Thirty years ago, Pope John Paul II met with young people at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

Brian Caulfield recalls the moment here, at the Knights of Columbus’s Fathers for Good website.

Writes Caulfield, “That single moment set us back on the road to faith, to prayer and regular attendance at Mass. This man ‘from a far place’ had touched us through the mass media that he loved, with the simple ‘groaning of the Spirit’ that seemed to gather up all the confusion, hurt, missteps and sins of our early adulthood and offer them to a merciful God who could smile and tease his children. A 20-year-old in 1979 could feel pretty world-weary and cynical of religion. Yet John Paul told us to walk together with him and ask the deep questions we wanted to ask and find the surprising answers we were aching to embrace.

“In him I saw Christ. Not Christ the Protector of my childhood that I had self-consciously left behind, but Christ the Adventurer, the Worker, the Warrior, ready to take on the world with great strength and a sense of humor. The Catholic faith was alive, and I was drawn to it anew.”