Churches rejoice in selection of new pope
The bells pealed in Vatican City Wednesday as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was chosen to become Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
In the area, several churches and religious orders have also rejoiced in the selection, and they will continue that celebration this weekend with special decorations and prayers at their churches.
At Holy Angels Church, Kulpmont, special gold and white bunting hangs on the front of the church, a diocesan tradition when a new pope is elected.
"We are also awaiting flowers that we will place near the Vatican flag, in celebration of Pope Francis," a church secretary said.
Similar bunting hangs on the front of Divine Redeemer Church, Mount Carmel.
All churches in the Diocese of Harrisburg were given suggestions on how they can express their joy over the selection. Naturally, the churches will be offering special prayers for the new pontiff.
"Upon the election of the new pope," the literature reads, "both the diocesan bishop and priests in every parish might consider offering a special Mass for the newly elected pope, according to the guidelines of the
"We held a Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Francis Thursday," said the Rev. Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church. "We have some intercessions that we will be saying all this month."
Kobos said the church will order special cards commemorating Pope Francis's electionas mementos for parishioners.
Because this is the Lenten season, Masses cannot be celebrated for the intention of Pope Francis's election on Saturday evening and Sunday Masses this weekend, Under the liturgical calendar, Masses for the pope cannot be celebrated on Sundays during Lent and Advent, Easter Sunday, solemn holy days, Ash Wednesday and during Holy Week.
The diocese says that the faithful should offer prayers for the newly-elected Holy Father.
"The recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the pope is encouraged," the directive from the diocese reads. "The newly-elected pope should be prayed for in recitation of the Rosary."
According to representatives from the Carmelite Sisters of St. Cyril in Danville and the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, a convent of discalced Carmelite nuns who live a completely enclosed and contemplative life, both groups have been praying for the intentions of Pope Francis.