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Priests welcome canonisation news

BRISBANE priests Fathers Mauro Conte and Jan Bialasiewicz have spoken with pride and affection of their countrymen popes – John XXIII and John Paul II – following the setting of a date for their joint canonisations.
Pope Francis announced on Monday September 30 the popes will be declared saints on April 27, 2014.
The decision was announced during the first consistory the pope has convened.
Italian-born Fr Conte, parish priest of Springfield, said although Pope John XXIII had died before he was born, his influence could be felt in many ways.
“He is an inspiration to us today … a reminder that it is still possible to achieve holiness and become a saint in modern times,” Fr Conte said.
Wilston/Enoggera/Gordon Park parish priest Fr Bialasiewicz still remembers as a seminarian in Poznon attending a lecture given by Pope John Paul II.
“We were all very excited and his presence had a great impact,” he said.
“The lecture was in the city’s cathedral and the pope made the lecture light yet very serious because of the location.”
Fr Bialasiewicz said Pope John Paul II’s election as pope had an enormous impact on vocations in Poland and his influence was still felt in many ways in his native country.
“Last year when I visited Poland there was much pride that he was to be canonised, even from people outside the Church,” he said.
“Everyone was talking about the pope’s impact, especially on Eastern Europe.”
Fr Conte said Pope John XXIII’s presence could still be felt in Rome.
“Somehow you can feel he stayed in the memory and hearts of people there,” he said.
“It was because he was so genuine.
“He had such a warm and beautiful smile.
“The older generation still speak of him fondly…I know my parents do.”

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