On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to our Catholic community as they mark Pope John Paul II Day.
It is wonderful that my colleague the Honourable Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs and MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, put forward the private member’s bill that established Pope John Paul II Day in Ontario.
Today, Canada’s Catholics celebrate the life and legacy of one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, St. John Paul II. It is an important day for many Catholics across Ontario, particularly those in our Polish community.
St. John Paul came of age in a divided world. He dedicated his life and pontificate to healing its divisions. He was a beacon of hope, especially for millions of youth who were encouraged by his message of faith and activism.
His papacy was marked by his steadfast opposition to Communism, and his influence helped ease the way for democracy in the Eastern Bloc. He travelled widely and reached out across political and religious divides — energizing Catholics and inspiring people of all faiths.
During his time as Pope, he visited Ontario twice and was greeted enthusiastically by Ontarians
from diverse religious and ethnocultural communities. His lifelong commitment to human rights, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, and his rejection of violence, are especially inspiring to Canadians,
given our longstanding tradition of embracing diversity and inclusion.
He forever changed the face of the papacy. I am honoured to join the Catholic community in remembrance of St. John Paul II.
Please accept my best wishes.
Attachments:Pope John Paul II Day
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