Bl. John Paul II: Spiritual Grandfather to Millennial Catholics

The Knights of Columbus asked me to write a reflection on what Pope John Paul the Great meant to me and to Millennial Catholics. I will be in Rome this Sunday for JP2’s Beatification Mass, so this was an excellent opportunity to gather my thoughts:

I was born in 1985, almost eight years into the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.

Like millions of young Catholics around the world, I grew up knowing only him as the pope and universal shepherd of the Church. In grade school I learned about popes who had preceded him, but if I wanted to see a pope, and when I heard about what a pope was doing and saying now, all of my experience was of Pope John Paul II.

This reality begins to explain in part why John Paul II’s 26-year reign had such a universal and formative effect on Millennial Catholics. But of course his effects on my generation go far deeper.

[Continue reading at Headline Bistro]



  • Michael B.

    This is a very beautiful and moving reflection, and I think it captures well how the late Holy Father influenced the lives of many of us Milennials. Thanks for writing this, Thomas! Keep up the great work!

  • Laura

    Him being the only Pope I’d ever known too, I know exactly what you’re talking about. We sure miss him but he is with our Lord now, it was time he was rewarded.

  • davide




Receive our updates via email.