The Canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII
On Saturday, April 26th at 5:30 pm, a faithful crowd of about one and a half thousand filled to the brim the cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. Bishop Michael Barber presided over the canonization mass, assisted by several priests, including many of Polish origin. The Polish identity was felt everywhere. The second reading from the Holy Bible and one of the prayers of the faithful was read in Polish. Even during the homily - although in English - Raymond Gawronski S.J. had obvious Polish roots. Among the many in attendance were kids dressed in colorful costumes, Polish scout uniforms, clothes symbolizing Polish origin, and yellow shirts made especially for this day, and worn by the Polish organizers and many people of Slavic origin. Mass was solemn and memorable.
Shortly thereafter the reception consisted of more Polish accents. There were folk dances by children from the School of Polish Language. About a thousand people had a chance to enjoy delicous Polish refreshments.
The preparations for the event united the entire Polish community. Many individuals and associations from all over the Bay Area came together, including: the Polish Pastoral Center of Martinez, John Paul II Foundation, East Bay Polish American Association, the Polish Scouting Association, the John Paul II School of Polish Language and many other organizations.
There was also a mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in San Francisco on Sunday, April 27, enriched by Polish singer.
Both the Saints Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II had been duly honored by all who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Poland can be proud of their compatriots from this region of the world. The Catholic faith is and will remain a major conjunction of Polish nation.