In his youth, Karol Wojtyla showed great interest in the theatre. While a student at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, he joined an experimental theatre group known as Studio 38. As World War II erupted and Poland was invaded, young Karol became a founder of a clandestine theatre group, The Rhapsodic Theatre. This group, in defiance of the occupying Nazis, produced the plays of the Polish Romantics and worked to preserve both Polish culture and moral values. In 1941, Karol Wajtyla would enter the seminary, also a clandestine operation, and begin his journey to becoming Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II High School, which opened in September 2010, continues the legacy of Catholic education in Montgomery County, building on the foundations of St. Matthew’s High School (Conshohocken), St. Patrick’s High School (Norristown), St. Pius X High School (Pottstown), Bishop Kenrick High School (Norristown), Archbishop Kennedy High School (Conshohocken), and Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School (Norristown). Pope John Paul II High School, Studio 38 and The Rhapsodies (PJP’s Show Choir) derive their names from Pope John Paul II, himself.