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Meeting John Paul in Kenya

THANK you for your good coverage of the late Pope John Paul II.

I lived in Kenya, East Africa when Pope John Paul visited Kenya from May 6-8, 1980.

We lived up country, near Lake Victoria, and I was privileged to have an invitation to be at the Holy Family Cathedral grounds to meet His Holiness following his arrival at Nairobi Airport from Zaire.

It was more than a three-hour journey. I had an African driver and took the African catechist from our missions church.

As one can imagine, the streets around the cathedral were crowded, but having a special pass we were able to drive to the main gate, but the driver had to drive around to find a parking spot.

The three of us then got a wonderful spot inside the main gates and stood right on the rope barrier very close to the entrance.

A dear elderly Goanese lady squeezed in and asked if she could stand next to me.

So there we were — the three different colours (black, brown, white). A real multiculture.

As His Holiness walked through the gates, we could have stretched out and touched him! He turned to us and smiled and gave us a blessing. What a day that was!

The welcoming hymn that was sung in Swahili was ‘All you people clap your hands’ (‘Enyi watu wote pigeni makofi’).


Taringa, Qld

Written by: Staff writers
Catholic Church Insurance

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