By Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes
Taken from Bishop Gerald Barnes’ homily at the March 19 Diocesan Mass in celebration of the inauguration of Pope Francis.
It was a week ago tomorrow that we heard the news of who our new pope was to be and in a sense I’d like you to go back to that day only seven days ago when you heard the news - where you were and who you were with and what you felt. Last week we did something similar to this with the diocesan employees at the Pastoral Center and a few of them shared that what marked them was the simplicity of the man. Others said what really touched them was when he asked for us to pray for him and he bowed his head, the humility to ask for prayers from us for himself. Some said that it was the fact that we had an American, someone from the continent of the Americas. And others said he is Latino! And to some it was the name that he chose, Francis, and all that that means for us. Francis has always been one of the most favorite saints in our Church, because of the care he had for our earth and because of his fellowship with poverty.