Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 14, 2013

Local Catholics speak highly of newly elected Pope Francis

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — The bells at St. John’s Catholic Church in Goshen rang for an hour Wednesday after the announcement from the Vatican in the selection of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina as the new pope.

And the sign on the front lawn at the church welcomed Pope Francis, the first pope from Latin America.

Father Tony Steinacker watched the news on TV and summed up his impression of the new pope in one word — simplicity.

“Saint Francis was one of the most simplest of saints and I gleamed from TV that Pope Francis lived in a small home and it was heated by a small stove,” Steinacker said. “He lived in a simple rectory and the church needs a simple way of life. The pictorial cross he was wearing around his neck won’t be the large ornate cross we’ve seen in others.”

The Father said the Pope holds the highest office in the Roman Catholic Church and “as the supreme pontiff, his way of life is rich and the history of Rome, Italy lends itself to tremendous appointments like that.” “I believe Pope Francis will be a different pope with a simpler way of life,” Steinacker said. “And he addressed everyone as brothers and sisters which made himself as equal to everyone. He deflected the attention off of him and unto everyone else.”

Father Fernando Jimenez wasn’t totally surprised at the selection.

“He will be a very humble person and we won’t see any surprises,” Jimenez said. “He will continue to be conservative in the governing of the church and in the social issues. He’s very conscious about it and will show great respect for social issues. He will be conscious of the physical needs of the body of the church which is the people.”

Parish secretary Lucia Ordonez expressed her joy with the announcement.

“I’m just really excited he’s not from Europe but from a people that speaks Spanish,” Ordonez said. “I was really happy to hear someone who speaks Spanish.”

The new pope also has the distinction of being the first Jesuit pope and Sister Colleen Bauer said she feels a kinship with him.

“I’m glad he’s a Jesuit and that he lived in a religious community even though it’s not the same as mine,” Bauer said. “I’m impressed. He will be strong in religious freedom.”

Students in St. John’s School showed excitement in their eyes at the news, added Principal Sharon Alexander.

“It was great to see. The children were excited to hear the bells,” Alexander said. “They were excited to get home to watch the proceedings on TV.”

Praying for Pope Francis

News of Pope Francis’ election was also heralded at the University of Notre Dame Wednesday The president of the University said he and others at the school are praying for the new Pope.

The Rev. John Jenkins says the university is rejoicing the selection of the first pontiff from the Americas. The school will hold a special Mass for the new pope 11:30 a.m. today at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus.

Jenkins says Pope Francis is known as a humble and holy servant of the church. He says the pope’s simple life and concern for the poor make his choice as pope particularly appropriate.

The bells at the basilica rang in celebration Wednesday after white smoke began flowing from the Vatican chimney, signaling a new pope had been chosen.

In Indianapolis, the leader of Indiana’s largest Catholic diocese said many Catholics in this state are going to be thrilled that the new pope speaks their mother tongue.

Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin is referring to the many Indiana Catholics who grew up speaking Spanish.

Tobin says he hopes Francis, as the first pope from Latin America, will bring some universality to the church.

Tobin says the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, was considered life-giving and healing, and “the new pope may have been recognizing that things have to be done and healed in the church.”