Since we’ve had a parish mission the past couple of days (thank you, Fr. Geoffrey Young!), I haven’t had a chance to update this site with my homily or any of the mission talks. Those should be coming soon!
But there’s another little story that’s just happened. It involves white smoke. Habemus Papam! We have a pope! Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected as Holy Father and has taken the name of Pope Francis!
My initial reactions:
- I had fun ringing the church bells for a couple of minutes after the white smoke went up. :-)
- I immediately thought back to this past October when I was part of a pilgrimage group who spent a day in Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me: an incredibly prayerful place.
- St. Francis of Assisi was told by God to rebuild his Church. I wonder if that was partially going through our new Pope’s mind when he chose the name? UPDATE: According to NBC Nightly News, Pope Francis has taken his name after St. Francis of Assisi.
- Pope Francis is a Jesuit, which counts St. Francis Xavier as one of their co-founders. St. Xavier was a renowned missionary and evangelist.
- Pope Francis comes from Argentina and has been known to be a humble man with a lot of pastoral experience. He would take public transit with everyone else, cook his own meals, and is known for his compassion toward the poor and AIDS patients.
- I LOVE LOVE LOVE how he introduced himself. After first greeting everyone with a simple “Good evening!” he led everyone around the world in prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He then invited everyone to pray for him while he bowed his head for a few moments. Finally, he gave the apostolic blessing to the world.
I’m sure we’ll learn more about him in the coming days. What are your thoughts?
And remember to pray for him and for the whole Church!
- Here’s another initial reflection on the new Pope (via KT Cat)
- The opening speech of Pope Francis, in English (via The Catholic Science Geek)
Fellow Saskatoon priest Fr. Matthew Ramsay tweeted some past reflections of our new Pope from when he was a cardinal. Fantastic and challenging stuff:
- “The privileged locus of the encounter is the caress of the mercy of Jesus Christ on my sin.”
- “We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referential church… get out into the street.”
- “In history, from its very beginning until today, grace [is] always primary, grace always comes first, then comes all the rest.”