A musical about the first ten years John Paul the Second was pope will debut in central Iowa next month.
“The Pope of the People” was created by musician and composer Tom Quiner of Des Moines. “It’s a musical with 15 songs in it,” Quiner says. “There’s also narration. We have a couple of characters who are reporters who will advance the plotline. It’s historic and it’s a spiritual and an entertaining piece.”
The lines sung by the actor playing the pope were taken from homilies which the head of the Roman Catholic Church delivered over the years. Quiner notes, Pope John Paul the Second visited more nations than any other pope, including a visit to Urbandale, Iowa, that drew 350,000people.
“It covers some very fascinating prophecies that took place about the pope,” Quiner says. “It focuses a great deal on his trip to Poland, and then we also cover his trip to Iowa in 1979 when he came to Living History Farms.”
He says the musical highlights the significant impact the pope’s visit to Poland had on that nation’s solidarity movement. “The final couple pieces of plotline include how Lech Walesa ended up ascending to the presidency of Poland and all of that was possible because of the pope coming to Poland in 1979,” Quiner says. “There’s also then a piece of the story about the pope’s assassination attempt and how he forgave his assassin.”
Quiner says he created the musical as a celebration of the Diocese of Des Moines’ 100th anniversary year.
Seven performances are scheduled so far in April, all in Catholic churches in central Iowa. The Diocese of Des Moines includes 83 parishes in 23 counties in central and southwest Iowa.
For more information, visit the website www.thepopeofthepeople.com.