DAY THREE - PENTECOST SUNDAY, 30 MAY MEETING WITH POLISH COMMUNITY, IN LONDON On Sunday morning the Polish Pope met 24,000 of his fellow countrymen at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in South London. Among those present were many Polish expatriates who arrived during the Second World War. Deeply moved by the occasion, Pope John Paul gave an hour-long address in his native tongue, during which he said: "You who have created the 'Poland in Britain' of today are not first and foremost emigrants for me, but first and foremost the living part of Poland, which, although withdrawn from its native land, does not cease to be itself. So it lives in the conviction that in it, in that very part, the whole of Poland dwells in a special way. "If I am here on English soil as a pilgrim, a pilgrim Pope and at the same time a son of the same land as you, I cannot help expressing first of all this truth about you, the truth which I have always felt." MASS AND CONFIRMATION AT COVENTRY AIRPORT After his meeting with members of the Polish community Pope John Paul travelled by helicopter to Coventry Airport where he was driven through a crowd of more than 350,000, before he celebrated Mass administered the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Pope was welcomed to the Archdiocese of Birmingham on the Feast of Pentecost, Birthday of the Church, by the newly installed Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville. During his homily Pope John Paul said: "We are close to the city of Coventry, a city devastated by war but rebuilt in hope. The ruins of the old Cathedral and the building of the new are recognized throughout the world as a symbol of Christian reconciliation and peace. Our world is disfigured by war and violence. The ruins of the old Cathedral constantly remind our society of its capacity to destroy." The Pope went on to commend Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-90) the best-known English churchman of the nineteenth century. An Anglican vicar and leader of the Oxford Movement Newman became a Catholic on 9 October 1845. Pope John Paul (who declared Newman Venerable in January 1991) said: "I cannot come to the Midlands without remembering that great man of God, that pilgrim for truth. Cardinal John Henry Newman. His quest for God and for the fullness of truth - a sign of the Holy Spirit at work within him - brought him to prayerfulness and a wisdom that still inspires us today." ARRIVAL AT SPEKE AIRPORT, LIVERPOOL On Sunday afternoon Pope John Paul flew to Speke Airport, Liverpool, where a crowd of more than 150,000 people greeted him. During his address the Pope said: "One problem in particular, which I would like to mention, is unemployment. I know that you are experiencing this very seriously in Liverpool, and it is one of the major problems facing society as a whole. "In many countries, unemployment has risen sharply and caused hardship to individuals and families. It tends to sow seeds of bitterness, division and even violence. The young, unable to find a job, feel cheated of their dreams, while those who have lost their jobs feel rejected and useless. "I have been told that as I travel through Liverpool our motorcade will be passing along Hope Street. This name struck me immediately as an expression of the aspirations of the people who live here, an expression of their hope for the future, especially for the future of their children and their children's children." VISIT TO THE ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL, LIVERPOOL Pope John Paul went by motorcade to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral where he took part in a short service. He was welcomed by Bishop David Shepherd, greeted Church leaders from Merseyside and exchanged a sign of peace with them before leading the congregation in The Lord's Prayer. MASS AND RECONCILATION AT THE METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE KING, LIVERPOOL Pope John Paul travelled along Hope Street to the Metropolitan Cathedral where Archbishop Derek Worlock welcomed him. In the splendour of the modern cathedral, scene of the National Pastoral Congress in 1980, the Pope celebrated the Mass of Pentecost for two thousand Catholics drawn from throughout the northern Province. During his sermon the Pope said: "Although it is not possible to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance, nevertheless I wish to emphasise the importance of penance and reconciliation in the life of the Church and in the lives of all her individual members. "There is no sin, which cannot be forgiven, if we approach the throne of mercy with humble and contrite hearts. No evil is more powerful than the infinite mercy of God. By dying, Christ destroyed our death; by rising, he restored our life; by his wounds we are healed