Good Humor:
by Saint Thomas More

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. 
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. 
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good 
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, 
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. 
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, 
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” 
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. 
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, 
and to be able to share it with others.
Amen.


May all of us have more laughter and gracious good humor in our lives!

God is good… All the time!


January 28, 2016 02:13
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis: Part 4: Hearing the Holy Father’s message



Artwork by Joe Heller for The Compass, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay


I wanted to spend some time in this series talking about how we can best prepare to hear the message of the Holy Father. 

I attended a webinar last week for journalists in the Catholic Press Association with Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, the English language Media Attaché for the Holy See Press Office, as well as CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Television Network. The purpose of the webinar was to provide CPA members with a preview to the papal visit, answer questions, and provide suggestions on how best to prepare for coverage.

As I listened to Fr. Rosica and asked a few questions of my own, I realized how important it is for American Catholics to prepare themselves to hear the Holy Father’s message both through a prayerful opening of our hearts and minds, as well as background reading of the Holy Father’s writings.

Father shared a lot of background context, especially in preparation for the these first four days in Cuba, as well as “the bookends” of the upcoming World Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 4-25) and the upcoming Jubilee Year/Holy Year of Mercy against the backdrop of the papal visit. He urged all of us to let the bigger message speak… the message of Gospel. Pope Francis’ masterful use of scripture and its application to our everyday life are immense helps to all of us in living the Gospel message.

With all of this in mind, I wanted to share resources that my readers could use to prepare to listen to the message of the Holy Father this week. And then… I discovered that my friends at the U.S. Catholics Bishops Office had done just that. Great minds think alike!

No need to reinvent the wheel, as they say. I would like to share with you "Ten ways to participate in Pope Francis’ U.S. visit" from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whether in person or from your homes on TV or online coverage. 


1. Take part in a "Virtual Pilgrimage" with these prayers as the Holy Father makes his way to more than a dozen different locations in Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

2. Learn more about the places Pope Francis will visit by following his journey on this interactive map.

3. Become "Pope Francis-literate” by reading his two encyclical letters: Lumen Fidei and Laudato Si.


Read the rest of this insightful list of suggestions here.

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Do you have other ideas on how to best participate in this week’s papal visit?

Please share your thoughts with me:
Twitter: @JCSMinistry


Read more from my series on the visit of Pope Francis to the United States:

Part 1 includes all the basics that you should know: 

Part 2 includes lots of memories from those who attended or participated in past papal visits to our country:

Part 3 is all about papal memorabilia, including where to purchase keepsakes from authorized distributors, as well as a look at part of my collection from past papal visits to the United States: 


September 20, 2015 03:05
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis: Part 3: Papal visit merchandise, memorabilia, souvenirs, and keepsakes



Counting down:

 Just six days until Pope Francis arrives in the USA! 


Papal memorabilia galore:

If you are traveling in the vicinity of the cities that Pope Francis will visit next week, you will likely see lots of displays of souvenirs related to this first apostolic visit to the United States.

Memorabilia vendors are as varied as their offerings. There are official vendors authorized by the various dioceses and the 2015 World Meeting of Families. There are also unofficial outlets, many of which offer cheap trinkets at a low cost to make a fast buck. 
Pope Francis bobble heads, anyone?  

Serious collectors and those who wish to purchase gifts for lasting memories should look toward the official merchandise for sale on the official papal visit websites. These authorized vendors have a vast array of items, including rosaries, medallions, prayer cards, books, artwork, mugs, and apparel with official logos. 

Shop in person:

If you want to take a road trip to Philly in the next week or if you plan to attend either if the papal gatherings on September 26-27, you can shop in person. 

Aramark is the official vendor for the World Meeting of Families and the visit of the Holy Father to Philadelphia. They had a grand opening last Wednesday for their official World Meeting of Families merchandise shop in the Aramark Tower at 1101 Market Street in downtown Philly. 

According to their website, other locations will be open next week during the Congress and papal visit at the convention center, on Independence Mall on September 26, and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 26-27. 

