Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis


We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”   Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe


pope francis

   Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis   

(Thought #1) Fr. Martin Pable, O.F.M.Cape, wrote that, in1210, when St. Francis was praying before the Crucifix in the church of San Damiano, he heard a voice saying, “Francis, go and rebuild my Church which is falling into ruins!” He took the words literally and began repairing the church building with the help of his friends. Only later did he realize that Jesus was asking him to rebuild the spiritual life of the Church.

(Thought #2) Pope Francis has said we place too much importance on abortion. Ten years ago I gave to non-Catholic friends a questionnaire, asking what they thought was the purpose of Catholicism. 20 out of 20 replied it was fighting abortion. They38th Annual March For Life Winds Through Washington considered the Church merely a major opponent of Planned Parenthood, with little concern about the poor, our staggering number of prisoners, social injustice, education, medical care and the salvation of souls.  For fellow Catholics, could this impression be the reason 1 out of 10 Americans are former Catholics and that a third of all baptized Catholics have abandoned the Church?

(Thought #3) At World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis implored, “I want the church to be in the streets, not closed and turned within.”  With this statement, he has presented a challenge to every parish.

Newly elected Pope Francis appears at the window of his future private apartment to bless faithful during Angelus prayer at VaticanThe Pope later wrote, “Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, the effort of someone who decides to be consistent and succeeds, a solitary challenger in the face of the world. No. Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy. The surprising,  unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me,  calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me.  This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again.”


(Thought #4) Bill Donohue, President of The Catholic League, said, “Not in my lifetime have I seen an outburst of enthusiasm for a newly minted pontiff. And not just from Catholics: Pope Francis has won the plaudits of everyone, from people of all faiths to die-hard secularists.”



A British soldier searches a teenager in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles in 1971

                                      (Courtesy of  Dr. Imre Szeman)

In a 2002 survey commissioned by the Northern Irish Community Relations Council, a sociologist interviewed Catholic and Protestant children between the ages of three and six to find out their views on the political situation there. When asked, “What do you know about Catholics?” one Protestant child responded, “They rob. They’re bad. Catholics are different from ordinary human beings because they are badder. They make petrol bombs, get petrol at garages, throw them and they blow up.”

In response to the question, “What do you know about Protestants?” Catholic children provided similar responses, “They want to kill all the Catholics.  They are like Catholics. They do the same things only they’re stronger.”


Recommended Readings


–       “Becoming One” by Bishop Denis Madden in the September 9-16   America

–       “Annie get your background check” in the October U.S. Catholic

–       “Fighting on New Terrain” by George Weigel in the August-September First Things

–       “Your parish needs a hip replacement”  by Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, New Brunswick, NJ    September U.S Catholic



Look to this day

For it is Life;

The very Life of Life.

Yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only

A vision, but

Today, well spent

Makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness, and

Every tomorrow

A vision of hope.

                       From Sanskrit by Kalidasa, 4th/5th century AD




One thought on “Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis

  1. Desire or thinking about relaxation of Catholic teachings on abortion,gay marriage,infidelity etc. Is just a wishful imagination. Joyful Catholic may kindly ,prayerfully delve deep into the various teaching on sexual morality to bring out a better understanding . Setting aside serious subject with a pinch of condemnation or joke or accusations may not lead us anywhere. The reasons and divine connection behind all things have to be studied.

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