Twenty-five years ago, from Sept. 10-20, Blessed Pope John II visited the United States and Canada.
Among the cities on his itinerary was Los Angeles, and The Tidings, newspaper of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, has been done a number of interviews with Catholics reminiscing about that papal trip and what it still means to them all these years later.
Among those who spoke to Mike Nelson, Tidings editor, were Peter O’Malley and his sister, Terry O’Malley Seidler. The O’Malley family owned the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, and Peter remembered being approached by Los Angeles archdiocesan officials shortly after it was anounced the pope would be visiting City of Angels.
Church leaders wanted to know about “the possibility of celebrating a papal Mass at Dodger Stadium,” writes Nelson. Peter, whose family has had a long tradition of involvement with the Catholic Church, recalled the conversation: “I said, ‘Well, it’s not impossible, but it’s about as close to imposssible as you can get.'”
Twenty-five years later, Peter and his sister “smile as they speak with warmth and pride about the papal Mass at Dodger Stadium, attended by 63,000 (still the largest single-event crowd in stadium history) and a highlight of the Holy Father’s 10-day trip to the U.S. and Canada,” according to Nelson.