Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Habemus Papam!

 

This week we rejoice in the election of our new Holy Father, Pope Francis!POPE-ELECT

For us, the Holy Father is a great blessing, the first pope from the American hemisphere and, being Hispanic, he is from a part of the world where almost half of the Catholics reside. He is a man who has been very much dedicated to the poor and announcing the Gospel in difficult situations. We know he will be a great blessing for our Church.

It was my privilege to visit him a couple years ago. I had met him in different meetings over the years and when I had to make a trip to South America for the US Bishops Conference to visit projects in Paraguay that are funded by the collection for Latin America, I had to stop in Argentina on the way, where I was his guest and had a wonderful visit with him. On that occasion, he gave me a beautiful recording of the Missa Criolla, the Argentine Mass.

Looking at a picture of Pope John Paul II with Mother Teresa

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In the time leading up to the conclave, we had several days of meetings, which are called congregations, in which the Cardinals talk about the situation of the Church in their countries and our hopes for the new pontificate. Father Raniero Cantalamessa gave the first meditation to us during the congregations.Cardials Arrive in VaticanCARDINALS-MEETINGCARDINALS-MEETING

Sunday, before the conclave, each of the Cardinals went to celebrate Mass at their titular church, praying for God’s guidance in the conclave and so I went to my church, Santa Maria della Vittoria. Our seminarians and priests who are in Rome, including Father Salocks, Msgr. McRae, Msgr. Kelly and Father Eric Bennett joined us at the Mass.8544896158_92fe42a6fc GM3_1950.JPG

Also with us was the Italian and international press en masse.8544884044_bf7f95a9bc GM3_1513.JPG8543790549_3241c73f48 GM3_1625.JPG

8544895924_c6be47a735 GM3_1945.JPGThe Italian papers were all writing about the Archbishop of Boston being the next Pope and taking polls and surveys and the Italians were all voting for me because they liked St. Francis, I think. I don’t really know, but I was so amazed by the whole process.CONGREGATIONS-FINAL

The Carmelite Friars were very, very gracious, as always. Then, afterward, we had lunch with them.

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Monday, the congregations ended and Tuesday morning we had the Mass Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the Mass for the election of the Pope, celebrated by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Sodano.CONCLAVE-MASS8550547263_76a28d7c2c GM3_31868550559765_c980a1508d GM3_2984

8550564387_3222283a90 GM3_2965Then, in the afternoon, the conclave began. We all had to go to the Domus Sanctae Marthae where we were sequestered for the duration of the conclave. That afternoon, we went to the Pauline Chapel where we prayed and then went in procession to the Sistine Chapel, chanting the Litany of Saints.

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When we arrived at the Sistine Chapel there were more prayers. We received a second meditation from Maltese Cardinal Prospero Grech. Then we had the first “scrutinium”, or scrutiny, as the vote is called. The first scrutiny was inconclusive so the ballots were burnt and the black smoke was visible Tuesday night.

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Then, Wednesday, we went once again from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Sistine Chapel where we had prayers and two scrutinies in the morning.

During the votations, each Cardinal went up by order of seniority, holding their ballot in their hand. Before placing the ballot in the receptacle on the altar, each cardinal took a vow — standing before Michelangelo’s scene of the Last Judgment — calling on Christ to be our witness in promising that we would only vote for the person we felt God really wanted for the office of Holy Father. It is a very moving experience.CONCLAVE-URNS

Neither of those two scrutinies were conclusive.

Between the morning and afternoon gatherings we went back to the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Cardinal Bergoglio and I sat together for lunch. I could see he was under a lot of pressure at that point, and he did not eat much!

Then, in the afternoon, we returned to the Sistine Chapel for more prayers. We had two more scrutinies there and, on the second vote, the Holy Father was elected.

POPE-ELECT

That was a very emotional and moving moment, when he accepted and announced that his name would be Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. He said very explicitly that he was taking it in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. As a Jesuit, he could have said he was taking the name in honor of St. Francis Xavier, who is one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Church. In talking about evangelization, for example, it would have been very understandable, but he specified that he was taking the name of St. Francis of Assisi.

