Documentary discusses St. John Paul’s impact on the Americas


A documentary focusing on St. John Paul II’s impact on the American continent was shown Oct. 21, on the eve of the great pontiff’s feast day.

The documentary, called “John Paul II in America: Uniting a Continent,” was sponsored by the Bishop Mussio Knights of Columbus council.

“We want people to learn more about the history of the American Church and how it was affected during St. John Paul’s pontificate,” said John Durbin, grand knight of the campus-based council.

The almost hour-long documentary focused on the saint’s multiple journeys to North and South America and the impact he had on each country he visited. Oftentimes, the Latin American countries he visited were governed by some sort of dictatorship; according to the documentary, these regimes would often collapse within a year or two of the pontiff’s visit, largely due to the message of human dignity St. John Paul was able to deliver to the people of the country.

Additionally, St. John Paul’s visits brought religion back to areas that had become secularized, such as World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.  His effect on the youth of the Church, like at World Youth Day 1993 in Denver, also brought forth an increase in vocations, as the documentary explains.

More than thirty people attended the showing, and all seemed to take something away from it.

Freshman Joe Cordier found the documentary to be very moving and said, “I knew a lot about John Paul II before, but to see footage of him in action was an entirely different experience.”

One of the themes encompassed during the documentary was St. John Paul’s defense of life and human rights from conception to natural death and every step in between.  Sophomore Sandra Victoria said that “his respect…for the dignity of life was very powerful for me.”

Sophomore Chloe Batara said, “The film offered a great depiction of St. John Paul II. It showed his character, love for youth, respect for life and joy with which he ministered.”

The documentary was produced by the national Knights of Columbus organization, which is one of the reasons Durbin selected it.

Freshman Anthony Batalla, also a member of the campus council, said, “Seeing a documentary like this made by an organization that I am a part of made me proud to be a Knight.”

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