Divine Word Missionaries

Remembering JP II

Remembering JP II

Pope John Paul II

Karol Wojtyla

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Pope John Paul II and the Society of the Divine Word (SVD)
Death and Funeral of John Paul II and the SVD

Compiled by Fr. Herbert Scholz.
As of April 7th. 2005

General chapters:

Four GC took place under JPII: 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000

  1. General Chapter 1982:
    • JPII addressed special words of greeting to the capitulars who attended the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 17, 1982 (Nuntius XI ENG, p. 471).
    • 1982 GC revised the Constitutions which the Vatican approved in 1983
  2. General Chapter 1988:
    • Special audience for the members of the General Chapter (Nuntius XII GER p. 707-711 gives the address of Fr. Barlage and the speech of JPII).
  3. General Chapter of 1994:
    • No reference to an audience of the capitulars with JPII – (JPII was hospitalized in May 1994). At a later time the general council had an audience with JPII.
  4. General Chapter of 2000:
    • Special audience of the capitulars on June 30, 2000. The text of the address of JPII, distributed to all capitulars present, is given in Nuntius XV, ENG pp. 48-52


  • Maria Helena Stollenwerk (Blessed Maria Virgo, SSpS, SSpSAP) was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 7, 1995.
  • In Warsaw, on June 13th 1999, JPII beatified 108 Polish martyrs, killed during the Second World War. Four SVDs were among them: Bro. Gregory Franckowiak, Fr. Alois Liguda, Fr. Ludwig Mzyk and Fr. Stanislaw Kubista.


  • On October 3, 2003 Canonization of Arnold Janssen and Josef Freinademetz. JPII was also involved in all the major preparatory steps. Before the canonization there was considerable worry whether, given the state of JPII’s health, the canonization would push through.

36 SVDs were named bishops by JPII.

JPII travels:

Did he go to or at least near any SVD places or were SVDs particularly involved in those visits?

  • Indonesia: He visited our seminary in Ledalero.
  • World Youth day 2005 in Cologne: JPII was planning to go; one big program with JPII was supposed to take place right behind Missionspriesterseminar St. Augustin. Neither of these plans materialized.

Synod of Bishops:

  • Superior General Barlage invited to the Synod on Europe 1999.
  • Superior General Pernia invited to the Synod on Bishops 2001.

Death and Funeral of John Paul II

  • A number of confreres of the community of the Collegio del Verbo Divino (Rome) went to see the body of JPII at St. Peter’s. Those who went early Tuesday morning (first day) were able to see the body after lining up (queuing) for just 1-2 hours. Fr. General and other members of the generalate community went early Wednesday morning (2nd day). They had to slowly make their way with the other hundreds of thousands and needed up to 10 and even 12 hours, before standing in front of the body of JPII for just a minute.
  • Superior General Pernia: Invited as Superior General SVD to attend the funeral mass on St. Peter’s square on April 8. Vice-General Konrad Keler and Procurator General Giancarlo Girardi also attended.
  • Archbishop Bukovski SVD, who worked under JPII as nuntius in Romania and Russia, came to Rome for the funeral. Bishop Gaspard Mudiso SVD, of Kenge, Zaire, also happened to be in Rome at the time of JPII’s death and funeral. Bi. Jerzy Mazur, first bishop of Irkutsk, Russia, now bishop of Elk, Poland, also came for the funeral.