East Texas Priest Met With Pope Several Times - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/1/05-Tyler

East Texas Priest Met With Pope Several Times

Few Catholics will ever know what it is like to stand with the church's holy father.
But for Father Kelly of Saint Mary Magdalene in Flint, it was a rare and humbling honor.
"I met the Pope many times," he said, "I said mass with him."
During his three years of theological study in Rome, Father Kelly met the Pope several times.
"A friend of mine is a priest in Rome," he explained, "and his parish was having their lunch with the Pope, and one of their priest was unable to show up. He phoned me quickly and said do you want to have the chance of a lifetime? So I did."
It was just one of those encounters with the Roman Catholic Church's central figure.
"John Paul has been really I suppose the first Pope of the communication age, and he's an expert communicator."
Father Kelly said John Paul handled what few other Popes had dealt with before: the battle with science and ethics, communism, scandal within the Catholic Church and terrorism.
"He's the one who went in to the mosque in Damascus, where John the Baptist is buried. Took his shoes off to enter. He's the first Pope to enter a Synagogue in 2000 years almost."
The Father held a Mass Friday morning offering up prayer for the Pope.
He said what he wants Christians across the world to remember is a lesson from the Pope.
"This great man dies, we all die. We go the way of nature. We go the way of God's intention, we go in to the arms of God."
Father Kelly said one thing the Pope said that he will always remember, is his love for the city of Corpus Christi. "Corpus Christi" means body of Christ. He said the Pope thought it was the most beautiful name for a church or a city.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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