By Tom Quiner
We performed “The Pope of the People, the John Paul II Musical” last night at Living History Farms. This is a show about a Catholic Pope. I’m intrigued by what happens after each performance. Protestants come up to me and tell me how much they loved the show.
Regular readers of Quiner’s Diner know that I was raised Protestant and converted to the Catholic Church thirty years ago. I have tremendous love and affection for my Protestant brothers and sisters despite some differences in our Christian beliefs.
As a convert, I appreciate the challenges Protestants have in coming to grips with these differences between our faiths. And yet I’m intrigued at the way Protestants appreciate my musical. (For the record, so do Catholics.)
I’d like to think it is because it tells a compelling story in an entertaining way. I’d like to think it’s because they like the songs and beloved characters in The Pope of the People like JPII himself and Lech Walesa.
All of those things may be at work. I hope they are.
There’s another element at work, though, the same one that inspired me to write this musical. It’s what happened on June 2nd, 1979. If you recall from my previous post, JPII said Mass before a million people in Victory Square in the heart of Warsaw, Poland. In the middle of Mass, the gathered faithful broke into a Polish folk song, “We Want God!” They interrupted his homily for 14 minutes.
They expressed so simply, yet powerfully, what is in the heart in all of us, whether we’re Catholic, Protestant, Jew, or Muslim: our thirst for God.
We want God.
[The Pope of the People continues its Fall Tour with its next performance this Sunday, October 9th, 3PM, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee, Iowa. Order tickets online: www.thePopeofthePeople.com]