and our sins are forgiven. "I appeal to all the faithful of Britain, and to all the other members of the Church who may hear my voice or read my words: Dearly beloved, let us give greater emphasis to the Sacrament of Penance." After Mass Pope John Paul was greeted in words and song by two thousand of the city's young people gathered in the Cathedral Piazza. He addressed them briefly, and then joined them in singing 'Bind us together. Lord'. The Pope spent the night at Archbishop's House, Liverpool. DAY FOUR - MONDAY 31 MAY MASS AND ORDINATION AT HEATON PARK, MANCHESTER On Monday morning, Pope John Paul met the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, Sir Immanuel Jakobovits, and other leaders of the Jewish Community at the Convent of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, in Manchester. The Pope then travelled to Heaton Park where he ordained twelve young men to the priesthood during the Mass attended by more than 200,000 people. During his sermon Pope John Paul had these powerful words for the newly ordained: "You must be men of God, his close friends. You must develop daily patterns of prayer, and penance must be a regular part of your life. "You must also learn to share the hopes and the joys, the sorrows and the frustrations of the people entrusted to your care. Bring to them Christ's saving message of reconciliation. Visit your parishioners in their homes. This has been strength of the Church in England. It is a pastoral practice that should not be neglected. Teach your people boldly about the faithful love of God. You must show that you believe in that faithful love by the fidelity with which you live your own life." RENEWAL OF MARRIAGE VOWS AT KNAVESMIRE RACECOURSE, YORK During the afternoon Pope John Paul II flew from Manchester to Knavesmire Racecourse, York, where thousands of couples in a crowd of more than 250,000 people renewed their marriage vows. During his address the Pope stressed: "In a marriage a man and a woman pledge themselves to one another in an unbreakable alliance of total mutual self-giving. A total union of love. Love that is not a passing emotion or temporary infatuation, but a responsible and free decision to bind oneself completely, 'in good times and in bad', to one's partner. It is the gift of oneself to the other. It is a love to be proclaimed before the eyes of the whole world. It is unconditional." The Holy Father left the racecourse by helicopter for RAF Leeming, where he, and his entourage, together with members of the media, myself included, boarded a special flight to RAF Turnhouse situated near Edinburgh the capital of Scotland. PASTORAL VISIT OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO SCOTLAND BEGINS Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, in his Foreword to The Pope In Britain, wrote: "Never, I repeat never, in over seventy years have I witnessed such scenes of joyful welcome as I witnessed in the streets of our capital, as smiling happy faces and uninhibited rapturous applause greeted the Holy Father. "Despite the anxieties of recent months and weeks, our Vicar of Christ did come to us. We received him with joy - with flag-flying cheers and applause; with welcoming songs that left us hoarse but happy. Yes, he has come and he has left us inspired and enthused. But now the real work must begin. Now comes the 'follow-up': our enthusiasm must not flag but we must follow up the campaign of spiritual renewal that will change the face of our Church throughout our island home." MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AT MURRAYFIELD STADIUM IN EDINBURGH From RAF in Yorkshire, Pope John flew at an RAF airfield outside Edinburgh to begin the second phase of his historic Pastoral Visit to Great Britain. The Pope kissed the ground on his arrival in Scotland before being warmly welcomed by Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and members of the Scottish hierarchy. Pope John Paul travelled by motorcade to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, home of Scottish rugby. Here the Pope received a rapturous welcome from 40,000 young people who had come on a National Youth Pilgrimage from over Scotland. Cardinal Gordon Gray began: "Dear Holy Father, I bring you the young Catholics of Scotland." The applause was deafening! "John Paul", "John Paul", the young people chanted in scenes that will never be forgotten by anyone privileged to be present on that memorable evening! During his address, which was interrupted time and again by clapping and cheering, Pope John Paul said: "Dear young people of Scotland! Thank you for such a warm welcome. I am happy that my first contact is with you, the pride of your beloved country and the promise of its bright future! "You are at the great crossroads of your lives and you must decide