Official vendors will also be on-sight at locations near the papal events in New York City and Washington, D.C. 

Online purchases: 

For online purchases, the official catalog with over 200 commemorative items is available here

Proceeds will benefit the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 and the visit of Pope Francis. 

For info on the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit their website here

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My collection of papal visit memorabilia:

Being an aficionado of anything related to Church history and the papacy, I have huge collection of papal memorabilia. I am also a Vatican philatelist with an enormous collection of stamp albums, first day covers, postcards, and Vatican yearbooks. 

So it shouldn't surprise you that I have lots of mementos from past papal visits to the United States. I gathered as many items from my collection as I could in 15 minutes and took photos to share. 


Above: From 1965:
Pope Paul VI was the first pontiff to visit our country. Though I didn't participate in this 14-hour visit, I have two books with lots of photographs and excellent coverage.

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Above: Pope St. John Paul II made seven trips to the United States during his 27-year pontificate.
Here are some of the many books that recap his visits.

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Above: 1979: 
The first time I saw Pope John Paul II was in Philadelphia during his very first visit to the USA. The Mass he celebrated on there Wednesday, October 3 was held in the same location where Pope Francis will say Mass on September 27. 

The third trip of his papacy (the first was to the Dominican Republic and Mexico; and the second was to his native Poland), it occurred exactly one year after the conclave which elected this pope who would become a saint.

Though I have a number of keepsakes from that historic week, including items from my volunteer work that week at the on-site Catholic Press office, I have only included three items here:
Souvenir edition of Newsweek magazine, the famous Pope John Paul II collectors edition comic book, and a signed copy of Pope John Paul II: A Festive Profile written by my college professor, Rev. Ludvik Nemec, who was an old friend of the Holy Father. 

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Above: World Youth Day 1993 in Denver was the occasion of another visit of Pope John Paul II. Though I did not attend since I had three young children, one of my John Carroll students, Kristy Manning, JC Class of 1996, won a contest and represented our school. Kristy was especially excited since she was not Catholic and loved our Holy Father. She had a wonderful experience with the youth celebration from St. Margaret Church in Bel Air, and brought me a gift to show her gratitude for my support in encouraging her to apply for the contest. The framed First Day covers, which were hand-stamped daily from August 12-15, were proudly displayed in my classroom and in my Campus Ministry office until I retired from John Carroll last year. When I see them, I think of Kristy and her experiences at World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II!

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Above: The 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Baltimore was one of the highlights of my life.
And my collection of mementos show it... 
A Religion teacher at John Carroll at that time, I was part of the committee that coordinated the service of our youth as city ambassadors and parade honor guard. 
My service allowed me to participate in the youth concert at Pier Six the night before the papal visit. Performers included Boyz II Men, Michael W. Smith, and Kathy Troccoli. 
The highlight, the Holy Father speaking live to the youth via satellite on the big screen from NYC,
"But the loudest cheer of the evening was reserved for a 75-year-old from Rome who wasn't even there, a transplanted Pole who closed the concert not with a song, but simply by telling the crowd by satellite that he was looking forward to his visit to Baltimore."

Seen from left: The official commentaries book from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, along with the video and the bumper sticker, the next week's edition of The Catholic Review with special section of papal coverage, the Gospel of John which was distributed to those who attended the Mass at Camden Yards, the Mass program and booklet "A Faith-filled Celebration," and the 1996 commemorative calendar.

-----


Above: Here's the colorful hat that my then-11 year old daughter Meighan got at the youth concert,
along with our Mass tickets, my staff badge, and the tickets, parking pass, and program
for the Departure Ceremony that my then-9 year old son Joseph and I attended at BWI airport
before the Holy Father departed for his return trip to Rome. 
Memories to last a lifetime!

-----


Above: 2008:
I was proud to lead four buses from our Archdiocese with the Harford County pilgrims who attended the Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at Yankee Stadium on April 15, 2008. The congregation of almost 60,000 people from every state in our country gathered to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of "the Sees of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville from the mother See of Baltimore."

