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L.A. Emissary, 10, Plays It Up Big

September 15, 1987

How do you prepare for a meeting with Pope John Paul II? Edward Pina, 10, who is one of four Los Angeles-area Catholic schoolchildren chosen at random to officially greet the pontiff when he arrives this morning at the airport, spent the weekend playing tag with friends, writing a book report, serving as altar boy at Sunday Mass and attending a Lincoln Heights youth carnival with his parents, Edward and Theresa Pina.

He later took time out to practice the short greeting that he wrote himself and will give John Paul. Edward, who attends Divine Saviour School as a fifth-grader, said he talked so much in his classroom about the impending event that his teacher sent home a note of reprimand. "The kids kept asking me about what I was going to do, and I kept telling them," he explained. Edward said that if he could spend the entire day with the pontiff, he would "take him to Disneyland." He added that he dreamed all night Sunday about the Pope. "We were walking through this park and playing catch and baseball," Edward said breathlessly.

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