Summer Vacation, Day 29: An Unexpected Blessing

Unbeknownst to me, downtown Rapid City is hosting a deeply moving and inspiring exhibit, A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People. The exhibit includes photos, videos and artifacts from Karol Wojtyla’s childhood through his papacy and death, tracing his strong ties to, and profound affection for, the Jewish people in his native Poland and throughout the world.

Jodi and I took Brendan and Gabe to see it today. It cost $5 for the family, and the tickets are good for duration of the display (through August 13). It’s very content-rich – you probably should visit it more than once to take it all in, especially the videos. Some of the video interview material from the Holocaust is a bit much for children, but it’s easily avoided. Reading aloud to the boys, my voice broke often – it’s hard to imagine such cruelty and compassion among neighbors and neighboring countries.

But the lasting message is one of peace, understanding, and common humanity that transcends race or religion. Well worth $5, my friends. The exhibit has been there since May 2, and attendance has been low. If you have the chance, go.

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