LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Palms couple has reason to be particularly excited as Pope John Paul II becomes one of two popes to be canonized into sainthood next Sunday.
St. Augustine Parishioner Pat Kellogg, who is set to travel to Rome for the canonization with his wife, says he considers John Paul II, who is to be made a saint along with Pope John XXIII, to be the most influential pope of his lifetime.
Kellogg feels this special connection to the late John Paul II, perhaps due in part to the fact that he was a member of the All-Star choir chosen to sing at a pair of masses, both hosted by the pope, at two venues in Los Angeles in 1987, including Dodger Stadium.
“(It was) a very big thrill, a lifetime thrill,” Kellogg said of the September masses at Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. “The main thing I remember is his tour around the Coliseum in the ‘Pope-mobile’.”
The canonization is expected to draw millions to Vatican City in Rome.
Kellogg, who says he stood about 100 feet away from the pope at the Coliseum mass, says he was enthralled at how John Paul II was able to reach such an immense crowd with his message.
“He had a charisma in both venues that I have never seen the equal of,” Kellogg said.
While Kellogg expects to be able to view the canonization on a large screen only, his wife, Liz, is happy to be in the same city, even if her husband’s proximity to the event isn’t as close as it was on those unforgettable days in September 0f 1987.
“(We) probably can see more than if we were actually in the square,” Liz said. “You know, just like at a Dodger game of something, you see more on the screen than you see on the field.”