Catholicism
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HABEMUS PAPAM

My prediction was wrong…I thought it was going to be a long conclave, three days at least. I wasn’t much concerned about who was going to be elected. I trusted the judgement of the Cardinal-Electors. There were serious discussions during the general congregation but in the end, the influence of the Holy Spirit prevailed as always. They knew very well the right person to fit the job description in this era. Whether traditionalist or reformist, it mattered less to me. If Christ chose the lowly fisherman, Peter to be the first Pope and handed the keys of heaven to him, then…supply the missing phrase…

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When the white smoke came out of the chimney where all eyes were for the past 24 hours, I said I needed to leave my desk and turn the TV on. I couldn’t wait to see the New Pontiff. Rumor always had it. But the moment the red curtains in the balcony were opened and the Proto-Deacon Cardinal showed up, recited the latin formula (Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, Habemus Papam) and announced the name (in Latin), I needed a translator. It sounded strange.  I haven’t heard his name before. I skimmed over the profiles of the 115 Cardinals and found him. When he stepped out of the loggia, it was hard to tell what was on his mind. Crowds of people (most of them in tears of joy) waiting to be blessed cheered amidst pouring rains and flashes of camera filled St. Peter’s for memories of this historic and momentous event. Even if I was only watching it on  TV, I felt the energy and the emotion and the sanctifying effect of his presence in the Basilica and was blessed to receive the plenary indulgence from his Holiness.

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After reading some of his background, his simple, humble, down- to- earth lifestyle was the one that captured my attention the most. It humbled and embarrassed me. Look at the simplicity of this Cardinal-Archbishop and now, leading the Barque of Peter. He was one with his people and not separated from them. It’s Jesus in the Holy Scriptures coming alive. The mere fact that he chose to live in a small apartment rather than enjoy the sanctuary of the Archbishop’s residence, he earned my respect, not to mention taking the public transportation to work. If ever I prayed for a Pope, this was probably it. Someone leading by example which is the very thing that leaves a mark and on my part, learning by observation. I’m a Priest, Preacher and Pastor. It’s one thing to stand and deliver beautiful words and thoughts and kind remarks and another thing, to live that message in its entirety. I’m convinced that he is someone who will provide lots of  inspiration to millions of Catholics but especially to a young priest like me. If there was going to be any sort of reform across the board, he started it on day one by refusing to take the sedan instead joined the Cardinals in the bus and according to reports,  paid the bill in the Vatican owned hotel from his pocket. Amen.

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This entry was posted in: Catholicism

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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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