Tag Archives: Pope

White Smoke, Bells, New Pope!

It’s a damp, cold night in Rome. But it is not stopping the thousands gathered, that have been waiting, cheering, praying, the hopeful crowds!

The Dean of Cardinals has recently appeared in the balcony window, and announced:

“I announce to you news of great joy.  We have a Pope! …who takes the name Francisco (Francis)”

He is the 1st Pope from Latin America.  He hails from Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. WOW. (Photo credit: CNS)

Francis I
The well-respected Cardinal Edward Egan (Archbishop Emeritus of New York), says of him, “A man who calmly stands for what is right and just…have immense admiration for him, and I think you are going to like him a lot….He’s a very smart man, who will know how to govern…and appoint people who are capable.”

He stepped to the microphone and says, “Buena sera” and the crowd went wild!

What great humility he showed when he began by saying, “I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI,” and proceeded to lead us in saying the Our Father and Hail Mary in Latin.

His second request, “I’d like to ask you to ask the Lord to bless the Bishop,” beseeching the crowds to pray in silence for him.

In a true moment of humility, he bowed down as we, the Church, asked God to bless him as our new Shepherd.

“I’m here to evangelize the city of Rome,” he told the people. BOOM!

And a great blessing was then imparted by our new Holy Father. It was an electrifying moment to see him in his shiny new Pope garb, beginning his new role of leadership in the Church.

One more time he grabs the microphone before departing.

“I leave, thank you very much for your welcoming, pray for me, and I will see you soon…I will pray to the Virgin Mary so she keeps Rome…”

His first appearance has left me this impression that he has a heart of an evangelizer, passionate about the message of the Gospel, very personable, warm, and humble, a snappy dresser, and had a great Italian accent. A Jesuit, he is sure to be an intellectual.  I heard he was very much a follower of John Paul II, and thought to be “too orthodox by some” with a great love for the poor — ’nuff said. WOOT WOOT.

Was it not to St. Francis that God said many years ago, ‎”Francis, go and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.”

As Catholics, we do not believe in coincidence. It is providential that he bears the name Francis, that he is from Latin America, and possesses an amazingly simple, humble spirit.  As another Franciscan buddy, Chris Stefanick, posted today,

As Cardinal he cooked for himself, took the bus to work, refused to live in a palace but lived in an apartment instead.
He is a STRONG and clear moral teacher, unafraid to tackle issues like gay marriage…yet he embodied a spirit of service and of mercy. He showed up at an AIDS hospice to wash the feet of the patients there.
Folks, I think we’ll have a Canonizable Pope here. Glory be to God.

I did not expect to be so emotional, but it was a great moment. A very exciting time for the Church indeed!

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Venerable Pope John Paul II, pray for us!

Only three more days between us and Divine Mercy Sunday.  That also means that the day that our beloved Pope John Paul II’s Beatification in Rome also lies just around the bend. Many of wish we could be physically be there, but there are other ways to join in on the celebration.

In my work at CCC of America, our team has been working hard on launching the re-release of a special 4-disc documentary series, John Paul II:  The Man, The Pope and His Message.  It will be an awesome resource for all ages, especially since it will have curriculum and other extras to guide discussions!  The release date has not been firmly established, but we are all working hard and are beyond excited about distributing this 5-hour, 10 volume series of intimate moments captured by famed Italian Journalist, Alberto Michelini, and his special arrangements through the Vatican. It is a moving tribute to a true hero that I was incredibly blessed to have met at Mass in his Private Chapel in 1997.

I wanted to pass along a prayer that I was commissioned to write at work for the website we are working on for the Documentary Series.  I thought it may help us all prepare for his Beatification. If you would be so kind as to remember also our efforts to get this special edition ready and out in order to spread his message – we would be indebted for the prayer support, thanks!

Here is the prayer.  I hope it will bear fruit in all of our lives:


Trusting in the mercies of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we approach the throne of grace asking for Pope John Paul II to intercede on our behalf.  May his example inspire faith, hope, and charity in our hearts and those around us, since during his time on earth he truly mirrored the Good Shepherd to the Church.

Help us live out his message to “be not afraid,” in word and in deed.  May we follow his lead of “putting out into the deep”, and never grow weary of showing compassion to those in need.  Move within us, increasing our desire to contemplate the face of Christ as he faithfully did.

Advocate of building a culture of life through art and media, through your intercession, please allow us to be vessels of truth to future generations.

Blessed Mother, we consecrate ourselves a new to you this day.  As he entrusted his petitions to your maternal care, we do the same now.  Mary, protect us and guide us to your Son.

Grant us, though the intercession of your servant Pope John Paul II, the graces which we now implore (mention request).  May Your will be done in and through us.


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