On the news, they keep saying that Benedict XVI has been pope for "a mere eight years." Yes, and my eight-year-old has only known his father for a mere eight years. Doesn't seem that short to him.
I was about four years old when John Paul II was elected pope. My mother hung his smiling picture in our bedroom, and I half thought he was my grandfather -- he had the same round head, the same crinkled eyes and broad grin. I grew up knowing that this was our papa who loved us and who would always be there. Even when I wandered away from the Church, that kindly smile and strong shoulders reminded me that I was the one who was wrong -- that back home, back in the Church, was solid ground....READ MORE