50 years ago today Pope John XXIII died. He was my favorite pope up until now. Pope Francis reminds me of Pope John XXIII. Pope John convened the Second Vatican Council. He started much needed reforms in the Catholic Church. I loved the old Latin that we memorized as altar boys back in the Pre-Vatican Council days but I am so glad the Mass is in English now or whatever your mother tongue might be because it really brings the liturgy alive. I loved too how religious orders began to wear the clothes of the day. I still remember the nuns who taught me and their habits, but m grateful today for the nuns I know today who are much more accessible because of the reforms of Vatican II. Also, Pope John XXIII was a Secular Franciscan. I didn’t know that then but I do today. We have that in common. I hope someday the church elevates Pope John to sainthood. I think he is deserving of that. Until then Bl. John XXIII pray for us and pray for Pacem in Terris.