how your future can be lived happily, accepting the responsibilities which you hope will be placed squarely on your shoulders. You ask me for encouragement and guidance, and most willingly I offer some words of advice to all of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. "In the first place I say this: you must never think that you are alone in deciding your future! And secondly: when deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone! Left alone to face the difficult challenges of life today, you feel conscious of your own inadequacy and afraid of what the future may hold for you. "But what I say to you is this: place your lives in the hands of Jesus. He will accept you, and bless you, and he will make such use of your lives as will be beyond your greatest expectations!" MEETING WITH THE MODERATOR OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND The Pope's motorcade stopped near the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall and in the shadow of the statue of John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation, Pope John Paul held a brief, but historic meeting with meeting with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Professor John Mclntyre. MEETING WITH CLERGY AND RELIGIOUS IN ST MARY'S CATHEDRAL EDINBURGH Large crowds on either side of Princes Street, closed for the occasion, gave the Pope John Paul an enthusiastic welcome to Scotland, as his motorcade made its way to St Mary's Cathedral, situated in the heart of Edinburgh. Here, at the end of another long day, the Pope met with the clergy and religious. During his address, Pope John Paul said: "You represent all the priests and men and women religious of Scotland. In you I felt the heartbeat of the entire ecclesial community. In your lives I read the history of the Church in this land, a history of much faith and love. Your presence speaks of hope and vitality for the future." Pope John Paul then travelled to St Bennet's, Cardinal Gray's residence in Edinburgh, where he stayed for the two nights he was in Scotland. DAY FIVE TUESDAY 1 JUNE MEETING WITH SCOTTISH CHURCH LEADERS, EDINBURGH. Early on Tuesday morning Pope John Paul met with the Moderator of the Church of Scotland and other Scottish Church Leaders at Cardinal Gray's residence. During his address the Pope said: "I have been pleased to learn of the fruitful dialogues in which the Catholic Church in this country has been engaged with the Church of Scotland, the Episcopal Church on Scotland and other Churches, and also of its collaboration with the Scottish Churches' Council in many aspects of its work. The Pope also greeted representative of the Jewish and Islamic communities in Scotland. MEETING WITH THE HANDICAPPED AT ST JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL, ROSEWELL On Tuesday morning Pope John Paul left Edinburgh by helicopter for St Joseph's Hospital, Rosewell, near Dalkeith, where he met patients and staff. During his address the Pope said: "Those who do not enjoy the fullness of what is called a normal way of life, through either mental or serious physical handicap, are often compensated in part by qualities which people often take for granted or even distort, under the influence of a materialistic society: such things as a radiant love-transparent, innocent and yearning-and the attraction of loving and selfless care. In this regard, we often find in the Gospels the refreshing example of Jesus himself, and the loving bond of affection between him and the sick or disabled." VISIT TO ST ANDREW'S COLLEGE, BEARSDEN, GLASGOW. Students and teachers from educational institutions throughout the country gathered at St Andrew's College, Bearsden in Glasgow, Scotland's only Catholic teacher training college to hear the Pope John Paul speaks about the importance of education. During a long address Pope John Paul emphasised: "In reflecting on the value of Catholic schools and the importance of Catholic teachers and educators, it is necessary to stress the central point of Catholic education itself. Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others." NATIONAL MASS FOR SCOTLAND AT BELLAHOUSTON PARK, GLASGOW After lunch and a short rest at Notre Dame Convent, Bearsden, Pope John Paul II left by helicopter for Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, where was welcomed by Archbishop Thomas Winning of Glasgow. During his homily Pope John Paul said: "Dear beloved Catholics of Scotland, the prayers of your forefathers did not go unanswered! Their firm hope in divine providence was not disillusioned! With grateful hearts turn to God and thank him that tranquil days have been restored to the Catholic community in Scotland. "What was a dream a century ago has become the reality of today. A complete transformation of Catholic life has come about in