(Gregory Witul • Fri, Apr 25, 2014) This weekend, Catholics the world over will be celebrating the canonization of Good Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul the Great. Here in Western New York there will be some grand celebrations for Saint John Paul the Great. St. Stanislaus Church and St. Casimir Church are both having a special Mass in honor of their one-time guest, and Canisius College is also honoring the now saint, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla. In honor of this historic event, we will look at a card from Karol Cardinal Wojtyla’s 1969 visit to Buffalo.
When Karol Wojtyla got his passport stamped at the Peace Bridge on Sept. 16, 1969, there were dozens of dignitaries waiting to greet the Cardinal. For the better part of a month, Western New York’s Polish community was preparing for this special dignitary because Karol Wojtyla would be the first Polish cardinal to visit America, and his first stop would be Buffalo. The Prince of the Church had just spent three weeks in Canada and was now spending two weeks touring the U.S. At the bridge he greeted the delegation before making his way to St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo’s Polish East Side.