Without having discussed it with the Holy Father, I think that there are some themes from the life of St. Francis that he is trying to communicate by choosing this name.

One of the themes of Francis’s life is the call to rebuild the Church, which is a call to reform, to deepening our conversion to the Lord. And even in his homily yesterday, the themes he talked about were walking, building and confessing. This reinforces my belief that this is one of the aspects of Francis’s life that he wants to stress.FRANCIS-SPIRITUALITY

Another theme would be Francis’s theme of universal brotherhood. He talked about that in his comments from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica: of making a world where we are brothers and sisters to each other. St. Francis, of course, saw himself as a brother to all of creation and to everyone.

St. Francis also had a special love for the poor, who are a sacrament of the crucified Christ. The Holy Father, in his ministry as archbishop has been so dedicated to the poorest of the poor. I think we will see a continuation of that in his pontificate.

Then, each of the Cardinals went up, kissed his ring and greeted him. Afterwards, we prayed the Te Deum, the traditional Catholic prayer of thanksgiving, and the Holy Father was taken away, vested in his white vestments, and went to the chapel to pray privately.

POPE-ELECT

It was then that the ballots were burnt and the white smoke and bells and announced to the city of Rome and to the world that the new Holy Father had been elected.

We then went to the loggia overlooking the Piazza of St. Peter’s accompanying the Holy Father. 8554855941_c0fbe81a00 GM3_4178

Being on the balcony looking out was just an impressive sight, with hundreds of thousands of people cheering, waving flags and taking pictures. The energy of the crowd was just incredible when they saw the Holy Father.POPE-WHITESMOKEPOPE-ELECT

He gave a very warm and simple greeting to the people and asked for prayers for Pope Benedict and then asked for a moment of silence and asked for the people to pray for God’s blessing upon him. He led the people in the Hail Mary, the Our Father and the Glory Be. This, for me, was a very moving moment because it occurred to me that these very simple prayers are the ones that every Catholic knows, whether they be illiterate or a rocket scientist, whether they are children or elderly. These are the prayers that unite us as a Catholic people in our life of faith and worship of God.POPE- ELECT

Then, the Holy Father announced to the people that he was going to go the next day to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pay a visit to the famous icon there attributed to St. Luke, the Salus Populi Romani, the patroness of Rome. Then after giving his blessing Urbi et Orbi, he returned with us to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where we had a festive meal with him.

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The following day he went to the Basilica and prayed before the image of Our Lady, placing a bouquet of flowers before her. FRANCIS-DAY1

FRANCIS-DAY

Then, in the afternoon, we had a Mass at the Sistine Chapel that the cardinal-electors concelebrated with the Holy Father. He preached a very spontaneous and lovely reflection.FRANCIS MASSFRANCIS MASSFRANCIS MASSFRANCIS MASS

Last night, I gathered with the seminarians here at the North American college to pray compline.

- – -

Earlier today, we had an audience with all the cardinals together and the Holy Father.

- – -

There seems to be a great deal of interest in the process of burning the ballots. After each scrutiny, they burned the ballots strung together a needle and thread, so that everything is destroyed. And they also burned all the papers that we used – for example anything you may have taken any notes on. It was interesting to enter the Sistine Chapel and see they had built this big contraption with all kinds of copper pipes going up to the ceiling that of course is never there otherwise.

SISTINE CHAPEL

SISTINE CHAPELOne question I have been asked is if there was smoke in Sistine Chapel when they burned the ballots. During one of the scrutinies there was a little smoke. I understand that in the past it could be very smokey, but this time there was just a little bit that one time.

It certainly is an extraordinary venue. For 500 years this has been the venue the Cardinals have used to elect the new Holy Father overseen by the whole of salvation history, beginning with the famous Creation of Adam — which was right above where I was sitting — to the very dramatic depiction of the Last Judgment.

CONCLAVE-FILE PHOTO

On any given day, between 20,000 and 30,000 people visit that Chapel. I know many of people say “Why does the Church have such great treasures,” but the Church holds these treasures as part of the patrimony of the Italian people and of the world.

