Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Diocese of Joliet will celebrate a special Mass at Montini Catholic High School on Oct. 21 at 9:28 a.m., in recognition of the Beatification of Pope Paul VI. All are welcome to attend. The Mass will be held in the school’s gym.
Montini Catholic High School was devotedly named after Pope Paul VI who was elected to the papacy in 1963, during the planning of creation of a Catholic high school in Lombard.
The beatification was made official by Pope Francis on May 10, 2014, after a miracle was accredited to Pope Paul VI’s intercession. The beatification ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19 in Rome.
Pope Paul VI was born as Giovanni Battista Montini (John Baptist Montini) in 1897 in the northern Italian province of Brescia. He was elected pope in 1963 and served a 15-year pontificate before his death in Castel Gandolfo on Aug. 6, 1978. Pope Paul VI is described as a brilliant man, deeply spiritual, reserved and gentle.
He implemented the reforms started by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, with the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). During his pontificate, he wrote seven encyclicals, including the “Humanae Vitae” (Of Human Life), published in 1968. He is remembered by many for his 1968 ban on contraception.
At least one miracle is required for beatification, and a second miracle is normally required for sainthood. The Vatican has not confirmed details of the recognized miracle. Many Catholics believe it involved the birth of a baby in California in the 1990s, where the fetus was declared by doctors to be in a critical condition. Doctors advised the mother to terminate the pregnancy. The woman refused to terminate and reportedly placed an image of Pope Paul VI and a remnant of his vestments on her stomach and began praying to him. The baby was born healthy and witnesses were unable to explain the change in the baby’s condition. The Vatican launched official inquiries into the case in 2003, and medical experts officially confirmed the inexplicable nature of the baby’s recovery last year.
Pope Paul VI was the first pope in the modern era to travel abroad, and the first to visit five continents. His visits included: Jordan and Israel in January 1964 (before the Vatican officially recognized the Jewish state); Lebanon and India in December 1964; the United Nations and New York in October 1965; the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in May 1967; Turkey in July 1967; Colombia and Bermuda in August 1968; Switzerland in June 1969; Uganda in July-August 1969; and Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, Samoan Islands, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka in November-December 1970.
Montini Catholic High School is located at 19W070 16th Street in Lombard, Illinois. Montini Catholic works to create a Catholic educational community in which faith, culture and knowledge are integrated among teachers, students and parents in a spirit of cooperation. Programs attempt to challenge and encourage the spiritual, intellectual, personal, cultural, social and physical development of each student. For more information regarding Montini Catholic and/or Bishop Conlon’s visit, please call 630-627-6930.