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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1979)
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Covered past six pontiff
Reporter compares popes
Photo by Tom Gnsnw
The pope celebrates the Eucharist with the crowd,
Dy Tom Gcssncr
DES MOINES-A Vatican correipondent
for the largest newspaper in Italy said that
Pope John Paul II differs from his pre
decessors because he is "a man of the
Ysband Hlddes Galema, 71 , is a reporter
for the Amsterdam Telegraaf, which has a
circulation of 800,000. Galema has been a
reporter for 50 years, has lived in Rome for
20 years and has covered six different
"Pope John Paul II was never in the
Vatican like the other popes were. That is
the biggest difference, Galema said.
Galema said Pope John Paul II had his
own parish for 38 years, and it was there
thai he learned how to talk to people.
"He speaks slowly, lie pauses; the
people have to think of what he Is saying."
Galema said Pope John Paul II was an
actor in Poland, and often took part in
Polish plays. Galema said that this Is what
makes him "a man that comes over."
"A good preacher must be a good actor
to keep the people awake in church."
Galema said that no matter where the
pope goes people come by the millions to
"When he has said his words, something
remains in the hearts of the people."
"The pope is in the middle of the inter
est of the world. Because of his personal
ity. He is very well organized," Galema
said. Because the pope is the head of the
Vatican State, "When he goes out of state
he becomes a country, and Italy is respon
sible for him, as well as the other coun
tries." Galema said that there are many prob
lems in the Catholic Church, but that the
pope "knows what to do."
The pope must first say something to
change things, according to Galema.
Television cameras film Protestant family pilgrimage
By Alice Hrnicek
DES MOINES-Their three mile pilgrimmage started
out like that of others who walked to Living History Farms
to see Pope John Paul II.
The group of 10 woke up at 5 a.m. to prepare for their
hike from the home qf John and Sharon Dixon in Clives,
a suburb of Des Moines.
They proceeded as planned at 1 a.m. down the outside
steps of the gray-framed split level house to the sidewalk
for the long walk ahead.
The only part they had not originally planned was to
be greeted outside by a reeling NBC camera and film crew.
The Dixon's and two other families were chosen by
NBC television to be the subject of the Oct. 1 "Prime
time Sunday" a show broadcast weekly.
"We decided by Sunday night people would be tired of
seeing the pope said Bill Fredh, a sound technician and
part of the two-man crew who filmed the families.
TO ADD VARIETY, NBC chose to highlight the .ex
periences of people involved with the visits of the pope.
The crew also followed a policeman in Boston and a 17-year-old
Catholic high school student in New York, Fredh
Originally selected by the network was Sharon's niece,
Jackie Barton. Jackie was recommended by the United
Methodist Church in Des Moines.
Joining Jackie and her husband Gary and their two
children, John, 13 and Michelle, 10, were the Dixons and
their children, David, 10, and Melanle, 8, and friends Gary
and Kathy Grauerholz of a southern Iowa farm west of Des
Fredh said NBC filmed a Protestant family because the
Midwest is a largely Protestant area. The Dixons belong to
St. John's Lutheran Church in Des Moines.
"The people from NBC were wonderful," Sharon said.
"They were lust good friends, not your stereotype of
Although retakes and resetting stretched the journey to
three hours, Sharon reported that NBC made every effort
to accommodate them.
FILMING BEGAN Wednesday night, with the family
watching the late news. The crew arrived late because they
had been delayed at LaGuardla Airport in New York four
hours because of a rainstorm and the arrival of the Pope,
When filming resumed in the morning, the group had
to step out the door several times before crew men were
"One shot had to be done five or six times" Kathy
said. The shot was one of. the families crossing the two
way street, Hickman, to join the large crowd.
"They filmed us talking to one another on the way "
Sharon said. They sang "He's got the whole world in his
hands" for a mile while cameramen ran ahead.
Being under the spotlight did not bother the family,
she added. As a manager of a 1900-stylc house at Living
History Farms she said she had been photographed a lot.
She was quick to note that her employment -at the site of
the Pope's visit had nothing to do with being chosen by
"They didn't know anything about it," she said.
