By the Rev. Michael Flynn
Habemus Papam: the Latin phrase announced from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday afternoon: “We have a Pope.”
Did you hear the bells of St. Kilian ringing for the hour between the announcement and the appearance of our new Pope on the balcony? We probably drove the neighbors crazy, let alone the students at Howitt Middle School. But it’s a joyful moment for us Catholics.
In the rectory we were all glued to the TV in the living room waiting for the announcement of who the new Pope would be. We put a sign on the office door, “Office Closed, we are awaiting the new Pope. Don’t you hear the bells ringing?”
It was a very moving experience to see the new Holy Father. Some changes were immediate. He came out with only the simple white cassock on, no red cape, no fancy stole around his shoulders. He greeted the people first as their new Bishop of Rome. (Cheers) He led us in prayers for Pope Benedict. He asked for silence as he asked the people to bless him before he blessed them. He bowed his head in humility. Students in the Piazza reported that there was complete silence for that period; and there were almost a million people in the piazza and streets. The Pope asking us to bless him, extraordinary!
As you now know he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. It is in South America where the largest numbers of Catholics live today. As archbishop, he lived in a simple apartment; did his own cooking and cleaning; he even took the bus to work every day. He has chosen the name of Francis, one of the great healing saints of our Church.
I think the Holy Spirit has given us a humble, prayerful and deeply spiritual Holy Father, yet very intelligent. (He has a Masters in Chemical Engineering.) Every pope has his unique talents. I think and pray that our new Holy Father’s talents will revitalize our Church.
Let us pray for him.
(Editor's note: The Rev. Michael Flynn, pastor of St. Kilian R.C. Church in Farmingdale, issued this advance commentary to Patch that will appear in Sunday's church bulletin.)