Our Encounter with St. John Paul II!

Used with permission from Artist Kelly McConkey

Happy Feast Day of St. John Paul II!


Twenty years ago, a Mom of two young kids, I began collecting ideas for crafts and activities to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith at home. Tapping into the Liturgical Calendar of our Church, what I thought would be just a little booklet for my Catholic Mom friends, turned into a 300 page book. When we weren’t quite satisfied with our publisher options, we decided to embark on a brand new journey of self-publishing.
My business-prof-husband cold-called our growing directory of Catholic Book stores in North America and we carefully chose our family vacation routes by the Catholic Book Stores we could visit on the way.

We slowly but steadily grew our distribution network to over 160 bookstores and began attending Catholic conferences across North America.

Our Direct Order From the Pope

In 2002, while we still felt like a newbie Catholic apostolate, we received a mission for our initiative, from a real live Catholic celebrity and officially recognized Saint! During World Youth Day hosted by our city of Toronto, our beloved Pope John Paul II personally received a copy of my book. We are told that he flipped through the pages of my book, glanced at my picture on the back, and said “tell her to keep doing this for families”.

He then placed the book with his personal belongings to look over on his flight to his next event.

Direct Order from the Pope

A lovely addition to the story, is that he then heard the confession of his dear friend Elizabeth(and last remaining relative, the wife of his first cousin now deceased), who gave him our book. Knowing her hobby of knitting, he asked Elizabeth to knit outfits for MY three children (mentioned on the back of my book), as her penance. We received the three knitted outfits within a couple of days of World Youth Day. We enjoyed many personal stories of Karol from their regular contact, as our friendship with Elizabeth grew. Over the years, Elizabeth gave us so many beautiful knitted and crocheted heirlooms including a First Communion dress and a white angora hat …matching socks and a vest she made for her friend Karol!


Pope Posts!

Here are our treasured memories and tiny brushes with greatness…with St. John Paul II!

Direct Order from the Pope

First Communion dress

How We Stood up the Pope


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