The cameramen stored their 700 pounds of equipment
in a room at the Sheraton Hotel, across the street from
the farms. As soon as the group reached the grounds, they
crowded into the room to get ready for further filming.
Sharon said that being Lutheran made no difference in
her attending a Catholic affair. "1 wouldn't miss a histor
ical event as it happened," she said.
After the long day, the families returned to the house
of the Dixon's for a brief supper. Their worn faces made it
apparent that no one would object to collapsing in bed
The family treated the two crew men as members of
the family, as they spent both Wednesday and Thursday
nights at their home, as tired as the rest. A neighbor of the
Dixon's baked a cake for the crew.
A party with the three families sprawled in front of the
television was planned for the Sunday night broadcast as a
fitting conclusion for the excursion, Sharon said.
"With all of us together it just all fell into place," she
Pope shares communist experience with refugee families
By Mike Sweeney
The Southeast Asian Refugees attend
ing Pope John Paul II's mass in a Des
Moines alfalfa field stood in the twilight
zone between tradition and innovation.
Some wore the colorful dress of their
native land; others clutched at American -made
coats and jackets to keep out the
Some ate rice, their native staple crop;
others ate American snacks and washed
them down with carbonated soft drinks. .
And some were converting from tradi
tional ancestral worship to another religion
rich in tradition-Roman Catholicism.
Father Paul Nguyen-Van Than, who
helped 300 Des Moines-area refugees organ
ize a twomile pilgimmage to see the pope,
said many attending the papal mass were
nonatholics learning a new religion.
SEVERAL OF the refugees were
Hmong, a people from the mountains of
Laos who make offerings, often of food, to
their ancestors, Than said.
The Hmong have found parallels in
Roman Catholicism that ease their con
version, he said.
They have been impressed with the
Catholic offering of sacraments, Than
said. "They can offer praise for the souls of
their parents and grandparents in the
Catholic context of the Eucharist.
About ten Hmong families in Des
Moines are learning Eng!i& and attending
religious classes as part of their conversion,
A Kansas City, Mo. native, Than visits
Des Moines refugee families through the
invitation of the Catholic Council for
FOR THE HMONG, as well as refugees
from Cambodia, Loas, and Vietnam, the
pilgrimmage began before 6 a jn. Thursday
in the parking lot of a Des Moines shopping
Than said they pilgrims planned to leave
early to get as close to the pone as possible.
Pope John Paul was not scheduled to arrive
in Des Moines until early afternoon.
They carried welcome banners printed
in their native languages.
.Their two-mile walk in the pre -dawn
darkness took them down dimly-lit streets,
past National Guard security officers, a
drug store, and a motel to the hilltop altar
overlooking Living History Farms.
For the non-Catholics among the
refugees, the pilgrimmage offered a chance
to meet a man of great spiritual power,
"NON-CATHOLICS know the pope is a
head of state with so much spiritual
power " he said. "He has so much influence-that
doesn't apply just to Catholics
but to all the people of the world.
However, most of the refugees were
Catholics, he said. They found soiritual
strength to the visit of a wte4iairedt
broad-shouldered Polish pope.
"This pope comes from a Communist
country,' he said. "In many ways they
(Polish Catholics) suffer in the same ways
they (refugees) suffered tn their country ."
The mutual suffering has led to a spirit
ual bond between Polish and Southeast
Asian Catholics, he said.
Than said some of the refugees were
forced to flee twice from Communist per
secution. When the Communists took over North
Vietnam in 1954, a million Catholics
moved south. When the South Vietnamese
government collapsed 20 years later, they
had to flee again.
The fall of South Vietnam not only
broke up families and exiled many Catho
lics, but also prevented Than from return
ing to Southeast Asia.
Than, 35, was born in Laos. His parents,
farmers who originally lived in North Viet
nam, spent one year there before moving
to the Nongkhai province of Thailand.
He came to America in 1968, studied
philosophy, and was ordained a priest in
1975. Than said he had planned to return
to Southeast Asia to preach as soon as he
was ordained, but "the whole thing col
lapsed, so I stayed."
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Photo bf Tom C
Western Nebrt&iss joiaed with the ctwtf to takte "Loci live the Pope.
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