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In the summer of 1976 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Professor Dr. Waclav Soroka invited Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski to be the keynote speaker at the next meeting of the Annual Lectures on Poland. Cardinal Wyszynski was an old friend, and Soroka hoped to shed some light on the plight of the Polish people under Communist rule. However, the Cardinal could not make it, so he made a suggestioninvite the other Polish Cardinal.
The other Polish cardinal, as he was known at the time, was Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. Providentially he was attending the International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia that summer and was willing to travel to a small rural city in central Wisconsin to give the academic lecture. Little did anyone know at the time that they would be welcoming a future Pope (John Paul II) as well as a living saint.