Everyone who attended received a packet of materials which included the Gospel of Luke, the Catholic Digest, and a water bottle.

-----


Above: I collect Mass programs from historic occasions too:
Here's the Mass program from Holy Father Emeritus' Mass at Yankee Stadium and my family's tickets. 

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Above: People give me stuff... 

Over the years I have received a number of gifts of papal and church-related memorabilia from families who just don't know what to do with it anymore and don't want to discard it.

Here's an example of a framed certificate of authenticity from the Archdiocese of New York with a small section of carpet from formed a 1000-foot gold cross on the stage at the October 7, 1995 Mass of Pope John Paul on the Great Lawn of Central Park.

"A procession of 1600 church dignitaries filed over this monumental cross to offer communion to the more than 200,000 faithful who celebrated the historic Mass, the highlight of the Holy Father's 1995 World Tour."

Yes, I have this in my home office.
By all means, send your Church-related collectors' items my way!

-----


Do you have any interesting papal memorabilia?

I want to hear about it: 
Send me an email to: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com.

-----

Read more from my series on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States:


Part 1 includes all the basics that you should know: 

Part 2 includes lots of memories from those who attended or participated in past papal visits to our country:

September 16, 2015 12:32
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States: Part 2: Remembering past papal visits




Just nine days until Pope Francis arrives in the United States:

The excitement continues to build for this historic apostolic visit.

Part of the anticipation has sprung from the sharing of memories by those who have participated in papal visits of the past. Pope Francis is the fourth pontiff to visit our nation. His visit will mark the tenth papal visit.


1. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the United States and the United Nations in 1965;

2. Pope St. John Paul II visited the U.S. seven times:

    a. 1979: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Des Moines, Iowa;

    b. 1981:  Anchorage, Alaska;

    c. 1984: For several hours in Fairbanks, Alaska where he met with President Reagan during a layover;

    d. 1987: Miami, Columbia, South Carolina, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit;

    e. 1993:  Denver for World Youth Day;

    f. 1995: Newark, New Jersey, New York, Baltimore;

    g. 1999: St. Louis; 

3. Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington, DC and New York in April of 2008.


Read more about these papal visits and the meetings with the U.S. president in my March 27, 2014 edition of:

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Looking back to the historic 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Baltimore:

The 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to our Premier See is among the highlights of the history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.


My memories:

“The Vicar of Christ had come to us!” 

"There are moments that you know have become etched in your memory forever. That's how I feel every time I look back on the 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to my hometown of Baltimore. 

A Religion teacher at John Carroll at that time, I was part of the committee that coordinated the service of our youth as city ambassadors and parade honor guard. After my early bird service that morning, I met up with my family at Camden Yards for the Mass. 

The excitement of the crowds to see the Holy Father was palpable. I will never forget the cries of joy throughout the stadium when it was announced on the JumboTron that his TWA Shepherd One plane was landing at BWI. We all watched the live video coverage as the plane landed, followed by greetings from a welcoming entourage, and the escorted motorcade procession driving north on I-95 toward us. All eyes were on the JumboTron screen.

When the popemobile entered the stadium and drove slowly along the warning track around the perimeter of the field, there were tears of joy amid the deafening applause. Chants of "John Paul Two, we love you!" filled the air. This was far bigger than any rock concert or public gathering that I have ever seen in person or on television. The Vicar of Christ had come to us! 

As the Holy Father celebrated Mass with Cardinal Keeler and the throngs of cardinals, bishops and priests, I was overcome with incredible gratitude at being able to witness our Church history in the making. 

Undoubtedly, Baltimore, the premier see of Catholic faith in our nation, would never be the same. And I will cherish these memories and those precious hours that I spent in the presence of a saint for all my days. 

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!”


~Patti Murphy Dohn has participated in two visits of Pope St. John Paul II (Philadelphia, 1979 and Baltimore, 1995), the 2008 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to NYC, and also took part in Holy Week and Easter liturgies in 2014 with Pope Francis at the Vatican.  


