The pope proceeded down the line, nodding and patting, and when he got to me I jerked into a kind of curtsy-bow and touched his right hand with my hands. Then I bent and covered his thick old knuckles with Chanel No. 23 Red Raspberry lipstick. I couldn't help it. I think I said, "Papa."
It was a long train ride from Yugoslavia to Italy. No one knew what to expect. The children were good actors and hid their fear in silence. They were Jewish child refugees from Germany, Austria, and Poland whose parents had been deported to Nazi concentration camps. Josef Ithai, the young teacher who looked after them, shared their fear.
My parents were observant Jews in Europe who fled to the U.S. to escape the Holocaust. I was raised as a "conservative" Jew, and was rather pious by nature and very enthusiastic about the religious instruction I received and the religious activities I participated in.
Michael S. Rose in his new book Priest: Portaits of Ten Good Men Serving the Church Today communicates the virtuous institution of the priesthood by telling the stories of ten faithful priests who are living examples of holiness, sacrifice, and love of God.
Shortly after Pope John Paul IIs difficult September pilgrimage to Slovakia, I received an e-mail from a Polish friend, a poet and longtime friend of the Popes. In language whose insight and sincerity of feeling more than compensated for its deficiencies in grammar, my friend described what he had witnessed:
This Halloween, when I go trick-or-treating with my nephews, I'm dressing as an 18th-century Russian-born priest. Halloween is supposed to be about what's scary, and what Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin encountered - called by the Baltimore Catholic Review the "truest ghost story ever told" - sounds scary enough.