Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis!

Dear Family and Friends,

Habemus Papam!- Pope Francis the First!

As we waited in the square for the smoke this evening, a lone seagull flew over and sat on top of the Sistine Chapel chimney. Everybody Cheered. It stayed there for about 30 minutes. I think it was the Holy Spirit. And then at a little past seven, this light wispy smoke started coming out, and after a second, we all shouted “It’s white!!!” and everyone started jumping up and down and screaming. Just knowing we had a shepherd – though we didn’t know who he was – was a huge load off our shoulders. It had been raining continually before the smoke, but just before it, the rain stopped, and it hasn’t returned since.

Saint Peter's Square before the white smoke March 13th
When they announced his name, no one said anything because no one had been expecting Cardinal Bergoglio. He’s a Jesuit, and there hasn’t been a Pope from a religious order in centuries. One of my friends says that this is a sign the Cardinals chose on the basis of the personal holiness of this man. I’ve heard that he lived a very simple life as a Cardinal – cooking for himself and taking the bus around town. It will be neat to get to know him in the coming days!

Even before he came out, the crowds started chanting “Francis, Francis”.

When Pope Francis came out, he just stood there and looked at us, smiling, for 2 minutes. Then he joked that the cardinals went to the ends of the earth to get him! He asked us to pray with him for Pope Benedict, and we all prayed an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory be. I think that with the global audience participating, it’s probably the time the most people have praye the Lord’s Prayer together. That’s who the Pope is, the one who brings us together before God.

Before he gave us his blessing, he asked us to pray for him. Then he bowed his head and we all prayed for him in silence. It was beautiful.

Below is the text of his first words as Pope. Tomorrow he has mass with the Cardinals, then the next day also with the older cardinals, then on Saturday he has a meeting with journalists, then Sunday his first Angelus address, then on Tuesday, the feast of Saint Joseph, we’ll have the mass for the inauguration of his pontificate.

Tomorrow is a big feast day here at the seminary in honor of our new Pope Francis. Let’s place him and the whole Church in God’s hands!

God bless you and have a good night!
Brother Kevin

Brothers and sisters, good evening!

You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you! 

Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …

[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]

And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city. 

And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”

[Silence … the Holy Father bows]

[Cardinal N. says … “The Holy Father, Francesco …”]

“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”

[Pope’s blessing]

Brothers and Sisters,

I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.

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