Archbishop of Castries: New Pope




“I announce to you a great joy! We have a Pope!”


The Archdiocese of Castries is pleased to announce to the Church and people of Saint Lucia the good news: We have a Pope.


After a short wait and an even shorter Conclave, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio S.J., a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, was elected Pope yesterday evening, March 13, 2013.  He has taken the name Francis.


His election is significant beginning with the name he has taken.  Saint Francis of Assisi   is the Saint of simplicity, the povero or poor man, the mendicant and lover of nature and God’s creation.


As the first non-European Pope and the first Pope of Latin America he brings joy and hope to a continent where forty two percent of the world’s Catholics reside.  He is no stranger to the Church in Europe or the functioning of the Vatican.  As an Argentinian prelate who has walked humbly with his people, he is well loved and respected in his own Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and among the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean.


His posture and appearance have already won the hearts of the people.  His humble leadership gesture from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica captured the minds and hearts of people globally.  While the pundits were speculating and making their selections based, at times, on worldly strengths and virtues, the Holy Spirit marked out for the Cardinal electors a candidate who is simple, humble, deeply spiritual and centred in Christ.


Pope Francis will bring spiritual tranquility and calm to the papacy.  His demeanour is not unlike that of Pope John Paul I whose papacy lasted just thirty one days, but was so full of promise.  He is a Pope with a social conscience, who knows how to be close to his flock with a deep compassion for human suffering and human need.


At the start of his Pontificate he referred to his journey with the Church of Rome and the Universal Church as a journey of fraternity, mutual love and trust, with a vision for a world united in a great bond of brotherhood and fellowship.  He also demonstrated his spiritual leadership by getting everyone in St. Peter’s Square as well as viewers and listeners all over the world to join him in prayer for retired Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus.   He humbly beseeched the people to ask the Lord to bless him, at which moment; silence reigned in St. Peter’s Square.

The Church in St. Lucia rejoices and welcomes this good news.   God has given to His Church a humble man to walk in the shoes of Peter, the Fisherman.


Each parish will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving immediately for the newly elected Pope whose inauguration will take place on March 16, Feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.   The celebration for the entire Archdiocese will be on March 27, at 5.30p.m. at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.


+ Robert Rivas, O.P.

Archbishop of Castries.

March 14, 2013.

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