While thousands made the pilgrimage to Rome, the devout Catholics that could not make that trip celebrated here in Rockford. “We are very happy to be here; we all worked very hard on this ceremony and wanted to make sure that all of the people who came to our church felt like they were at home.” Said Reverend Barna
The ceremony at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Rockford reflected on the love both popes brought into the world, and the catholic community. “The popes are given to us through the church, but they are given to the world, so we can see how they fought for justice, and struggled.” Said Reverend Barna
Pope John Paul II canonization is now the fastest in modern times. Reverend Barna says he was not certain that he would experience the canonization ceremony in his lifetime. “Usually you wait many, many years for the canonization, sometimes it is fifty to one hundred, or two hundred years. This happened so fast.”
Members of the church say they feel a special connection to Pope John Paul II, and his polish heritage “We are so proud that one of the saints, is a polish pope, our beloved John Paul II, and I have had the honor to meet John Paul II back in Poland in 1987, and he is very dear to my heart.” Said Marzena Steigerwald, a member of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.
Andrzej Zasadny said that the church is also ecstatic to see John XXIII, be elevated to sainthood as well. “We have John XXIII, and we are so happy to see him canonized as well, and it is just a really, really, special day for all of us.”