Day sought to honour John Paul II


Tom Godfrey, QMI Agency

Dec 26, 2011….

TORONTO — Catholics in Canada’s largest city want the federal government to
declare a day to honour Pope John Paul II, one of the most popular pontiffs in

More than 25,000 postcards have been mailed by Canadians to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper calling for April 2 to be recognized as Pope John Paul II Day,
organizers said.

The cards, which require no postage if mailed to MPs, have been distributed
to stores, offices and churches in the Toronto area by members of the
Toronto-Warsaw Friendship Committee, which is spearheading the campaign.

“Pope John Paul II was a man of peace who reached out to young people,” said
committee chairman and former city councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczinski. “We are
hoping to celebrate or commemorate his life every April in Canada.”

Korwin-Kuczinski said John Paul had special ties to Canada and visited
several times, including in July 2002 for a World Youth Day festival in that
attracted 500,000 young people to a Toronto park.

“He was a very brilliant man, and we want to remember him,” he said. “He was
a very popular pope and people want to celebrate his life.”

Tory MP Ted Opitz said the proposal has received first reading in the House
of Commons.

“We are hoping for a second reading early next year because we hope to have
this in place by April,” Opitz said.

“I was involved in World Youth Day, and it was the greatest experience of my

He said the day will be one for people to remember John Paul and the work he
did in helping dismantle communism in Europe and reaching out to disenchanted

John Paul, born Karol Jozef Wojtyla, reigned as pope of the Catholic Church
and sovereign of Vatican City from 1978 until his death in 2005, at 84.


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