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Ex-Boston mayor, in Manchester, recalls late Pope

October 30. 2013 6:54PM

MANCHESTER — Former Boston mayor and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn told area Polish-Americans about his experiences with Blessed John Paul II as the Vatican prepares to canonize the late Pope in April.

“He was a special messenger from God, the most fascinating man in modern history,” the Polish American Congress of New Hampshire recounted Flynn’s words when he spoke Oct. 20 at the annual Polish Heritage Month banquet in Manchester.

Flynn told of being introduced to the future Pope during a visit to Boston by Cardinal Richard Cushing. Flynn said he and then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla shared an affinity for athletics and were inspired by Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on capital and labor.

John and Dottie Goclowski of Hopkinton and Maria Ptak of Manchester also shared their experiences meeting the Polish Pope.

The Goclowskis met with John Paul II at the Vatican and the Pope continued to send them Christmas cards until his death in 2005.

Maria Ptak said she and her sister-in-law, Teresa Makara, traveled to Rome where Pope John Paul II blessed them during a private audience. Ptak showed the Pope pictures of him confirming her as a girl in Dukla, Poland,

Contact Tony Bajdek at or 718-1351 for information about future Polish American Congress events.

Religion Manchester

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