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I would be honored to add my feelings on Pope John Paul II. I am very proud to be Polish and Italian. I am only second generation American and have very strong European roots. Pope John Paul II not only gave me back the faith that I had been losing over the years, but also made me very proud to be of the same heritage as this great man. I do not know where or how to start this tribute. I am trying to think of the Pope as a great Catholic in a religious sense, but I cannot help of thinking of him as just a great human in a secular sense. I will give it a try and if you do not like what I have to say please write me back and I will redo the assignment because I want to be a good student.

If I had to view Pope John Paul II as a non-Christian I would see him as one the greatest world leaders of all time. He preached peace and understanding of all religions. I firmly believe that there is only God and if you are a pious person on this earth you will make it to heaven whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Shintu or whatever. Our God is an all loving and forgiving God. I asked this question in Catholic school when I was in 5th grade. The Sister said only Catholics could get to heaven. So I asked that if there was a person living in the far reaches of Africa who knew nothing about Jesus but lived a wonderful life as our Jesus taught us to, would he or she make it to heaven. I never got an answer. I believe Pope John Paul II answered that question by accepting our differences and reaffirming the Idea that our Lord is All Powerful, Forgiving, Loving, and Understanding. Pope John Paul II gave me back the belief that the Lord will accept all of his sheep back into his kingdom. Since we are all of his children whether Jew, Gentile, Muslim, etc. If you take a totally non-religious view of the universe you can easily say we all came from the "Big Bang Theory" Well if you believe that then answer me this. Who Created The Big Bang Theory????????????????????????  
There have been many Popes throughout the ages. Some great, some good, and unfortunately some not so good. Pope John Paul II was not only a great Pope but a great human being. I rate him with Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and all of the other great human beings that have dedicated their lives to the betterment of mankind. There is no better tribute than saying a person dedicated their life for the betterment of Gods Children. I do firmly believe that Pope John Paul II could have been helpful in World War II, and all of the other conflicts God's wayward children agree to perform.
Now, my feelings as a Catholic. I remember Popes since Pope Pious. I cannot remember anyone as important and special as John Paul II. Like I have said before he helped me renew my faith even with the scandals here in the United States. I cannot even begin to thank Pope John Paul II for making me a better Catholic, Person, and Teacher. He will probably be the only reason why I even get a chance to talk to Saint Peter and maybe by some chance enter the gates of heaven.

P.S. John Paul. This letter does not mean you owe me anything by trying to get me into heaven. If I get there I hope to get there by myself. If I do not, I guess I was just not good enough. If you did put in a good word for me thank you and God Bless you (Even if You do not need it). I know this letter has a bit of humor in it but I do firmly believe that the Lord and Jesus gave us humor and we should use it in loving glory to our Lord.



P.S. Tony Rongo, Bay City musician and a teacher, passed away on February 15th, 2007. Our students worked on an e-mail exchange project that gave us the opportunity to build friendship and learn about American and Polish cultures.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace. Amen.
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