UAE resident has his own papal story: It's in his name

Loluck Baby, Abu Dhabi resident
Loluck Baby, Abu Dhabi resident

Loluck was teased by his friends because of his unusual name, but now it has become his X-factor.

By Anjana Sankar and Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 4 Feb 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 5 Feb 2019, 1:53 PM

While everybody else is anticipating the pontiff's historic visit, an Abu Dhabi resident couldn't help but tell his own papal story - he was named after yet another iconic pope.
Loluck Baby, an educationist, carries the nickname of St Pope John Paul II.
"I was born on September 11 of 1985 when St Pope John Paul II declared his visit to India. My aunt, who is a nun, suggested this name to my parents. Hence, I was baptised as John Paul. As part of our tradition, we don't use the baptism name in school or in official record, so I got the unique name of 'Loluck'. John Paul II was known as 'Lolek' and my name is probably an Indianised version," said Loluck, who works as a business lead of an experiential learning organisation.
Loluck was teased by his friends because of his unusual name, but now it has become his X-factor.
"Those were some days. I used to complain to my parents about my name as it was easy for my friends to tease me. But now I am at ease as people get curious when they hear my name. They want to know more and this gives me a big leverage in developing relationships as I have a story to tell," said Loluck, who hails from Indian state of Kerala.
He finds both Pope Francis and St Pope John Paul II sharing common views.
"This visit of Pope Francis is an extension of St Pope John Paul II's journey of peace through more than 129 countries during his time. Both of them have similar views on many world matters. They are both very progressive in understanding the challenges of the 21st century."
Loluck said both the UAE and the Vatican are following similar paths in the field of education.
"Catholic churches run the maximum number of schools in the world, whereas the UAE is the home to the highest number of English-medium international schools.
"There is no better partnership that can begin the UAE's Year of Tolerance and contribute to world peace and sustainability," Loluck added.
85-year-old ready to brave long bus journey, stadium crowd
Caroline D'Mello, an 85-year-old Sharjah resident, is ready to attend the papal mass in Abu Dhabi on February 5. Her heart - working on a pacemaker - cannot contain the excitement.

Caroline D'Mello
The octogenarian said no health condition will stop her from traveling all the way to Abu Dhabi to see the pope.
"I am all ready. I am not worried about anything," D'Mello told Khaleej Times. "My first pacemaker was implanted in September 1994 and was replaced in 2007. Despite being 85, I will be traveling like everyone else for this holy trip."
She will be traveling with her two sons, who are both working in the UAE.
"For the journey, we will be carrying sandwiches besides bottles of water and my regular medicines," said D'Mello.

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