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Several Queens organizations found their own way to honor Pope John Paul II, three weeks before his canonization as a saint.
The co-naming is the brainchild of the Polish American Congress and the Jewish Historical Society of Queens, and was sponsored by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
“Pope John Paul II’s long ministry connected people from every nation and helped make the world a more peaceful place,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who represents Maspeth. “Pope John Paul II touched the lives of billions, and now all Queens residents will be reminded of his legacy for generations to come.”
THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre
As a cardinal in 1969, the pope visited Holy Cross for a couple of days, using his birth name Father Karol Józef Wojtyla.
Members of the organizations said it was Pope John Paul II who strengthened Jewish and Catholic ties because his visit to a synagogue in 1986 was the first for a pope since biblical times.
“John Paul has been a close friend of the Jewish people,” said Frank Milewski, president of the Polish American Congress. “His extension of friendship as pope to the Jewish community when he visited a synagogue in Rome was a momentous time for the Catholic and Jewish relations.”
Pope John Paul II’s papal leadership was from 1978 until his death in 2005.