Kathy Schiffer is a Catholic blogger. In addition to her blog Seasons of Grace, her articles have appeared in the National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Zenit, the Michigan Catholic, Legatus Magazine, and other Catholic publications. She’s worked for Catholic and other Christian ministries since 1988, as radio producer, director of special events and media relations coordinator. Kathy and her husband, Deacon Jerry Schiffer, have three adult children.
“Where there are young people, adolescents, children, there is the guarantee of joy, since it is life in its most spontaneous and most exuberant bloom.” Pope John Paul II spoke those words about the joyfulness of youth at a Vatican address on Nov. 20, 1978, during the first month of his pontificate. “You possess this joie de vivre abundantly,” he continued,
and bestow it generously on a world that is sometimes tired, discouraged, disheartened, disappointed.
That Saint John Paul had a special love for young people was evident throughout his papacy: in his initiation of and support for World Youth Day, in his Letter to Families, and in his daily interactions with youth. So it's fitting that the young people of today remember him with fondness – and, perhaps, with humor.
New Video Game Is a Papal Adventure
One way that young men and women can remember St. John Paul II is by playing a new video game, “The Adventures of St. John Paul the Great,” which is slated to be released next month at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney. According to a report in The Tablet, the game will
...give gamers the chance to play as Karol Wojtyla, collecting saints' medals, bibles, cakes and rosaries, while evading the dangers of falling boulders, bullets and Nazis.
The new game is the creation of 21-year-old Regine Caramancion, an intern with Sydney's interactive social media platform Xt3.com (“Christ in the Third Millennium”). With more than 18,000 Catholic youth expected to attend the Youth Festival Dec. 7-9, there will be plenty of opportunity for gamers to share the faith while testing Caramancion's game. Laura Bradley, digital media manager for the Archdiocese of Sydney, praised “The Adventures of St. John Paul the Great,” calling it “a fun and novel way of teaching young people about the life of one of the greatest saints of the 20th century.”
A Talking, Teaching JPII Action Figure
And just in case video games aren't your thing: Here is a teaching toy that offers 22 inspirational quotes from Saint John Paul II in his own voice. Priced at $200, the Pope John Paul II Talking Action Figure – with its hand-tailored vestments, red shoes and papal ferula topped with the pope's familiar crucifix – is likely to appeal to collectors more than to parents of small children. And the papal quotes are printed on the box, so faithful collectors can read along as the Pope's voice repeats his message to “Be Not Afraid.”
And for Puzzle Lovers, a Papal Blessing
Or if puzzles are your forte, you can remember the sainted Pope while piecing together the 550-piece Blessing Pope John Paul II Jigsaw Puzzle. Titled “Into the Light,” the puzzle features the beloved pope in a familiar pose against the blue sky, arm raised in a blessing. Working a puzzle together can be a great family experience, shared by adults and children alike.