Pope namesake schools in Houston ready for canonization

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - With the canonization of two popes, it's a special weekend for Catholics all over the world, but perhaps it's a bit more special for the students at Pope John Paul II Catholic School and Pope John XXIII High School.

Most of the students at Pope John Paul II Catholic School have spent all of their school lives there and understand the importance of this weekend in Rome.

"John Paul II has always been our role model, precedent, so now that he's a saint he's being upheld as one of the role models of all Catholics and most of the world and that is something very special to us," said eighth grader Jorge Fernandez.

Ethan Jancy is a fourth grader and says he's noticed that the hallways are not as crowded and it's not because it's Friday.

"We have a lot less people in our class because a lot of people are going to Rome from our class," he said.

Kristin Vogt is an 8th grader who has been at John Paul II Catholic School since kindergarten.

"Eighth grade is a big milestone and him being canonized makes it all the more special," said Vogt.

The same sense of pride resonates at Pope John XXIII High School where the students there have studied and understand the impact their pope has had on the world.

"He had a great focus on church history and as a senior we take church history here and we try to focus more on how he viewed the world," said senior John Kill. "We learned a lot about him particularly as we approached the modern age in church history."

"It's really not that often for anyone to be canonized," said sophomore Shannon Miekka. "The fact that it's our pope it's really cool and when you think that two at once are being canonized is really special too."

There is a bronze statue of Pope John Paul II in the courtyard of the school. It is already a special meeting place.

As of Sunday it is sure to be even more special as Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII become just the sixth and seventh Popes to become saints in the last 1,000 years.

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