Metro Detroit Catholics are joyful and excited about the election of a new Pope, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. “I never thought that white smoke would move me to tears,” said Jim Sesi, a parishioner at the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, “it’s a great day!”
The choice of Cardinal Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was historic in many ways. He is the first Latin-American Pope and first non-European Pope to be named in 1, 000 years. He is the first Jesuit and first to take the name, Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi.
Reputed to be a man of prayer, possessing great humility, with a pastoral and evangelical charism, Cardinal Bergoglio is a champion of the poor. He rejected palace living and limousines to reside in a modest apartment and take the bus to work. Simple and conservative, yet modern enough to encourage the use of the internet to reach out to lapsed Catholics, the new Pope gives plenty of reason for hope. Referring to the choice made by the conclave of Cardinals in Rome, Joanne Grant of St. Mary’s in Rochester Hills said, “I think they did a wonderful job!”
Detroit Archbishop, Alan Vigneron, expressed his gratitude that Cardinal Bergoglio accepted the call to lead the Church and praised God for the gift of the new Holy Father.
Archbishop Vigneron invited the public to a Vespers service at the chapel of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, at 5:15 p.m. to celebrate the selection and to pray for protection and guidance for the new Pope. Said the Archbishop of Pope Francis: “We have a man of God who can lead us and who walks with us on the way home to God.”
The Archbishop said that a special Mass for the Holy Father is being planned to take place at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Wednesday, March 20, at 6 p.m.