Anyone at all can go in to St. Peter’s and enjoy the beauty of the Pieta which is there for all to see, free. The Church is a patron of the arts and supports these very beautiful works of art that help us to glimpse the beauty of God. It is a service that the Church provides to humanity.

You can see some of the mementos I was able to keep from the conclave here:

- – -

Also, regular readers will know that I did not post a blog last week. This is because, in the spirit of confidentiality of the congregations leading up to the conclave, all the cardinals were asked not to make public statements.

However, there are a few events from last week I would like to share with you.

On Friday March 1, they had a reception in honor of the American Cardinals at the US Embassy to the Holy See. At this time there is no American ambassador to the Vatican but the Chargé d’Affaires’s Mario Mesquita from California gave us a very gracious welcome.Reception for the American cardinals at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, March 1, 2013. Photo by Gregory L. Tracy/ The PilotReception for the American cardinals at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, March 1, 2013. Photo by Gregory L. Tracy/ The PilotReception for the American cardinals at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, March 1, 2013. Photo by Gregory L. Tracy/ The Pilot

Reception for the American cardinals at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, March 1, 2013. Photo by Gregory L. Tracy/ The Pilot

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On Sunday March 3, I concelebrated Mass with a number of other American Cardinals at the North American College. The main celebrant and homilist Archbishop DiNoia, vice president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.

At the Mass about 70 seminarians for dioceses around the country received the ministry of acolyte.Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley and celebrates Sunday Mass with other American Cardinals and  Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P. at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> During the Mass about 50 seminarians —  including those from the Dioceses of Fall River and Worcester — received the order of acolyte, one of the steps in advancing towards the priesthood.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Also, as I always like to do, I took the occasion of being in Rome to meet with our seminarians studying there.Seminarians Deacon Thomas MacDonald and Kevin Joyce are pictured with Cardinal O'Malley, March 1, 2013. Photo by Gregory L. Tracy/ The Pilot

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I was happy to meet during the week a group of pilgrims from St. John’s Seminary’s Masters of Arts in Ministry program that in a happy coincidence were visiting Rome. The group, led by Father Chris O’Connor, vice rector of St. John’s Seminary and director of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization was visiting Poland and Rome in a pilgrimage on the footsteps of Pope John Paul II.

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For us, as Catholics, the selection of the Pope is something very, very important. The decision of Pope Benedict to retire was, in some ways, a crisis for us and so the election of the new Holy Father is a great consolation to the Catholic people with its sense of continuity in the Church. 2013-03-06-GTracy_38

We have been so blessed in the last century and a half with so many exceptional and holy men who have led us in the Catholic Church, though each of them was so different from the one who came before. I think that is what we see here. Someone told me the Italians have an expression, “After a fat Pope, a thin Pope” which shows that each one is different and each one has different gifts that they bring to their ministry in the Church. I am sure that Pope Francis, just as Pope Benedict, will share with us the wonderful gifts and talents that God has given him to be put at the service of God’s people.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

37 Responses to Habemus Papam!


Comments

  1. Comment by mary grace | 2013/03/15 at 22:02:06

    This was so wonderful!…..Let Cardinal Sean know that i’m waiting for him to bring home to Boston the St. Theresa statue!

    Maybe he can ask Pope Francis to give it a tour!

    from a little sister in carmel

  2. Comment by Ricatdo | 2013/03/15 at 22:54:59

    Cardinal Seán, I think you cannot make a better choice. Pope Fracis is what the Church needs, I’m sure about it. The single thing i will selfishly pitty is that he’s no longer in Buenos Aires and he’ll be missed here, Francis is a graet shepherd for his sheeps. He is a brother, a father or a friend for whoever needs him. Now he’ll be a shepherd for the world. He’ll be far a way from the end of the world, but very, very, close in so many ways. Tahnk you for giving the Church such a great Holly Father.

  3. Comment by justin n | 2013/03/16 at 00:07:26

    Thank you so much for sharing this! God bless you!

