Pope Francis Will Strengthen Catholic Church, Local Monsignor Says
'Exciting things are in store for our Catholic church, which is in great need of rebuilding and refurbishing,' said Msgr. Michael Picard of Saint Andrew Catholic Church.
The leader of the Newtown Catholic community says he is “delighted” with the election of Pope Francis and believes he will strengthen and improve the church.
“He seems to be a man of simplicity and holiness with a strong desire to serve the poor in our world,” said Msgr. Michael Picard of Saint Andrew Catholic Church. “His own life exhibits his belief that fame and power are not what the Catholic faith is all about but rather of service.”
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the son of an Italian railway worker, was chosen Wednesday as the new pope. He is the first Latin American pope to lead the church. Francis was elected as the 266th pope after two days of conclave meetings.
Picard said he believes Francis “will bring a beautiful dimension” to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
“I was deeply impressed by his humility exemplified in his bowing low to receive the blessing and prayers of the people before he imparted his blessing,” Picard said. “And I was particularly moved by his choice of the name Francis after the great saint of poverty and humility, Saint Francis of Assisi, who received the inspiration from God to rebuild His Church."
Picard said he is filled with hope about the future of the Catholic church. “Exciting things are in store for our Catholic church, which is in great need of rebuilding and refurbishing," he said.
Sister Pat Kelly, also of Saint Andrew, said she too is inspired by Francis’ message of simplicity and his love of the poor.
“His witness of holiness will open hearts and minds, and with God's grace, inspire those disaffected to return to the faith. I think that he will be a Pope of peace, in the spirit of his patron,” Kelly said.