Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wojtyla, A Year On

How do you sum up 27 remarkable years in 1,800 words?

That's the question I had to face after an All Saints Day phone call from Fr Bill Parker, editor of Liguorian, the venerable monthly published by the Redemptorist Fathers.

Pulled over in my car in front of a gas station, the editor offered me an opportunity which was both joy and challenge -- to write the magazine's retrospective on the first anniversary of the death of John Paul II, placing the voluminous achievements and events of the pontificate into a historical context.

Given the mountain of Wojtyla's writings, acts and travels, it wasn't easy. But it was great fun to return to the aspect of the late Pope's thought which has always intrigued me, that of the "sign of contradiction," and to use it as the launchpad for my humble take.

I can only hope the final product is a helpful reflection for the magazine's audience and anyone keen to look back as we enter this anniversary weekend.

The magazine usually places only its cover story on its website -- this month's featured piece is on the Triduum. However, and gratefully, Fr Bill & Co. have decided to publish the John Paul piece online as well. You can find it here.

More on the anniversary, and the worldwide celebrations which'll mark it, as it comes.