Vatican Radio reports that “The eighth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals meeting in the Vatican Synod Hall Friday has decided that the Conclave for the election of the Pope will begin on Tuesday, 12 March 2013.”
The commencement of the Conclave coincides with what used to be celebrated as the feast day of St. Gregory the Great, who like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “resolved to retire into the monastic lifestyle of contemplation, [and] was unwillingly elected to serve his beloved church, but desiring instead to live an undisturbed life of prayer” (Catholic Encyclopedia). St. Gregory’s papacy was most known for its revitalization of the missionary effort. The missionary objective is that aspect of the church which seeks to evangelize and to bring others to Christ.
Bishop Paul Loverde of the Arlington Diocese in Virginia, like bishops worldwide, has asked Catholics to pray for the upcoming Conclave and asks in his petition for our Heavenly Father to “Give us a Shepherd after your own heart – endowed with supernatural wisdom and courage, unshakable faith, and deep humility capable of sacrificial service.” Catholics far and wide understand the need to have a guiding Shepherd, one who will lead us more deeply into our communion with Christ, and to carry on the work of his apostles.
We pray for the coming Conclave.
What is expected to happen at the onset of the Conclave, according to Vatican Radio is “A ‘pro eligendo Romano Pontifice’ Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning. Then Tuesday afternoon the 115 Cardinal Electors will gather in the Pauline Chapel for a moment of collection and prayer and from there they will process in order of precedence through the Sala Regia to the Sistine Chapel invoking the Holy Spirit.”
All eyes will remain on the Vatican until the white smoke declaring that a new pope has been selected - who will fill the Chair of St. Peter and lead us to Christ in these most trying times.
Beloved star dies
Former 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51.Latest updates