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Fr. C. Doug Kenney greets the Pope John Paul II before Mass began. To the right is Msgr. James Barker, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Hickory. 


Receiving Holy Communion from a future saint:

Fr. C. Doug Kenney, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Oakland, recalls the privilege of working backstage and on the sidelines at Oriole Park with Msgr. Jim Barker and Fr. Chuck Wible. They were responsible for the the sacred vessels, vestments, and other necessary supplies for the Holy Father, cardinals, and bishops. (Photo below.)




Fr. Doug chuckles now as he remembers them running short of the green vestments for Ordinary Time. They were two sets short. He shared that when they saw Cardinal John O’Connor, who had arrived in Baltimore on the plane with the Holy Father, they knew they were not going to have enough chasubles…  

So when you see photographs from Baltimore's Papal Mass with Cardinal Keeler and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then-Vatican Secretary of State, wearing white vestments, you know the back story!

Among Fr. Doug’s best memories was being able to greet the Holy Father and to receive Holy Communion from him. He will never forget that memory from the historic visit to Baltimore of Pope St. John Paul II.



His Eminence Cardinal Keeler greets the Holy Father while wearing a white chasuble

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More memories from Baltimore’s 1995 papal visit: 

“I was so excited to be in the company of our Pope when he was in Baltimore. I may have only been in the stadium seats, but the spiritual feeling was something I will never forget.”  
~ Bernadine Beatty of St. Margaret Parish

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Louise Doherty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish shared an unforgettable moment when she and her husband Kevin also attended the Papal Mass at Camden Yards:

“During the sign of peace, we received a note from our dear friends asking us to be Godparents!”

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Brief encounters that made a lasting impact:

My friend Joan Larney recalls:

“Pope Paul was the very first pope to ever visit the United States. My four daughters and I waited nearly three hours to see Pope Paul VI drive by on his way into New York City. It was only a moment, but one I've never forgotten it. This was very special.”

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Deirdre Magner, a Spanish teacher at John Carroll, shared memories from the first visit of Pope St. John Paul II to New York City in 1979 when she was a graduate student there.

Not a fan of crowds, Deirdre avoided the areas of the city where the papal events were to take place. Leaving work and heading to the subway station for home, she was highly surprised to see the flashing lights of the papal motorcade with its police escort coming toward her down an empty street. 

And there was the The Holy Father, in an open-air black limo, and Deirdre was the only one there on the sidewalk!

“He looked me right in the eye and gave me a blessing. I was transfixed, unable to believe what I had just witnessed. It was almost like a private audience.  And it was all the more special because it was spontaneous and serendipitous. It was truly an amazing moment - one I'll never forget!”



Pope John Paul II greeted crowds in Boston (above) on Oct. 1, 1979, the first day of his six-day U.S. tour, from that same open-air black limo that Deidre Magner would encounter on the street in New York City the next evening. (Photo/ AP) 

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More papal memories:

Mara Pais of St. Ignatius Parish in Hickory recalls memories from 1979:

“I was a student at Trinity College in Washington, DC when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. I was within feet of him as he drove up to the Trinity Chapel, where he conducted an ecumenical service for religious leaders.  He also held a Mass on our campus for disabled children.  

My friends and I didn't initially plan to attend the Mass on the Mall, but we were so overtaken by excitement after seeing the Pope up close, that we headed down to join the throngs awaiting the Papal Mass.  It was raining as we exited the Metro, and a light rain continued until Pope John Paul stepped up to the altar. Not only did the rain stop, but the sun came out, and the Mass was incredibly beautiful.”

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Memories of Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, DC:

Elizabeth Krempa of the John Carroll Class of 2007 recalls the excitement:

“I had the opportunity to see Pope Benedict at my college, Catholic University, in 2008. He spoke in our student center and held Mass in the National Basilica. When he spoke at our student center, I was in the front row. He and the popemobile were right in front of me!! 

It was such a big deal on campus. We had snipers on our buildings, news media everywhere, boxed lunches, the whole nine yards!! What an amazing experience for all of us young people!! We kept chanting..."CUA LOVES THE POPE!!"