  4. Comment by Juliet Aimée Joly | 2013/03/16 at 00:27:39

    Cardinal Sean,
    I’ve never read your blog before but I am so grateful for what you have shared with us here. This week every time I thought about the experience of the cardinals in concave, I thought of what a vivid encounter with the living Christ that must have been for each you. Considering the sense of urgency, and the necessary unity and friendships that were so evidently given to each of you (and us, for us to witness!) in those days, inspires deep and relentless hope in me for a beautiful, unexpected sense of unity among our cardinals, and thus our whole Church! What a friendship mut have sprung up with those other holy men, those other apostles of the living Christ: His friends. I am so grateful for your bearing witness to me of your experience and I pray that we, the church, can continue living with this newfound sense of urgency, with hearts swelled and open, waiting to be filled with the only One who can fulfill it!
    Thank you for your “yes” to us, to the Church, to your vocation as a priest and cardinal, and to our living Christ!!!
    Love,
    Juliet
    (Teacher in DC)

  5. Comment by Reinel Castrillón | 2013/03/16 at 00:56:54

    Muy bonito relato, que bueno saber de primera mano tantos detalles.

  6. Comment by Thomas Lichtenberger | 2013/03/16 at 03:24:07

    Hello Cardinal Sean,
    thank You for sharing Your thoughts. Let me add just one: This last days showed us that crisis is allways a time of opportunity, too. And i think You cardinals made the best of it.
    My best wishes and prayers for You, Your service and the people of Boston diocese.

  7. Comment by Juan | 2013/03/16 at 06:21:34

    Querido hermano: Paz y Bien desde España.
    He sabido de usted por religiosos capuchinos conocidos. Me gustaria mantener correspondencia electronica con usted para compartir mis inquietudes. Un abrazo

  8. Comment by charlene carrier | 2013/03/16 at 07:21:03

    Pope Benedict XVI had set a very courageous, unselfish example..Step down/resign when your mission is done…pass the baton. I believe Pope Francis I will accomplish a lot as our spiritual leader and will resign at the age of 80..Why? He is humble and recognizes that his strength will wane; therefore preparing the way for another religious, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Both men are crucial to the functioning of the Church. Charlene

  9. Comment by María Alejandra Colasantti | 2013/03/16 at 08:11:24

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

    Thank you very much for your kind words regarding our new Pope Francis. I am sure he will be a great leader.

    I am from Argentina and I know know how well he has conducted our Church. We all love him very much because he has always been with the suffering ones, the humbles, the victims of injustice, etc. That is why he has so many powerfull enemies, our president included. Please, pray for him!!!!!!

    Even being from Argentina, I want you to know, YOU were my candidate. You would have also been a great Vicar of Christ.

    May the Lord accompany you and your congration.

    MARÍA ALEJANDRRA COLASANTTI

  10. Comment by Mary N. Thawley | 2013/03/16 at 08:39:00

    Thank you for all your words and beautiful pictures. As a photographer myself I appreciate their quality. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from a fellow Irish person. My grandmother was from Mayo,my grandfather from Rosscommon. My mom has her 94th birthday next week so I won’t be in Boston when you return. But I am getting you some new socks to celebrate your return! Love Mary T.

  11. Comment by Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer | 2013/03/16 at 09:07:26

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us :-)

    Blessings!

  12. Comment by Frances Sofranac | 2013/03/16 at 09:07:40

    Thank you for taking us in your journey through your blog. Have a safe trip home! Not sure if you remember the Valdez family from you time at St. Camillus and in DC. Alberto and Margarita Valdes, I am their middle daughter Frances. The family was extremely happy for you and this extraordinary experience .

  13. Comment by Lorraine Christman, osfa | 2013/03/16 at 09:23:32

    Dear Cardinal Sean, I receive your blog every week and I thank you for sharing all that you do.my being a Franciscan I was so moved when I saw Pope St. Francis for the first time. . The Lord has blessed us with a gental giant.

