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•°¤*(¯` TYPES OF NONFICTION´¯)*¤°•


JHON PAUL II (1920-2005) ---Biography


Karol Jozef Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941.


He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Cracow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Krakow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on November 1, 1946.

Soon after, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in Krakow as well as chaplain for the university students until 1951, when he took up again his studies on philosophy and theology. In 1953 he defended a thesis on “evaluation of the possibility of founding a Catholic ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler”at Lublin Catholic University. Later he became professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin.

On July 4, 1958, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Baziak. On January 13, 1964, Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967, nominated him Archbishop of Krakow. Besides taking part in Vatican Council II with an important contribution to the elaboration of the Constitution Gaudium et spes,, Cardinal Wojtyla participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

Since the start of his Pontificate on October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul II has completed 104 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 146 within Italy. As Bishop of Rome he has visited 317 of the 333 parishes. His principal documents include 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions and 41 apostolic letters. The Pope has also published two books: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October 1994) and Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (November 1996)

John Paul II has presided at 147 beatification ceremonies (1,338 Blesseds proclaimed) and 51 canonization ceremonies (482 Saints) during his pontificate. He has held 9 consistories in which he created 231 cardinals [and one who remains a secret, probably for his protection]. He has also convened six plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals. From 1978 to today the Holy Father has presided at 15 Synods of Bishops: six ordinary (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2001), one extraordinary (1985) and eight special (1980, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998[2] and 1999).

No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II: to date, more than 17,600,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (more than 1,160). Such figure is without counting all other special audiences and religious ceremonies held [more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone] and the millions of faithful met during pastoral visits made in Italy and throughout the world. It must also be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 738 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State, and even the 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

He died on April 2, 2005.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1861-1865) ---Autobiography

I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families-- second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks, some of whom now reside in Adams, and others in Macon Counties, Illinois. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, emigrated from Rockingham County, Virginia, to Kentucky, about 1781 or 2, where, a year or two later, he was killed by indians, not in battle, but by stealth, when he was laboring to open a farm in the forest. His ancestors, who were Quakers, went to Virginia from Berks County, Pennsylvania. An effort to identify them with the New-England family of the same name ended in nothing more definite, than a similarity of Christian names in both families, such as Enoch, Levi, Mordecai, Solomon, Abraham, and the like.

My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, litterally [sic] without education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about the time the State came into the Union. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals, still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some schools, so called; but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond "readin, writin, and cipherin" to the Rule of Three. If a straggler supposed to understand latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard [sic]. There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the Rule of Three; but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education, I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity.

I was raised to farm work, which I continued till I was twenty-two. At twenty one I came to Illinois, and passed the first year in Macon County. Then I got to New-Salem (at that time in Sangamon, now in Menard County), where I remained a year as a sort of Clerk in a store. Then came the Black-Hawk war; and I was elected a Captain of Volunteers--a success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had since. I went the campaign, was elated, ran for the Legislature the same year (1832) and was beaten--the only time I ever have been beaten by the people. The next, and three succeeding biennial elections, I was elected to the Legislature. I was not a candidate afterwards. During this Legislative period I had studied law, and removed to Springfield to practise it. In 1846 I was once elected to the lower House of Congress. Was not a candidate for re-election. From 1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practiced law more assiduously than ever before. Always a whig in politics, and generally on the whig electoral tickets, making active canvasses--I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.

If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said, I am, in height, six feet, four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing on an average one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and grey eyes--no other marks or brands recollected.



(Editors Note: This memoir of how the women's liberation movement changed one woman's life first appeared in the November 1971 issue of Womankind, the CWLU newspaper.)

I remember when I first thought about whether Women's Liberation was relevant to me. I decided against it. My good (male) friend had gently hinted that this Women’s Liberation thing was attracting quite a few of the "cool" girls at school and maybe I should look into it. I thought it over, then explained that I didn't share those women's problems. After all, I wasn't too shy to talk in my classes. I talked as much as the men. Anyway, I had always said that I liked feeling inferior to a man. I was looking for (and having trouble finding) a man who was stronger than me, smarter than me, and in general just a touch better than me at everything -- someone I could look up to and lean on.

When I heard that part of the Women's Liberation line was about how women should be permitted to be as loud and aggressive as they wanted, I was a bit more turned on. Not that I considered myself an aggressive bitch type. On the contrary, I had worked long and hard to be able to be aggressive AND still feminine. I knew that if I wanted to talk as much as I did and say the things that I did, I had damn well been charming at the same time. I wasn't into eyelash-batting but there were ways that I walked, sat, dressed, etc. that "saved" me from being labeled a castrating bitch. Then I read the Bitch Manifesto, by and about a woman who wanted to be her normal aggressive self without trying to be charming too, and it really affected me. I could feel how that woman felt (like I was trying to avoid feeling) and I could see how a woman like me was being accepted precisely because I wasn't as "bad" as her.

I realized the whole thing was ridiculous -- women being told to play this absurd game of having a certain kind of personality and actually going along with it. Why should I have to do a song and dance routine to be accepted for what I really am? I felt like a fool. Instead of my usual feelings of jealousy of other women, I felt angry that I was feeling jealous. I had been manipulated into that feeling, so we would all keep trying for the stupid image. It was the contest approach. We were all in the Miss America pageant. How humiliating.

Seeing how unequal things were between men and women, and how women (me too) had accepted it, helped me to see how unequal things were for many people in our society. And the whole society just accepts it, even though some people are starving and others are millionaires. In my own middle-class life, I sometimes feel like I'm starving, when I'm sitting home with my two kids while my husband is out doing his exciting work-of-his-own-choice. I starve for novelty, stimulation, the opportunity to grow and help others grow and change things. It's unfair that my life should be determined by my sex, and it makes me furious -- too angry to put up with it much longer. That people are actually starving for food is so much worse that it seems unbearable.

Recognizing the unfairness of the situation is liberating in itself. I like not having to worry about clothes anymore, and I don't mind being scorned by people who would have me be a stupid object. It's a pleasure to have warm, wonderful feelings for other women -- not just to see them as friends rather than enemies, but to consider how we women can mean so
much to each other as not to need men. Struggling with Women's Liberation is also very difficult, especially since I am trying to work out a happy relationship with a man, something I hope but don't know is a possibility. Since I have become a part of the Women's Liberation Movement, I am more and more convinced that our Movement is right. Unlike so much else that I and my sisters have become involved in; I haven't and won't lose interest, and I'll never turn back.