Photo: Elizabeth Krempa, RN

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“… showing our faith to the world.”

Carla Hazard Tomaszewski of St. Mary’s County attended Mass with Pope St. John Paul II in 1979 on the Mall in Washington, DC and in 1995 in Baltimore. She also attended Mass with Pope Benedict in 2008 at the Nationals Stadium in DC. 

She wrote an article on these experiences, as well as hiking as a pilgrim to Mass with Pope John II in the mountains of Nowy Targ, Poland in early 1979, for The Trumpeter, the newsletter of the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland. She so well described the feelings of Catholics who attend a Papal Mass:

“It was a wonderful experience. The feeling of togetherness and solidarity as Catholics was what made the biggest impression on me. We were all proud that we were showing our faith to the world.”

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ICYMI: (In case you missed it):

Learn about the basics of Pope Francis’ historic trip to the United States here:


Included: 

  • The Holy Father’s complete schedule of events for the three-city whirlwind tour;
  • Links and info on where you can watch these events live online and on television;
  • On-demand videos to watch at your convenience after each event has ended;
  • The historic significance of this papal trip;
  • Links to the US Catholic Bishops papal visit website, along with catechetical resources;
  • and a link to the The Baltimore Sun’s September 6 “A guide to seeing the pope in Philadelphia” from their Sunday “Life & Travel” section.

Watch for Part 3 in this series on "Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States." 

September 14, 2015 01:13
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the first apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the United States: Part 1

The excitement is building:

Pope Francis arrives here in the U.S. in just 14 days! That’s just two weeks from today…

I have so many fond memories of the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI here in the United States, including three occasions where I took part. It is a thrilling experience to see the Holy Father in person, whether you are up close or far away in the crowds. For most people, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

As the clock ticks down the days and hours, the news media sources are learning more and more about the specific logistics of Pope Francis’ visit. 

Many Catholics from the Archdiocese of Baltimore will join the bus trip sponsored by Catholic Review Media for the Holy Father’s Mass in Philadelphia. Read more about that pilgrimage here.

The basics that you should you know about this historic papal visit:

1. Before arriving in the United States, Pope Francis will visit the island nation of Cuba from September 19-22. This is the third papal visit for the people of Cuba. Pope John Paul II visited in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. 

2. Following his departure from Cuba, Pope Francis will visit the United States from September 22-27. This is his first apostolic visit to our country.

3. Due to his incredible popularity, millions of people are hoping to get a glimpse of him. He will be here for six days and will visit Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. 

4. Media coverage of the papal visit will be extensive. You will be able to watch Pope Francis’ public addresses and liturgies on lifestream from the U.S. Bishops’ website, as well as on EWTN Global Catholic Network.

5. The livestream from the U.S. Bishops can be accessed here.

6. Papal visit programming will be available on demand after each event has ended here.

7. The complete list of programming on EWTN Global Catholic Network can be found here.

8. During his visit, Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a joint session of Congress. He will also preside over the canonization of Blessed Juniper Serra. This will be the first time in history that a saint has been canonized on American soil as these sacred ceremonies usually take place at the Vatican. 

9. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have a page on their website devoted entirely to the Holy Father’s visit. You can read updates as they happen, see any schedule changes, and get breaking news.

10. Catechetical resources for all ages are available for teachers, families, and individuals who want to learn more in preparation for the visit. Among the information provided are resources on Blessed Junipero Serra, whom the Holy Father will canonize in Washington, DC on September 23, as well as on the World Meeting of Families which he will attend in Philadelphia.

11. The Baltimore Sun included “A guide to seeing the pope in Philadelphia” in their Sunday “Life & Travel” section. It provides a lot of details what to expect.