  14. Comment by JohnR | 2013/03/16 at 10:05:43

    So great to have you back. I missed your blog. What an eventful week! Thanks for the unique insight into the process.

  15. Comment by A.J. Cattapan | 2013/03/16 at 10:56:52

    Thanks for the info, videos, and photos! I may be from Chicago, but I’ve really looked to you and Cardinal Dolan for papal election “insider” news. :)

  16. Comment by steve cloutier | 2013/03/16 at 12:04:06

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I to am blogging on wordpress, would love to follow you, as you are truely an inspiration, but I don’t see a follow button? I love how humble and simple you are, don’t say too much, but when you do, you always say the right things. Not only are you a great leader, you are also a great role model. I have had alot of struggles in my life, but with you as a role model and God to guide me on a new path, I feel confident I can finally be free, of which put my past finally behind me. Thank you Cardinal Sean and God bless you and Pope Francias, may you have a blessed Easter.

  17. Comment by jean marino | 2013/03/16 at 13:24:10

    Dear Cardinal Sean, I am jumping with joy with the happenings of this past week. I thank you and your brother Cardinals for selecting this beautiful man “Our Holy Father Francis”. I continue to pray for his good health, safety and all of God’s blessings. I am so excited for all of us. With blessings to you. Jean

  18. Comment by Roberta | 2013/03/16 at 13:50:09

    Dear Father, may I call you so? I am sorry, I do not know how to address to a Cardinal in English. I have to say that I was among those who prayed for you being the next Holy Father, but I am not disappointed at all with the choice you and all the other Cardinals made: I love Pope Francis already and I am sure, as you are, that He will be able to do many wonderful things for our Church. I am so happy that Cardinal Bergoglio choosed the name of San Francesco d’Assisi, a holy soul to which I am particularly devoted. I really want to thank you in name of all the other Cardinals for choosing Him. And thank you also for sharing all the emotions and solemnity of the Conclave.
    Excuse me for my bad English!!
    May God bless you always and please, keep doing the great job you have done so far: we desperately need people like you.

    Best regards,

    Roberta

  19. Comment by Francesca M. Strada | 2013/03/16 at 13:52:09

    Even if I followed the events the whole week, it’s so interesting to hear them from an insider! What an emotion! Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. Comment by Raymond J. Mitchell | 2013/03/16 at 14:06:49

    Cardinal Seán,

    We thank you so much for your role in the Conclave and for giving us a new Holy Father. Pope Francis was an inspired choice, and it is clear that the cardinal-electors were led by the Holy Spirit during their deliberations.

    As a Boston College alumnus and a spiritual son of St. Ignatius, I rejoice in the election of the Church’s first Jesuit pope. As faithful Catholics, we all pray for you and for our new Holy Father, and also for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, that you will go forth and “set the world on fire” for Christ and His Church.

    God bless you!

  21. Comment by Ryan | 2013/03/16 at 17:17:45

    It was suprise for my, when I read your blog dear Cardinal.
    I think it’s is a good way to show Catholic Church from good side.
    Your relation is very interesting for me.
    I wish You all the best. May The Lord bless you and your’s future plans.
    Sorry for my mistakes.

    AMDG.(Jesuit’s motto)
    Pilgrim from Poland.

  22. Comment by Ronald Brush | 2013/03/16 at 19:06:04

    Great post!

  23. Comment by Audrey | 2013/03/17 at 08:57:34

    Cardinal Sean-I read your blog almost every week. This one is wonderful! Thank you for explaining what occurred. Thank you for serving the Church! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  24. Comment by Beatriz Monerri Molina | 2013/03/17 at 13:59:25

