During his time as Pope, Saint John Paul II visited the American continent 22 times, traveling everywhere from Boston to Bolivia in an effort to unite the Western Hemisphere in faith. The Polish Pope's American endeavors are now being featured in a new documentary with rare footage of his trips to North and South America, highlighting how his presence played a weighty role in shaping their modern day history. The film was produced by the Knights of Columbus. “John Paul II brought a great renewal of confidence, excitement and joy to Christian life that was manifested in such events as the canonization of St. Juan Diego in Mexico City and the World Youth Days in Buenos Aires, Denver and Toronto,” stated Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a press release. “He also issued a renewed call for human dignity, the gospel of life, respect for indigenous people, and a commitment to the poor throughout Latin America and North America,” Anderson continued. In light of John Paul II's impact on North and South America, EWTN Global Catholic Network partnered with various PBS stations to bring the life of John Paul II to television screens across the U.S. The documentary, “John Paul II in America: Uniting a Continent,” debuted on PBS April 3, to honor the 10-year anniversary of the Pope's death. EWTN and CatholicTV of Boston aired the show later in April across the United States. Honing in on John Paul II's imprint on the American continents, the documentary travels from Argentina to Alaska, following the late Holy Father's steps around the Western Hemisphere. The footage exemplifies how the beloved Pope touched a whole generation of Catholics, drawing monumental crowds in America and gaining admiration from the youth. The documentary also probes into the phenomenon of the “JPII generation” and how John Paul II, asking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, inspired the entire world with his dedication to the gospel of life. The Pope's relationship with both North and South America are analyzed throughout the film by Catholic thinkers such as George Weigel and former Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls. Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston and Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson are also featured in the documentary. Cuban-American actor and director Andy Garcia narrates throughout the film. For more information about the film, including broadcast times and the DVD release, visit www.kofc.org/jpiifilm.
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