Detroiters share memories of Saint John Paul II after canonization ceremony

ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Hundreds of parishioners gathered at the chapel on the campus of St. Mary's Preparatory Academy in Orchard Lake this morning to celebrate the canonization of now St. John Paul II.

With the large Polish community here in metro Detroit, local Polish Americans say they share a common connection with St. John Paul II.

One couple in particular actually shook hands with the Saint, and another actually refers to him by his real name.

"John Paul II was our cardinal in Krakow," Walter Szaflarski said. Szaflarski says he always called him by his real name, which is Karol Józef Wojtyła.

Eugenia and Tadeusz Gorecki actually met the Saint, and say it was amazing.

"As he was talking and shaking everybody's hand he was just looking straight into your eyes," they said. "There were thousands of people all around but you had a feeling he was just communicating with you."

People gathered early this morning at different locations to watch the canonization ceremony for popes John Paul II and John XXIII, and it will be an experience most of them won't forget.

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