    Buenas tardes padre O´Malley. Le escribo desde España y en español al tener información de que es usted especialista en literatura española y portuguesa y, por tanto, buen conocedor de nuestra lengua.
    En primer lugar, quería transmitirle como “feligresa virtual” mi enorme satisfacción de contar con un Papa hispanoparlante que, por todo el seguimiento que he realizado en estos días previos a su elección, es además un hombre cercano a los más necesitados. Ese mismo aspecto es el que más me ha impresionado de Usted. En la Iglesia necesitamos muchos hombres y mujeres honestos que luchen por mantener y extender a todos los confines el mensaje de Cristo y que ,además, esten lo más cerca posible de los necesitados. Una cercanía no solo desde el punto de vista material sino también espiritual. Vivimos en un mundo frío y descarnado que necesita mucho amor para poder hacer del mensaje de Cristo una realidad cercana.
    En vísperas de la celebración del hermoso día de San José le transmito mi admiración por su trabajo en la Iglesia americana.
    Un cordial saludo desde Madrid.
    Beatriz Monerri

  25. Comment by Miguel Ángel | 2013/03/17 at 16:59:01

    Monseñor Seán: He seguido con detalle todo el proceso de la elección del Papa. Le transmito mi alegría por la elección del Papa Francisco. Mi alegría es grande: en la Iglesia sopla con fuerza el Espiritu Santo, y viene un vendaval que renovará la curia romana y derribará a los dictadores. Habrá un camino para los humildes, una construcción sobre roca y una voz poderosa que confiese a Cristo crucificado. Enhorabuena!
    Miguel Angel, desde España.

  26. Comment by Ryan Wijayanayake | 2013/03/17 at 21:04:09

    Hello Cardinal Sean,
    I am a freshman at Boston College High school and wanted to ask you whether you think that the seagull that landed on the chimney of the Sistine chapel before the pope was elected was a sign form God to tell us that the next pope will take the name of the patron saint of animals? I enjoyed reading the inside information about the conclave and will be sure to tell it to my religion teacher and class. Please say hi to father Soper for me when you get the chance. Take care and God Bless.
    Ryan Wijayanayake

  27. Comment by Miguel | 2013/03/18 at 07:47:51

    Thank you for this beautiful entry. I also was moved when Pope Francis prayed in the balcony these very simple prayers for the same very reasons you express. These are actually the prayers I use to pray with my daughters every night. Thank you also for all your actions of transparency which I consider very important for the Church. By the way, the very first religious I ever met were Capuchin friars in my hometown. Greetings from Spain.

  28. Comment by Silvia | 2013/03/18 at 08:51:37

    I think you made the perfect election.
    Thank you.

  29. Comment by Sandra Dillon | 2013/03/18 at 10:00:10

    Thank you Cardinal Sean for sharing the beauty of our faith and some insight on all that goes on during an election of a Pope. Viva our new Pope Francis! Amazing gift to us all.

  30. Comment by Alan J. Eddy | 2013/03/18 at 10:16:05

    Cardinal Sean, I prayed that if it were God’s will you would have been elected to be our next Pope. I followed some of the Italian language newspapers and you were leading in their polls! I guess God has other plans for you. Thank you for the great blog and pictures and videos.

    Pax Domini sit semper tecum

    Alan

  31. Comment by Lorenzo | 2013/03/18 at 13:57:08

    Dear Eminenza,

    thank you very much for sharing this.
    Thank you for letting us live from closer a special event like the Conclave.
    As you wrote “The Italian papers were all writing about the Archbishop of Boston being the next Pope” and I must to be honest, Cardinal Seán, you were one of my favourite.
    But as usual only the Holy Spirit knows the Way and few words and few signs were enough to make us understand that Papa Francesco will be a great Father (it’s great to see a Pope with his thumbs up). Thank you very much you for giving us such a great, humble Holy Father (the name Francesco is sooo meaningful :-) ).

    I wish you all the best. May the Lord accompany you.

    Love and brotherliness,

    Lorenzo

    (P.S.: sorry for my rusty english, I am italian…
    …and Eminenza if you are still in Rome and you would like to eat a great pasta I would be honoured and glad to cook for you :-) .
    Blessings.)

  32. Comment by irina adama milano | 2013/03/18 at 15:41:47

    father sean the italian like you so much because of the big somiliance with PADRE PIO -who is the most apreciated and loved priest and saint in the modern time in italy. For the most of italians you are looking very much like PADRE PIO, also a member of order of frati minori cappuccini and all of us find fascinating have a pope with the brown cappuccio and sandals who hide a very big heart….. your simplicity is irresistible.sorry for my english.saluti dall italia!!!un grande abbraccio !!!!

