I don't often talk about it, but I went to a Lutheran Elementary school, a Catholic middle/high school, and a Lutheran college. I'm a baptised Lutheran whose religious views are actually Unitarian Universalist.
However, I just wanted to say "rest in peace" to Pope John Paul II.
I remember sitting in masses at school, and we always prayed for "John Paul, our Pope."
But what I remember most was sitting in a very unusual religion class (the teacher made a very convincing argument that life here on Earth was actually Purgatory...she was only there one year ;-)) listening to a story from a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
It tells of a young Polish man who couldn't bear the horrors of the Holocaust and helped save several Jewish refugees. The story ends by saying that he would eventually become Pope John Paul II.
Even though I don't agree with many of his more conservative views, the respect and dignity he granted other religions by going into synagogues and mosques impressed me greatly, and the reverence for life in a time filled with nothing but religious hatred and disregard for life was remarkable.
I wonder if I still remember how to say a Hail Mary....
May he rest in peace.