New Pope Francis I Elected: Catholics in Melrose Area React
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signalling that the conclave had chosen Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church. Melrose area Catholics responded.
The conclave tabbed Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church Wednesday. Locals across the community were happy with the choice.
The new pope was born on Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, according to the Vatican's website. He studied theology at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel. In the summer of 1997, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino in 1998, the website said.
Melrose Area Catholics Respond to Naming of New Pope
Reverend Mark Ballard, a Melrose native that has served just over a year at St. Mary of the Annuncation, was pleased a new pope had been identified Wednesday afternoon.
"We are grateful to the Holy Spirit for sending us a new pope and our prayers will go with him as he leads the (Catholic) Church at this time in a very complicated world," Ballard said.
Ballard, who previously served as pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption in Marshfield and also at All Saints Church in Haverhill, said it is too early to say what he would like to see the new pope bring to the Catholic Church.
"It is hard to comment on that now because we have to get to know what his gifts are, and obviously the Cardinals felt he has the right mixture of gifts to lead the Church at this time," he said.
Going into the selection process, Ballard did not have a favorite religious figure in mind for the papal position.
"My faith is in the process," Ballard said. "The process, guided by the Holy Spirit, has worked right back to Jesus so I just trusted it would be the one it was supposed to be."
Parochial Vicar Richard Beaulieu, a Marblehead resident who has spent more than 13 years serving St. Mary's Parish in Winchester, said he heard that Francis was the new pope and that "everything was wonderful."
In nearby Reading, Father Stephen Rock from Saint Agnes Catholic Church said, "I think it's awesome."
Rock said that the fact that he chose a name that hasn't been used before says volumes about him and the direction he will take in the future.
He thinks the fact that he is from a poor country says a lot about him as well. Rock said that the new pope seems like a smart and humble man and appreciates that his first love is being a pastor.
Rock believes that the new pope will bring humility and prayerfullness to the church.
Business Manager at Saint Agnes Catholic Church Mary Cahill said, "I'm estatic, I think it's terrific."
What do you think of the new pope? What would you like to see him bring to the Catholic Church? Tell us in the comments section below.