John Paul II: A Light for the World: Essays and Reflections on the Papacy of John Paul II


When Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on October 16, 1978, he became the first Slavic Pope in history and the first non-Italian in 455 years. Taking the name John Paul II, the new Pope delivered a message in his first homily in St. Peter's Square that has resounded throughout his entire papacy: "Be not afraid!" Created for the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope, John Paul II: A Light for the World provides a celebration in photographs and words of the courageous pastor who guides more than one billion...
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When Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope on October 16, 1978, he became the first Slavic Pope in history and the first non-Italian in 455 years. Taking the name John Paul II, the new Pope delivered a message in his first homily in St. Peter's Square that has resounded throughout his entire papacy: "Be not afraid!" Created for the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope, John Paul II: A Light for the World provides a celebration in photographs and words of the courageous pastor who guides more than one billion Catholics and has made his mark on history the world over. Elegantly designed and produced, John Paul II: A Light for the World features over 140 photographs—many of which seldom have been seen outside the Vatican—by official Vatican photographers who have captured the Pope's remarkable life and ministry for two and a half decades. These beautiful photographs are accompanied by selections from the Pope's own speeches and writings as well as essays and personal reflections by scholars and friends that provide insight into the public and private person of Pope John Paul II. Organized into three sections—Pastor, Pilgrim, Prophet—more than forty essays by staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explore the depth and breadth of the themes central to John Paul's papacy, while nearly thirty personal reflections by cardinals, bishops, and others who have had personal encounters with the Pope reveal his profoundly human, and often humorous, side. A joint effort between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Communications Campaign and Sheed & Ward, John Paul II: A Light for the World is the definitive commemoration of John Paul II's twenty-fifth anniversary as Pope. The book opens with a personal greeting from Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State; a foreword by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; an introduction by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the USCCB; and a historical sketch by John Thavis, Rom
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
A splendid gift book of photographs that remind one, as words can scarcely do, just how much this pope has done and has been.
Dallas Morning News
One cannot turn the pages without being drawn in by the photos. . . . This book captures the breadth and depth of John Paul's ministry, but also his personality.
Catholic Light
A stunning collection.
Antelope Valley Press - Norman Shoaf
John Paul II: A light for the World is a big, handsome volume, lush wih more than 140 rarely seen photographs of the pope's quarter century in service, and full of insight into the courageous pastor who guides more than 1 billion Catholics around the world and who has left an indelible mark on history.
Catholic Press Association
This visually beautiful book is an absolute treasure in how it presents everything the Catholic Church stands for through the life and teachings of Pope John Paul II. The presentation of Catholicism here vibrates with life because it comes from the breath of the very one who was chosen to be Christ for the generations living in this period in history.
The Catholic Light
A stunning collection.
Publishers Weekly
As the pope's silver jubilee approaches, publishers are gearing up with all manner of tributes to the beloved pontiff. This coffee-table book, with memorable full-color images by official Vatican photographers and reflections by many people who have had personal encounters with John Paul II, may be the pick of the crop. As imprimaturs go, it has an impeccable pedigree: it is an official commemorative book commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Also, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan weighs in with a foreword highlighting the pope's commitment to international human rights. The book is divided into three sections, exploring the pope's roles as pastor (including his leadership in family life issues and his stand against sexual abuse in the priesthood); a pilgrim (highlighting the more than 700,000 miles the pope has traveled in his tenure); and prophet (discussing his ethical stance on issues such as human rights, racism, labor and the death penalty). Throughout, various cardinals, monsignori and archbishops share brief anecdotes about their personal encounters with the man who was born Karol Wojtyla. While some of these are so fawning as to remove any trace of humanity from the man, other remembrances are candid and humorous. The book's photographs, which span the course of his 25-year papacy, show him interacting with people all over the world, and also depict some private moments. The book closes with a brief chronology of John Paul II's life, as well as synopses of his encyclicals and other key writings. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's pontificate, this official festschrift was compiled by Walsh (RSM), along with 30 other directors, deputies, advisers, and coordinators at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. These admiring contributors have written a series of short, respectful essays extolling the pastoral, missionary, and prophetic aspects of his ministry, accompanied by exclusive photographs from Auturo Mari, the papal photographer. Interspersed throughout this lavish work are brief descriptions by leading U.S. church figures of their most intimate encounters with the Holy Father. The book also includes a brief biography of Karol Wojtyla, an outline of significant events, lists of those canonized and beatified, the pope's itineraries around the world, and descriptions of all encyclicals and other key letters authored by the pope. A helpful glossary and index complete this attractive work. Libraries may consider this title over Pope John Paul II: Reaching Out Across Borders from Reuters because of the greater amount of biographical, factual, and textual material; however, this is a gift book. Those interested in a more standard biography may still want to consider George Weigel's Witness to Hope. Recommended for select libraries.-John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Platteville Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580511421
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Edition number: 256
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 10.22 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, Deputy Director for Media Relations, USCCB Department of Communications, is a member of the Albany Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and holds a master's degree in English from the College of St. Rose and a master's degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola College of Maryland. She has prepared media relations strategies, spoken on media topics for Unda-USA, the Society for Professional Journalists, and Virginia State Press Association. She also was producer of the award-winning video, Five Extraordinary Days, about World Youth Day '93. She has been honored for her work by several groups, including the New York State Bar Association, New York Press Association, and the Colorado Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Catholic Press Association, and Inda-USA, now known as the Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Pastor Chapter 2 Pilgrim Chapter 3 Prophet
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    Beautiful and Sensitive Tribute - A Treasure for All!

    This is a beautiful book. Great for a gift or fund raising prize. The photographs will be cherished by clergy, families, teachers. Introduction by Bishop Wilton Gregory. Essays contributed by officials at the USCCB, and JOHN THAVIS (Rome Bureau Chief, Catholic News Service); MONSIGNOR JOHN STRYNKOWSKI; and MONSIGNOR JAMES MORONEY-appointed by Pope John Paul II as consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1999.

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