  33. Comment by Grey Pilgrim | 2013/03/18 at 16:24:12

    Dear Cardinal Seán,

    Your pictures and commentary were very edifying and enjoyable to read/see… thank you for your witness and presence both in Boston and during your days in Rome. Through EWTN and other sources, we were able to closely follow your various statements and activities. Many of us believe that you too would have made a great Holy Father, but were secretly hoping you would return to Boston… perhaps we are too possessive! You remain, always, in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings as you continue your ministry as a holy and compassionate good shepherd!

  34. Comment by José | 2013/03/18 at 20:31:40

    Sr. Cardenal sería interesante que escribiese, usted, en español.

  35. Comment by Frank Faas | 2013/03/19 at 14:14:34

    I just recently found out about your blog and so happy I have….I founded Sanctuary House .. Apostolate Center of Our Lady of the Flowers(Souls) and the Laity Brotherhood of the Passion of Christ was formed as it backbone in 1985 tho it’s beginnings go way back to 1951 then publicly In 1979. I am widowed and 76. We are planning this year to build a true Sanctuary House for communal living of the laity brotherhood…. Prehaps you could pay it a visit when completed. We are known to our bishop.

    Thank you for your time and should you wish to know more of this ministry here is our blog site. Almost forgot I was glad to see you via tv during the voting of Pope Francis I hoped and prayed for you to win. Also I am a long time secular Franciscan it was at a fraternity meeting I met my future wife now with God 16 years……she was Irish … Me I am Irish and Dutch (my father’s side) the new Holy Father and I the same age and share December birthdays only mine is 12/28 if only I were still a holy innocent : )

    Frank Faas aka Laity Peter Ananias Paul Adam ……Bro. PAPA FRANK
    Albany NY

    Sanctuaryhouse.tumblr.com

  36. Comment by Jose Geronimo Herrera | 2013/03/21 at 22:21:52

    Padre Sean, gracias por tus palabras tan bellas sobre el conclave. Sabe, se me ocurre que me gustaria que empezaras un blog en espanol para poder alcanzar con tus pensamientos, reflexiones y expieriencias a todos los que en toda america latina se ha acercado a ti con tanto afecto y devocion. me cuento entre tus hijos devotos. le doy gracias a Dios que nos ha dado un Papa de corazon franciscano y como me hubiera gustado que fuera usted. pero se que Dios sabe mejor que yo. un abrazo y que Dios siga ejerciendo su amor y misericordia atravez de usted.

  37. Comment by Connie | 2013/03/29 at 09:10:48

    Hello, I’m from Perú but I live in Spain since 1992. I speak speak English and Spanish and I will write you in both languages.
    Thank you Cardinal Sean for sharing the information. I also was moved when Pope Francis prayed in the Loggia. Was a very humble moment.
    It’s also great a Pope with his thumb up, thank you for giving us such a great Holy Father.
    Could be great if you can start a blog in Spanish. I will follow you on twitter an also here.
    “Has been fun” when you say that Cardinal bergoglio, almost did not eat because of the stress at that point. I can imagine the situation and the responsibility to which he was subjected on that Wednesday.
    De corazón le agradezco por todos los detalles que usted ha revelado en su blog, y por compartir con todos nosotros su vivencia en primera pesona del Conclave.
    A mi Papa Francisco “me ha robado el corazón” desdel primer momento. Su mirada, como la de un padre cuando mira a un hijo, o la de un abuelo al mirar a su nieto… desprende un amor infinito. El señor lo cuide y la virgen lo proteja en su nueva etapa como pontífice. Y espero que con la ayuda de ustedes los Cardenales, pueda conducir a la Iglesia por el camino de la rectitud, humildad y amor.
    Dios lo cuide a usted también. Con cariño una Creyente Católica desde Barcelona- España.


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