 
Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  
All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (WASHINGTON, DC)
▪ 4:00 p.m.    Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (WASHINGTON, DC)
▪ 9:15  a.m.  Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
▪ 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
▪ 4:15  p.m.  Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 (WASHINGTON, DC, NEW YORK CITY)
▪ 9:20  a.m.  Address to Joint Meeting of the United States Congress 
▪ 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
▪ 4:00 p.m.   Depart from Joint Base Andrews
▪ 5:00 p.m.   Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
▪ 6:45 p.m.   Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (NEW YORK CITY)
▪ 8:30  a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
▪ 11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center 
▪ 4:00  p.m.  Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
▪ 6:00  p.m.  Mass at Madison Square Garden

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (NEW YORK CITY, PHILADELPHIA)
▪ 8:40  a.m.  Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
▪ 9:30  a.m.  Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia 
▪ 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia 
▪ 4:45  p.m.  Visit to Independence Mall
▪ 7:30  p.m.  Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (PHILADELPHIA)
▪ 9:15   a.m.  Meeting with bishops at St. Martin's Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary 
▪ 11:00  a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility 
▪ 4:00  p.m.   Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
▪ 7:00   p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation 
▪ 8:00   p.m.  Departure for Rome


Share your memories:

If you have memories to share from the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to the United States, please email me at:

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


Look for Part 2 of this series on the apostolic visit of Pope Francis in the United States here on Thursday. 


September 08, 2015 01:28
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Throwback Thursday: Looking back at the eight meetings of popes and presidents on American soil


It's Catholic Throwback Thursday:


Yesterday I posted 20 interesting, fun facts about meetings of popes and U.S. presidents.

Today we are flashing back to the eight visits of popes and presidents that were held on American soil for this week’s Catholic Throwback Thursday.


Quick facts:

1. Today’s Vatican visit of President Obama marks the 28th meeting of a president with the pope.

2. Of our 44 United States presidents, only 12 have ever met with the then-current Holy Father.

3. These papal-presidential meetings, which include 6 different popes and 12 U.S. presidents, have occurred over a span of 95 years.

4. Eight meetings between presidents and popes have taken place here in the United States.


Let's flash back:

 


First visit of a pope to the United States: Pope Paul VI, the first Pontiff to visit our nation, had a full day on October 4, 1965, including an address to the United Nations and a meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. This was his third trip outside Italy and his only trip to our nation during his papacy.  (AP Photo/File)




First White House visit by a pope: President Jimmy Carter met with Pope John Paul II at the White House on October 6, 1979. This was the first of 15 meetings between Pope John Paul II and a U.S. president.



Fairbanks, Alaska was the meeting place for a quick visit between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on May 2, 1984. The Holy Father’s plane was refueling on his trip to Seoul and President Reagan was on his way home from a trip to China. (PHOTO: Ronald Reagan Library, Austin, Texas)

Note: When my husband and I went on an Alaskan land-sea tour in 2004 we landed at Fairbanks International Airport where a large plaque marked the meeting room from this papal-presidential visit.


 


 President Ronald Reagan’s second meeting with Pope John Paul II here in the United States took place at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami on  September 10, 1987. Pictured here with Mrs. Reagan, the Holy Father and President Reagan later strolled in the gardens and talked privately. (Photo: Vizcaya Museum)



 

President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II addressed the media at a news conference before World Youth Day in Denver on August 12, 1993. (Getty Images)



 

President Bill Clinton again meets with Pope John Paul II on October 4, 1995 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo: Getty Images)


 


 President Bill Clinton’s third U.S. meeting with Pope John Paul II took place in St. Louis on January 26, 1999. (AP: Ron Edmonds)


 


The most recent visit of a Holy Father to the United States took place on April 16, 2008 when President George W. Bush hosted Pope Benedict XVI at the White House. More than 13,000 guests gathered on the South Lawn and sang “Happy Birthday” to mark the Holy Father’s 81st birthday.  (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)



President Bush met with Pope Benedict in the Oval Office after the Welcome Ceremony. Pictured is the birthday cake baked by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses. (White House photo by Eric Draper)


Catholic Throwback Thursday:

Do you have any suggestions for a future look back on Catholic Throwback Thursday?

Email and share your ideas: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com



March 27, 2014 12:33
By Patti Murphy Dohn