Mass this morning with the Cardinals was wonderful – just like a mass with the pope – but one thing was missing: the Pope. One of these 115 men will become Pope, but for now, they are still just Cardinals.
|Cardinals Processing In - Dolan, Kasper, Rigali|
After Mass, the Cardinals had lunch, siesta time, and then headed over to the Pauline Chapel – a stone’s throw away from the Sistine Chapel. The whole conclave isn’t like your typical political vote. It’s actually more a liturgy service aimed at helping the Cardinals “pray their way” through the voting.
|Cardinals Processing Out - O'Malley|
|Saint Peter's in Prayer for the New Pope|
Then comes the voting process, which is very slow and thorough. No hanging chad in the Sistine Chapel, that’s for sure! After the vote, they all pray vespers together.
|Sistine Chapel and Chimney|
|Sistine Chapel from the Outside during the Voting|
We all headed over to Saint Peter’s for the smoke at 7pm. It was a long wait. The square slowly filled up, and here and there someone would think they saw smoke and shout out. When it did come at 7:41pm Rome time, at first it was a bit whitish, and everyone inhaled a bit, but then out poured the blackest smoke you ever saw, and everybody breathed out, laughed, and headed on their way.
|Waiting for the smoke March 12th|
Tomorrow there will be four votes, and if there’s white smoke, it should come between 10:30 – 11:00 and 5:30 – 6:00 pm. If it’s black again, it will come at noon and around 7pm.
|House where the Cardinals are staying|
|Rare Notice at the Vatican Museums|
I know I may sound like a broken record player, but honestly, prayer is the answer right now to all the questions in our hearts and it is what the Cardinals need most right now. So let’s keep it coming!
God bless you,Brother Kevin