Scotland, with the Catholics of Scotland assuming their legitimate role in every sector of public life and some of them invested with the most important and prestigious offices of this land." "Will Ye No Come Back Again!", sang more than 300,000 people - the largest crowd ever assembled in Scotland - sang over and over again at the end of Mass on a glorious summer afternoon. MEETING IN EDINBURGH WITH THE BISHOPS OF SCOTLAND On Tuesday evening Pope John Paul returned by helicopter to Edinburgh. His final engagement in Scotland was a meeting in Cardinal Gray's residence with the Scottish Bishops. During his address the Pope said: "Dear Brother Bishops, in this collegial meeting this evening we have the wonderful opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves, together, to our Episcopal ministry at the service of Christ and his Church." THE PASTORAL VISIT OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO WALES Day SIX WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE 1982 ARRIVAL AT RHOOSE AIRPORT, CARDIFF Early on Wednesday morning Pope John Paul left Edinburgh for Rhoose Airport, Cardiff for the third and final phase of his historic Pastoral Visit to Great Britain. The Pope kissed the ground on his arrival in Wales, as a Welsh male voice choir sang: "We'll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside". FIRST HOLY COMMUNIONS/MASS AT PONTCANN FIELDS Pope John Paul was taken by helicopter from Rhoose Airport to Blackweir and then by motorcade to Pontcanna Fields, where Archbishop John Murphy of Cardiff welcomed him. During his homily, a small part of which he delivered in Welsh, Pope John Paul said: "Today the Bishop of Rome greets the people of Wales for the first time in their own beautiful land. It is a great joy for me to be with you here in Cardiff. "I would like to speak to these little ones who are about to receive Holy Communion for the first time. Dear children: Jesus is coming to you in a new way today, in a special way. He wants to live in you. He wants to speak to you in your heart. He wants to be with you all through your day." MEETING WITH CHURCH LEADERS AT CARDIFF CASTLE Pope John Paul II had a brief meeting with Welsh Church Leaders at Cardiff Castle. During his address the Pope said: "I have been happy to learn of the degree of co-operation that exists between Catholics and members of other Churches and communities in Wales, and the part played by Catholic consultors and observers in work of the Council of Churches in Wales." NATIONAL YOUTH RALLY AT NINIAN PARK, CARDIFF. After lunch and a short rest at Cardiff Castle, Pope John Paul left by motorcade for Ninian Park in Cardiff where he addressed a National Youth Rally of more than 35,000 young people from all twenty-one dioceses of England and Wales. During his address, the Pope said: "As my visit to Britain draws to an end, I am happy that this last meeting is with you, the youth of England and Wales, you who are the hope of tomorrow. Before I go away, there is something really important that I wish to emphasise. "There is something very closely linked to the sacraments that I have celebrated, something that is very much a part of the Gospel message, something that is essential to your Christian lives. It is prayer. "Through prayer you will possess Christ and be able to communicate him to others. And this is the greatest contribution you can make in your lives: to communicate Christ to the world. It is my hope today, as I return to Rome, that you will remember why I came among you. And as long as the memory of this visit lasts, may it be recorded that I, John Paul II, came to Britain to call you to Christ, to invite you to pray!" FAREWELL ADDRESS AND DEPARTURE FROM GREAT BRITAIN At the end of the National Youth Rally, Pope John Paul travelled by motorcade to Rhoose Airport where Cardinal Basil Hume bade him farewell. Before boarding the aircraft for Rome, Pope John Paul II gave a farewell address during which he said: "I came here as a herald of peace, to proclaim a Gospel of peace and a message of reconciliation and love. To all the people of England, Scotland and Wales, I say: May God bless you all. May he make you instruments of his peace, and may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts and in your homes. Thank you very much." As the plane taxied slowly to the end of the runway and took off into the afternoon sky, the question on my lips was: "Will Pope John Paul II ever visit Great Britain again?" Now, almost 23 years on, we know the answer. Sadly Pope John Paul II, the great charismatic Pope form Poland, will never walk anywhere on this earth again. The memory of his historic six day Pastoral Visit to Great Britain, back in the summer of 1982, will live on into the future!
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