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JPII Catholic High honors canonizations of two popes

Nancy Archuleta is interim president of Pope John Paul II Catholic High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Nancy Archuleta is interim president of Pope John Paul II Catholic High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

HUNTSVILLE – Students and staff at Pope John Paul II (JPII) Catholic High School celebrated the historic canonization of Blessed Popes John Paul II and John XXIII with a Mass of Thanksgiving.

School president Nancy Archuleta invited the community on May 1 to join in prayer and thanks for the newly declared saints. Rev. Joseph Lubrano led the procession with JPII Principal Vince Aquila.

“I am delighted that the school’s patron, Pope John Paul, was canonized as a saint by his Holiness Pope Francis on April 27,” Archuleta said. “The dual canonization of the two popes is Pope Francis’ way of unifying the liberals and conservatives within the church by recognizing … two men who are respectively lionized by either side.”

Archuleta noted the men’s diversity, with “the warm progressiveness of grandfatherly John XXIII to the compassionate conservatism of John Paul II. It’s such a privilege for our school to honor our patron saint with the canonizations.”

Aquila reiterated the words of John Paul II: “Be not afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.”

Canonization is defined as the process that the church uses to officially recognize a person as a saint.

Originally, people were recognized as saints without any formal process and often by popular acclaim. Today, however, a person is declared a saint only after a thorough investigation, followed by a decree by the Catholic Church.

Pope John Paul II Catholic High School is a college preparatory school for grades 9-12 in Huntsville at 7301 Old Madison Pike. The Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama sponsors the school, which was founded in 1996 as Catholic High School.

For more information, visit jp2falcons.org.

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